• Charlsie Pecoraro

Holiday Traditions Past & Present!


This is a "blast from my past" that I thought I would share with you. Who else had "footie" pajamas and a tinsel decorated tree? My parents always made sure that Christmas time was memorable for the four of us.

Our home smelled delicious during the holidays with wonderful baked goodies fresh from the oven. I recall spending many afternoons standing on a stool watching and helping mom prepare treats. The prize was getting to "lick" the mixer beaters. She had one of the first Kitchen-Aid mixers and those cookie dough crusted tools were a favorite of mine. I'll share a new recipe for Italian Wedding Cake cookies later in this blog! I made them for the first time this year and they have been #1 with friends and family.

Our family participated in various church programs and I went Christmas caroling with the Girl Scouts. As soon as we got out of school for the semester break, my calendar filled up quickly with fun things to do! It is funny, because in retrospect I remember the activities much more than I do the gifts.

Although there was one Christmas when Daddy did the shopping because Mom had surgery and was in the hospital. I will never ever forget the things he bought for me that year! Unfortunately some of his bolder purchases were returned to the store for things that mom deemed more practical. I wasn't disappointed in the least. It was the effort and thought that mattered to me. I'll give you an example of his interpretation of the list versus mom's reality. I was an equestrian at the time and needed a new saddle blanket. Daddy bought my horse a full size winter "coat"...I am still smiling about that one!

If you happen to venture out into the frenzy of last minute shopping, maybe take a moment to help those dads that may be tasked with shopping for everyone. I imagine any assistance would be greatly appreciated!


 

Fast forward to the present! Hubby and I are empty nesters and we absolutely love exploring holiday things in Mobile, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This year we visited the Battle House Hotel and saw the 28 foot tree up close! This spectacular display is a "don't miss" in downtown Mobile.

Of course, I have mentioned Bellingrath's Magic Christmas in Lights display in previous blogs. I encourage everyone to visit it before the season ends. Several years ago my sister and some of her family joined us there for the tour. She still talks about how beautiful it was and how she can't wait to see it again in the future.


Last week I was at The Wharf in Orange Beach, with a friend, and I was pleasantly surprised at how festive it is for the holiday season. Holiday music fills the air and there is an enormous tree in the boulevard. The crowds were small so we enjoyed excellent customer service in every shop we visited. Did you know they have an ice rink for skating? Great fun for the family. Click here for more information.


Insider tip: Have lunch at YoHo Rum & Tacos! The Jerk Salmon Salad was incredible!


 

A Louisiana Christmas Tradition from New Orleans to Baton Rouge!


Photo credit Blood, Sweat, and Bonfire Facebook Page


All along River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge the Mississippi River levee is decorated with Christmas bonfires waiting to light the way for Papa Noel on Christmas Eve. This year there is an enormous alligator located in St. James Parish (Garyville, La.) that will be ignited at 7PM and should burn until midnight.


Several years ago, we were living in Baton Rouge and made the trip to St. James Parish to see the Christmas bonfires lighting up the Mississippi River. The holiday spirit was wonderful and it was truly one of those experiences I treasure. If you are looking for something to do on Tuesday evening this is it!


Insider Tip: Wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking up and down the levee. Parking is free however it tends to get pretty crowded so be prepared to walk a few blocks.


 

Italian Wedding Cookies



Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room

temperature - I use Kerrygold for the flavor!

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 cup ground walnuts

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for serving


Directions:

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter

in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add the sugar and beat until well blended.

Add in the flour, and then the ground and

chopped walnuts. Divide the dough in half,

forming each half into a ball.

Wrap separately in plastic and chill until cold,

about 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 325


Pull out one half of the dough at a time from the refrigerator.

Scoop 2 teaspoons of dough and roll into round ball in the palms of your hand and place on cookie sheet ½ inch apart. Continue until all of the dough is used.

Bake for 18 minutes until golden brown on bottom and lightly tan on top.

Cool for 5 minutes on cookie rack.

Dust with powdered sugar


Store in an airtight container


 

By the time you read this, hopefully your shopping is complete and you are enjoying family time. If not, please support local and shop local!


Have a very Merry Christmas from all of us at meet da' boss!


~Charlsie