Holiday time is filled with traditions. We celebrate as families and connect generation to generation by passing along traditions and making new memories.. As a first born myself, traditions are important to me. However, I never realized how many of those family memories I had passed on to my children until I tried doing something new instead of our holiday “tradition”. For our family it is the Christmas morning breakfast that has to be the same from year to year, and can I say that I love it! Years ago my sister in law shared some pancake recipes with us. Apple pancakes and Ginger Pancakes with Lemon syrup. The Ginger Pancakes were the hands down favorite. So on year two, weeks before Christmas morning the kids started dreaming of the ginger pancakes and lemon syrup. So for over thirty years now it is still the Christmas morning delight.
Why is it that we connect so many warm feelings with the simple things like family recipes? But we do. A friend attended a wedding where instead of one big wedding cake each table had a different family recipe cake as the center piece. You might get Granny Ruby’s German Chocolate cake or Aunt Jeanette’s Chocolate Cake complete with take home recipes. We share the memories with each flavorful bite. I must admit, it filled my heart with a moment of pride to hear my oldest son describing our Christmas tradition to his sons. God understood the importance of generational connection as he instructed the Israelites to teach their children of how God had always been with his people.
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11:19
So as we gather around our tables this holiday season and share recipes passed from great grandmothers, aunts and sisters, remember to share the memories of family faith. Maybe the story of how Papa came to know Christ or a favorite Bible verse of a family member long gone. We will connect our children not only with their culinary heritage but with their heritage of faith.
This note awaits my family inside the cover of my well worn, favorite cookbook:
My dear children! If you’re looking for this recipe that means I am probably too old or grumpy to crack an egg! I hope this recipe brings back great memories of Christmas Morning. I love you!! Mom
As you prepare for your holiday feast, here is one of our families favorites packed with flavor, memories, and a pinch of Mama’s joy.
GINGER PANCAKES WITH LEMON SYRUP
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup light molasses
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 egg well beaten
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
Mix ingredients for pancakes, (flour, eggs, milk, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves) until smooth. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto a hot griddle. Flip when pancakes dry around the edges.
SAUCE: Heat all ingredients to boiling over medium heat. Stirring constantly.
Batter and syrup can be made the day before and refrigerated. Yields 14 pancakes.