The Food Traditions of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Food Ornaments

The tradition of popcorn and berry garland was birthed in the United States.

Did you know that ornaments are supposed to be different every year? That’s right, Christmas ornaments are meant to be a board-overview symbolizing memories of Christmas over the years. The earliest ornaments were apples, used during the 1800s. Eventually paper streamers with bits of shiny metal foil were added as an effect to make the Christmas tree reflect light.

Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, Christmas trees were decorated with any household odds and ends, varying by country. Americans, for instance, would string long strands of cranberries or popcorn to circle their trees. Small gifts began to be used to decorate the tree, some times containing tiny intricately woven baskets, or at times just hanging by a thread or a piece of yarn.

In the UK, creative ornaments of lace, paper or other materials showed the variety of interests and talents of their makers. Small “scraps” cut out of newspaper or magazine illustrations also found their way to the family’s tree.

In the late nineteenth century, German glass blowers, in the area around Lauscha, began  blowing Christmas themed glass strictly for the holiday. Initially replicating fruits, nuts and other food items, they soon branched out and began to manufacture hearts, stars and other shapes that, prior to, were created out of cookies. However, now it had the added dimension of a wide color palette enhanced by the luminosity of the glass itself. Eventually the glass blowers began creating molds of children, saints, animals, and famous people. In the late 1800s to the early 1900s, F.W. Woolworth began to import the German glass ornaments at a value of 25- million.

In many countries there are still special ornamental traditions today. Here are a few of the ornament traditions:

In Germany there is the pickle ornament, placed on the tree first by the parents. The story goes that the child who finds the pickle first (normally the most observant one) would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas.

In Lithuania, Father Christmas spreads grain on the floor and children must perform a special song or dance on this grain so they may receive their presents.

In Argentina instead of placing gifts under a tree presents are put into shoes.

Article written by Jasmine Gore

The History of Gingerbread

gingerbread_house

Ginger is a spice from Indo- Malaysia. The ginger root was believed to sooth an upset stomach or to prevent a cold. In 2000 B.C. wealthy Greek families sailed to the Isle of Rhodes to get spiced honey cakes. In the eleventh century, pilgrims and soldiers introduced ginger to the Europeans. The English created ginger candy. Two hundred years later, bread crumbs were added to the mixture and gingerbread almost as we know it was born.

In the middle ages, medieval ladies gave gingerbread cakes to their favorite knights. Different shapes were used for different meanings. The heart was used to ward off evil. Ginger was very plentiful in Germany because it became the center for spice trade. Craft people created special baking molds of animals, fish, and bible scenes sometimes weighing over one hundred pounds. In the 16th century Queen Elizabeth I presented guests with a gingerbread made to look like them.

For More Info on the history of gingerbread and gingerbread houses visit: http://www.germantownacademy.org/academics/LS/2/ginger/Index.html

The History of the Hot Dog

(Wikepedia)

A hot dog (frankfurter, frank, wiener, weenie) is a moist sausage of soft, even texture and flavor, often made from advanced meat recovery or meat slurry. Most types are fully cooked, cured or smoked. It is often placed hot in a special purpose soft, sliced hot dog bun. It may be garnished with mustard, ketchup, onion, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, chili orsauerkraut. The flavor can be similar to a range of meat products from bland bologna to spicy German bockwurst varieties. Kosher or Halal hot dogs may be made from beef, chicken or turkey. Vegetarian hot dogs made from meat analogue are available.

Claims about the invention of the hot dog are difficult to assess because various stories assert the creation of the sausage, the placing of the sausage (or another kind of sausage) on bread or a bun as finger food, the popularization of the existing dish, or the application of the name “hot dog” to a sausage and bun combination.

The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where sausages in a bun originated, similar to hot dogs, but made of pork; wiener refers to Vienna, Austria, whose German name is “Wien”, home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef (cf. Hamburger, whose name also derives from a German-speaking city). In German speaking countries, except Austria, hot dog sausages are calledWiener or Wiener Würstchen (Würstchen means “little sausage”). In Swiss German, it is called Wienerli, while in Austria the terms Frankfurter or Frankfurter Würstel are used.

Others have supposedly invented the hot dog. The idea of a hot dog on a bun is ascribed to the wife of a German named Antonoine Feuchtwanger, who sold hot dogs on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, in 1880, because his customers kept taking the white gloves handed to them for eating without burning their hands. Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger, a Bavarian sausage seller, is said to have served sausages in rolls at the World’s Fair – either the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago or the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis– again allegedly because the white gloves he gave to customers so that they could eat his hot sausages in comfort began to disappear as souvenirs.

The term “dog” has been used as a synonym for sausage since 1884 and accusations that sausage makers used dog meat date to at least 1845.

According to a myth, the use of the complete phrase “hot dog” in reference to sausage was coined by the newspaper cartoonist Thomas Aloysius “TAD” Dorgan around 1900 in a cartoon recording the sale of hot dogs during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds. However, TAD’s earliest usage of “hot dog” was not in reference to a baseball game at the Polo Grounds, but to a bicycle race at Madison Square Garden, in the The New York Evening Journal [December 12, 1906], by which time the term “hot dog” in reference to sausage was already in use. In addition, no copy of the apocryphal cartoon has ever been found.[15]

The earliest usage of hot dog in clear reference to sausage found by Barry Popik appeared in the 28 September 1893 The Knoxville Journal.


HotDogMustardTASTY! For more info visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_dog

History: Q & A About Oktoberfest

(Wikepedia)

How Did it originate?

The original “Oktoberfest” occurred in Munich, on October 18, 1810: For the commemoration of their marriage, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (namesake of the Theresienwiese festival grounds) organized a great horse race (the marriage took place on October 12; the horse race on October 17 — therefore, there are different dates named as being the first Oktoberfest).

Exactly when does it take place?

Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held each year in Munich, Germany, running from late September to early October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with some six million people attending every year, and is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event.

The Munich Oktoberfest, traditionally, takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival will go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the 1st Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. The festival is held on an area named the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese), often called d’ Wiesn for short.

Okay, So What about the Food?

oktoberfest food

Visitors also eat huge amounts of traditional hearty fare such as Hendl (chicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Haxn (knuckle of pork), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstel (sausages) along with Brezeln (Pretzel), Knödeln (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Rotkraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a fatty, spiced cheese-butter concoction) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).

 

For more about the history visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oktoberfest

Festivals This Weekend

pumpkins

Every weekend in October

Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, MD

At 22200 Davis Mill Road an Annual Pumpkin Festival is held weekends throughout October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pick a pumpkin; take a hayride; explore a hay maze; and enjoy crafts, food, and family activities.

 October 3rd

Oktoberfest Celebration at Whites Road Park in Lansdale, PA

Lansdale’s first annual Oktoberfest celebration will take place on Saturday, October 3rd from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at White’s Road Park. The festival will feature German food from area…

Sunday October 4th

Italian Family Festival at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA

There will be music by a Sicilian Band and traditional dances by the Gypsy Folk Ensemble. Learn how to play bocce ball and enjoy delicious Italian food.

October 3rd & 4th

Oktoberfest at Corbett Field in Tuscon, Arizona

A FAMILY ORIENTED GERMAN FESTIVAL WITH ARTS & CRAFTS, MUSIC AND GERMAN FOOD. Visit the link below for more updates on Arizona Festivals: http://www.festivals-and-shows.com/arizona-festivals.html

 

 

German Apple Cake Recipe

german apple cakeINGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups apples – peeled, cored and diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch cake pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well.
  3. Combine the flour salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon together in a bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the apples by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cake cool on a wire rack. Once cake is cool serve with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or with a Cream Cheese Frosting.

Recipe from Allrecipes.com