As the years go by I get more and more Scrooged-up about the holidays. This season my mood has been especially glum. The weather is just too darned warm for December. If I wanted warm I’d head to Florida.
But I’m not a warm lover. I need snow and cold and fireplace aglow. If I were to light my fire now, I’d have to sit outside and enjoy it through the window.
Yesterday though, the tiniest scintilla of spirit crept in when I tackled the traditional Hungarian pastry I learned to make when I was pregnant with my youngest, Leslie. Fifty-two years — with three lapses — I’ve been doing this.
As I shoveled the four cups of flour onto my big board, I thought how much it looked like snow, softly drifting. And as I proofed the yeast that had passed its sell-by date seven years ago, I marveled at the miracle that it was still active. In fact, that dough didn’t double in size, it tripled.
The smell of the yeast, the whiff of vanilla, the mysterious face that loomed out of my yet-to-be-mixed raisin filling, evoked the scent of happy holidays remembered…happily.