For as long as I can remember, we had dumplin for dessert. Smothered in custard. It was always the highlight of the dinner. And no matter who was hosting the family, my aunt always brought the dumplin.
I love this photo of my wee gran. She loved spending Christmas in Canada.
There has been lots of chatter lately on our family facebook group page about dumplin. One of my cousins asked for the recipe and the memories started to get shared. It’s a tradition that has been lost over time. And I can guarantee my kids wouldn’t thank me for even trying to make one.
A few years later, my mum’s shortbread became a holiday tradition. She spent hours and hours blending the ingredients and kneading the dough. She came one year to teach me how to make it and was stunned when I took out the pastry cutter to make it easier to cut the butter into the other ingredients. It saved hours! In the end, the result was every bit as good as mum’s and even my uncle gave his seal of approval (and no, thank you, I had no interest in carrying on his tradition of tablet. The thought of it makes my teeth ache). My mum said that whenever she died, she could die knowing that the shortbread would live on as a tradition.
After shortbread, she added in mincemeat tarts. Double crusted and dusted in icing sugar. To die for. Especially warm from the oven and accompanied by a tall glass of eggnog.
My son has been diligent in learning the shortbread recipe. Something I can be assured his children will also learn. My daughter has started adding in her own holiday baking. And we can’t seem to manage the wait for December before we are asking for it!
In some cultures food is akin to love. In ours it is a matter of a love of food!
Happy Holidays everyone!