And A Happy Christmas Was Had By All
We had a wonderful Christmas at our house. We celebrate in a simple way, just my husband and I with our Maggie the dog and Eli the cat. We munch on poticia, melon, and a good, strong cup of coffe while we open gifts. Poticia is a wonderful, yeasty nut bread that is popular in Eastern Europe. My recipe comes from my husband's great-grandmother, who grew up with it in what was then Yugoslovia. It takes a long time to make, but it's worth it. Not too sweet, and goes great with coffee or tea.(See recipe at end of post.)
Of course, Santa left a little something in the stockings for the animals. Eli received a catnip rat. (We're hoping this spurs him on to actually hunting real, live rodents instead of songbirds...) He only deserved a lump of coal for his bad behavior all year, but Santa is kind.
Maggie got a new fuzzy ball with a squeaker built in. She tried to open it before the gifts were even passed out (a real no-no). Eventually it was her turn and she tore into it. She has been carrying it around ever since.
Later in the afternoon we went down to my Mom's house and celebrated with all the family. We had a wonderful meal and really enjoyed each other's company. I've now got lots of new books to read!
Here's hoping that everyone else had a relaxing, wonderful holiday. Maggie is worn out from all the fuss and relaxing on the couch adorned in her lovely holly scarf.
1 lb. plus 2 handfuls of ground walnuts
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup warm water (105 - 115F)
1 TBL dry yeast (2 pkgs)
1/2 cup warm milk (105-115F)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter - melted
4 cups all purpose flour
Filling: Combine walnuts, milk and sugar in large double boiler on top of boiling water. Stir in honey. Bring to boil, stirring often and boil for 1 minute then turn down hear so water will continue to cook nut mixture. Check for sweetness. Add a little sugar if needed. Continue to cook, stirring every so often, until the nuts turn dark. Turn off heat and add eggs, mixing them in well.
Dough: Combine water and yeast in larage mixing bowl and stir until yeast is disolved. Add mild and let stand until foamy and proofed. (Mine never foams but works anyway!) Add sugar, salt, butter, eggs and half the flour and beat until smooth. Add remaining flour and mix until soft dough forms. Knead about 10 minutes by hand or five minutes with dough hook of mixer. Place in lightly greased bowl and turn to coat entire surface. Cover and let rise in warm area until doubled in volume, approx. one hour.
Grease pans (bread pans, angel food cake pans, etc.) Do not punch down dough. Put on floured board and roll until fairly thin (1/4 to 1/8 inch). brush surface with melted butter and then spread nut filling on top within 1/2 inch of edge of dough. Roll up like a jelly roll. Put in greased pan and let rise in warm place. Bake in 350 degree oven for approx. 45 minutes or until golden brown and done. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool on wire rack. Brush crust with melted butter and cover with a cloth while cooling. This helps to keep the crust soft. Wrap in paper towels, and then keep in plastic bag, or foil to keep from drying out. Freezes well.