If your family is like mine, many holiday traditions include special recipes. Recipes passed down through generations. What smells and tastes fill your house this time of year? Today, I’d like to share one special family recipe that’s connected to a recent story I wrote.
In my Christmas novella, Somehow, This Christmas (appearing in the Something Borrowed: Christmas Weddings Collection) our couple Cate and Noah run into one not-so-merry mishap after another as their Christmas Eve wedding approaches. When one such misfortune ruins plans for their wedding cake, Cate comes up with the idea to make some of their families’ favorite holiday treats for the reception instead. Here’s an excerpt from that scene:
Noah stood back and watched the women flit around the kitchen. Cate was at her best when working through and idea she believed in. This one, for her mother to make some of their family’s favorite Christmas desserts for the reception, was brilliant. Every once and a while she sighed, but what bride wouldn’t after losing her cake? But this idea? This was inspired and so personal. So them. Bev had even agreed to make Noah’s grandmother’s fudge recipe.
Now the kitchen was stocked full of all the ingredients to open a North Pole-worthy bake shop! The menu included the fudge, classic frosted sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, cherry pie, chocolate pecan pie, cranberry white chocolate cheesecake, and something Cate simply called “Christmas cake.”
That last recipe, despite it sounding the most important because of nostalgia, was the one he was tasked to make. No pressure. While Bev kneaded dough and rolled pie crusts on the small butcher-block island and Cate stirred cookie dough on the kitchen table, Noah was left with the stand mixer and a handwritten recipe on the front and back of a worn index card. He set eggs, butter, sugar, and almond extract to mixing in the stainless-steel bowl. Flipping the card, he scooped out flour and the other dry ingredients according to the scribbled numbers.
On the bottom right corner of the back of the recipe card were the words Love, Nana.
“Who’s Nana?” Noah asked over his shoulder.
Cate walked over, a dough-covered spoon in her hand, and glanced at the notation on the card – but it was Bev who spoke up.
“Nana is what Cate called my mom. That recipe was handed down by her mom, who got it from her mom, and so forth. Family legend has it that it originated with our ancestors in Germany more than five generations ago.”
“It’s so neat you know so much about your family heritage,” he said as Cate returned to her bowl of dough. Other than a few stories his grandma had told him about his own parents, Noah knew close to nothing about his ancestors. He wouldn’t be bringing any traditions like these to their new family. Maybe one day their own children and grandchildren would carry on this Forsyth tradition, and many new ones.
He shut off the mixer, reading over the scribbled ink and faded card. “I think I may have an idea for a wedding favor. What if we print up some recipe cards of the desserts we’re making? Every time someone makes the recipe, they’ll think of the wedding and us.”
Bev pushed aside her unruly red locks with the back of her hand and winked. “My, my. Cute and sentimental.”
Cate wiped her hands on her checkered apron front and approached, eyes tender. “I absolutely love that.” She squeezed his waist as she rose on her toes to meet his lips. “You know, you’re pretty good at this. If that firefighter thing doesn’t work out, I could always use an assistant.”from Somehow, This Christmas by Teresa Tysinger in the Something Borrowed: Christmas Weddings Collection
Cate’s “Christmas Cake” is based on a recipe my own family enjoys every Christmas morning. I make it every year just like my mom and and her mom before her. To us, it’s as nostalgic as tearing open presents and leaving cookies for Santa. And just like Noah’s suggestion to share the recipe with their wedding guests, I’d like to share it with you today!
What are some of your family’s favorite Christmas treats? Leave a comment telling me about your most nostalgic holiday cookies, cakes, breakfasts, dishes, etc. Have they been passed down by a loved one? Is Christmas just not the same without them?
I hope you and your family have a chance to try this delicious German Christmas Cake. If you do, please let me know! Post a photo on social media and tag me! I’d love to see how it turns out.
If you’ve not yet read about Cate and Noah’s journey to the holiday aisle in Somehow, This Christmas or the other amazing stories in the Something Borrowed: Christmas Weddings Collection, get your copy HERE now. It’s not too late to order a copy for yourself as well as copies for the readers in your life!
Here’s hoping your holidays are filled with joyful traditions, happy memories, and merry blessings!