Saturday, December 29, 2007

Grandpa's Christmas Gift

Its Christmas Day at Bluemound Country Club in Milwaukee WI. On the mountain of ice at the end of the buffet, I can see the oysters, delicious in their briny liquid, they will be smooth on my tongue and slide down my throat like an ocean wave. The duck I remember from last year is there too, and the cheese and four kinds of smoked salmon. I have to plan my attack. I'm a small person, and I can't possibly eat it all.

Especially after last night's home-cooked feast of polish sausage, cheesy potatoes and seven layer jello, pan fried trout and shrimp. I'm not a particularty good Polish girl- I don't speak the language and I can't polka, but I'm certain that this meal makes me more Polski with every bite. The Jello is crucial.

Then finally, just before preseents, its time for dessert.

At Christmas, we all return, somewhat, to the age of seven. All hands attack the cookies and little cakes. I adore this holiday because it legitimizes the excessive baking that I do, which otherwise must be consume by my family.

This year I discovered a very old pastry called Chocolate Babka. I have eaten it before, but making it was a new challenge. A yeast bread, Babka came from Eastern Europe and is very Polish. Like me. In both Polish, Babka comes form the word for "grandmother" and the bread used to look round and plump, apparently the image of Polish Baba's or Nana's.

Babka is best when its warm on the first day, but really, its great any time. Though, it won't be around much after you get the first taste in your mouth. It's rich and buttery and a perfect treat for Christmas.

Check out the Recipe!