Sunday, December 17, 2006

17th Day of Christmas - Baking

Yummy! One of my favorite things about Christmas (and probably the worst for me) is all the wonderful baking that I get to taste test. Baking has always seemed to be part of the Christmas tradition.

Long ago in order to prepare for the feast on Christmas Day, people would fast on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning they would be extremely hungry and would eat a hot, thick, bland porridge for breakfast. Over time dried fruits, spices and honey were added to make the porridge special for Christmas morning which would make it thick and stiff. Cooks would wrap it in a cloth and dunked it in a pot of boiling watter to cook it. This was the beginning of Christmas pudding!

In the 16th century, wheat flour replaced the porridge and eggs were added to hold the ingredients together. Since the English used plum to refer to any type of dried fruit, this became known as plum pudding. This was the beginning of the fruit cake. Later ginger was added to remember the gifts of the Wise Men (see Day 14- The Wise Men) and the words cake and bread became interchangeable.

"The word Bethlehem, which is he birthplace of Jesus, literally means "house of bread". In that humble town in Judea, a baby boy was born who would come to be known as the Bread of Life (see John 6:51). He nourishes us with hope and healing, with forgiveness and love. When you're
in the home of a family who loves Jesus, you can almost smell it in the air - just as you can smell bread baking in the oven!"
(The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel)

When you are baking this year for the Christmas season, remember the Bread of Life.

(Christ) gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to
(Ephesians 5:2)

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