Secret No. One

 No need to complicate the holidays by tackling the perfect Bûche de Noël recipe.  Consider making time to sit around the table with your mother, grandmother or beloved relative, inquiring about your family’s most treasured recipes from years past.

Like me, you may find that recipes you’ve grown up with were committed to memory, rather than written on paper.  My Italian grandmother, from whom I think my mother and I learned everything we know about food, passed at age 96 without ever writing down a single ingredient.

And not too long ago, I found myself on the phone with my mom, asking her for the cookie recipe she made every New Year’s Eve.  Turns out it was my Swedish grandmother’s recipe, prepared year after year by memory, rather than following a written card.

Carve out a little time this holiday to share your memories with loved ones, share laughter together and document those special foods for generations to come.

Secret No. Two

  The magic of the season is felt around a shared table with friends, neighbors or family.  Rather than feeling the pressure of preparing a four course holiday dinner, I love to cook a big roast and invite guests to bring what they please to the table…. even if that means leftovers and the latest edition of the New York Times!

No set menu.  No must-haves.  Just good friends and festive conversation.  That’s what I call a good party.

Recipe For  My Grandmother’s Swedish Rosettes

Linnea’s Grandmother, Elna Linnea Forrest

2 eggs 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla Combine eggs, sugar, and salt; beat well. Add remaining ingredients; beat until smooth. Heat rosette iron in deep, hot oil (350 to 375oF) for two minutes. Drain excess oil from iron; dip in batter to 1/4 inch from top of iron, then immediately into hot oil. Fry rosette until golden, 10 to 30 seconds. Lift out; tip upside down to drain. With fork, push rosette off iron onto rack placed over paper towels. Reheat iron 1 minute; make next rosette. If you have two rosette irons, reheat one while using the other. Stir batter from time to time as you will get some oil in it. Sprinkle rosettes with confectioner’s sugar. You will need to have a Rosettes Iron.