In case you’ve missed the first two posts, here’s a quick recap for you: From November 28 – December 23, we have 25 bloggers sharing 26 gluten-free recipes that mean “home” and “holidays” to us. We will be giving away almost 100 prizes, everything from cookbooks (print and e-books), resource books, apps, magazine subscriptions (print and digital), and other various “helpers” for gluten-free, whole-food living. There will also be 3 grand prizes, including a top of the line Vita-Mix!
Day 2: Gluten and Dairy Free Toffee over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.
And now it’s my turn!
Few things say Christmas more to me than Elvis’ I’ll Be Home for Christmas because my dad traveled extensively when I was a kid – but he always made it home in time for Christmas (the best present of all) – so a post about home for the holidays would not be the same for me without a little mood music from the king!
Growing up, we didn’t have many holiday food traditions and for that, I’m actually thankful. Sure, we made cutout sugar cookies and glopped several tubes of Betty Crocker’s red and green icing on top but that was about it. Instead, our traditions had more to do with activities: driving around looking at Christmas lights and visiting the old Lazarus department store in downtown Columbus, Ohio to see the talking tree and visit with Santa.
I’m pretty much the same way with my kids today, focusing most of our traditions on activities instead of food. Traditions like decking our halls with a ridiculous amount of boughs of holly, visiting the New Mexico Bio Park Society’s River of Lights and watching Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story no fewer than 432 times! And yes, I have a replica of the famous Leg Lamp as well as the crazy Moose Mugs for my dairy-free nog (see photo below).
Of course, I’ve made more than my fair share of gluten free and allergy friendly holiday sweets over the years too:
And today I will be sharing an old family recipe from my German/Danish heritage. This traditional Christmas treat goes by many names; Förtchen, Futjens (or Futtjens) and Ferdons being just a few of them. For simplicity sake, my gramps used to called them fritters.
Seriously, you have got to make these…without a doubt, the best dessert I’ve made in 6 years!
Gotta love that 70’s sofa! When Gramps passed away, I got his pocket protector and eye glasses, one of my most precious possessions.
I lost my beloved grandfather in 2006, but if he were alive today, he’d be 99 years old! He was born in the United States but both of his parents were from Germany…and my gramps only spoke German for the first few years of his life.
Förtchen are a traditional Christmas pastry in parts of northern Germany, especially in Schleswig-Holstein and in Denmark. My family’s original fritter recipe is much like a very dense cake-style donut hole. They taste great when they are freshly made, but they become hard as rocks the day after (so don’t plan on storing the leftovers unless you want to break a tooth). This fact is true whether you make the glutonium-filled version or the gluten-free variety.
The original recipe is also a bit time consuming because it contains yeast and therefore you have to plan ahead to allow time for rising. I’m much too impatient for that silly business so I did what I do best…I converted my own family recipe to be not only gluten-free and dairy-free but yeast-free and sitting on your behind for 2 hours-free!
I contacted my Aunt Maggie in Minnesota (she’s our family’s ancestry guru) about the fritter recipe and here’s what she had to say:
The fritters were a tradition handed down on the German side of the family. Your Grandpa Schmidt grew up with this Christmas Eve meal and I know that some of the German American families still have this tradition. Your cousin Tim has a friend who lives in southern Iowa and he told me that this is his family tradition as well and is also the tradition of many in his town.
Our German ancestors were from the most northern part of Germany, in an area called Schleswig-Holstein. That part of the country was once a part of Denmark and I suspect that this recipe is somewhat Danish in origin.
The recipe, as written, came from your Great Grandma Hannah (Petersen) Schmidt and I’m sure that it was handed down from her mother (the Petersen family came from the city of Eckernförde in Schleswig-Holstein).
Several years ago, I was talking to your Grandpa Schmidt and he told me that they were actually called “futjens” (foot-yens) in his family. I was on a Schleswig-Holstein genealogy list and there was a conversation about this. There was a variation on the spelling but I believe this was the correct German name for the fritters.
You are very brave to try and convert the recipe to gluten free. But, here it is. This recipe is really large, it was large enough to feed our family of 7 for our whole meal. I usually cut it in half and we still have lots left over. We now have it for Christmas Day breakfast but when we grew up, this was our Christmas Eve meal.
**For the original Schmidt/Petersen family Fritter recipe, click here.
I own this cast iron Aebleskiver Pan.
Look at the texture – equal to that of glutonium…if not better!
I just cannot get into the texture of cooked raisins, so plain it is for me!
Ready for some loot?
**This giveaway is now closed**
Shirley has worked her boo-heine off to gather some great giveaways for Home for the Holidays…Gluten Free Style! There will be 3 winners of today’s giveaway…each person will win one of the following books (each will be a signed copy):
Healthier Without Wheat by Dr. Stephen Wangen (I LOVE this book!!!)
Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson
Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Kelli and Peter Bronski
To enter this giveaway…
Simply leave a comment telling me your favorite family holiday tradition!
The winners will be announced on Friday, December 2nd, 2011…and don’t forget, each entry will count as an entry for the three grand prizes!
p.s. If you have a blog and want to share your favorite gluten-free recipe that means “home” and “holidays” to you, please feel free to grab the badge for your post (kindly linking back to Home for the Holidays – Gluten free Style, of course)!
And be sure to check out tomorrow’s post from Ali over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.
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