Traditionally Speaking

I love traditions. Have I told you that already? Anyway I feel traditions are a great way to keep memories alive and bring families closer together. Especially around the holidays. We have many traditions within our family and each year we seem to add something new.

I love hearing about how our traditions were started. I find it amazing when some of our traditions are things that people have been doing for decades or centuries. One such tradition is putting tinsel on our Christmas tree. It was one of my favourite things to put on the tree as a child. One day while foraging through the internet I discovered a story. A Christmas Spider legend that explains why tinsel is put on the tree. Such a beautiful story I wanted to help share. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!


(A folk legend from Germany and the Ukraine)

Once upon a time, long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year…. The day on which the Christ child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner in the ceiling to avoid the housewife’s busy cleaning. They finally fled to the farthest corner of the attic.

T’was the Christmas eve at last! The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it. But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree. Pretty soon all was quiet, so the spiders quickly crept into the room. The tree towered so high that they couldn’t see the ornaments on top. In fact, the little spiders’ eyes were so small that they could only see one ornament at a time. They all scurried up the trunk, out along each branch, filled with a happy wonder at the glittering beauty. The spiders loved the Christmas tree. All night long, they danced in the branches, and every place they went left a trail of dusty, gray web. When at last they had inspected every bit of the Christmas tree, it was shrouded in the dusty gray of spider webs.

Santa smiled as he thought of the happy spiders seeing the tree and how much they liked it, but he also thought of how sad the little mother would be over the dusty tree. He reached out his hand — and just then the sun came through the window and touched the tree. All the webs started to sparkle and shine turning into shimmering, sparkling silver and gold.

Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on our christmas trees, and according to the legend, it has been a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.


All Grown Up

I love traditions. I think they are a great way for a family to stay close. I look forward to each and everyone of our family traditions, some of my favourite ones occur during Christmas. One such tradition is making shortbread cookies. Oh they are delicious. Of course I always thought the dough tasted so much better than the baked cookies.

Well keeping the tradition alive I decided to bake a batch of shortbread for the Christmas season. Of course now that I am all grown up I thought I would experiment and make grown up shortbread cookies. I am glad I decided to venture into the kitchen as my cookies turned out great. My secret grown up ingredient…Baileys Irish Cream!

Baileys Shortbread Cookies

*1/2 cup cornstarch
*1/2 cup icing sugar
*1 cup flour
*3/4 cup butter (softened)
*1/8 cup Baileys Irish Cream

Blend all ingredients together with hands. Roll out into logs and roll in wax paper.

Cool for about a 1/2 hour in fridge. Don’t cool for to long as it will crack when cutting.

Slice and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet @300*C for 20 to 30 minutes.

Cookies freeze well.