Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Alfred Tennyson
The last day of the year is often being seen out with parties and celebrations, whilst many will still keep to olden day traditions, to bring the good fortune and to chase away bad luck. It is traditional to stay up until Midnight and wait for yet a new year, yet another chance to make things right. All people will gain a new opportunity in the new year — clean slate, new resolutions. For a little extra power, however, through the whole history of humans, there were culinary superstitions from cultures all over the world. Many have been incorporated into modern New Year’s celebrations, just so starting the new year with a spoonful of luck.
Round is the shape ingredients and foods were always part of the new year, representing unity, continuity and the year coming full circle. The shape often came in the form of nuts, oranges, cakes.
“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” Brad Paisley
Candies and sweet things were also considered as bringing good luck, especially when shaped round. New Year’s cakes were often baked with a coin inside. The one who receives the coin in the cake, gains extra good luck, being crowned as the king or queen of the night, ruling for the rest of the gathering. Greeks, for example eat vasilopita, a bread-like cake with a coin inside, to bless the house and bring good luck. The Dutch brought with themoliebollen (meaning oil balls), a lucky doughnuts studded with circular currants. The making of certain, easy biscuits are the perfect social events for the last day of the year, as placing the dough into the moulds and filling the baked biscuit will certainly last until the year ends…
350 g flour
180 g ground walnut
250 g butter
150 g icing sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 tablespoon soured cream
4 whole eggs
200 g sugar
250 g butter
2 tbsp almond extract
This recipe requires the traditional metal almond and walnut moulds sold in Eastern Europe’s local markets.
Mix all the biscuit ingredients to achieve a soft, smooth dough. Take very small amounts and push into moulds firmly and thinly. Bake in preheated 180 degrees C oven for about 10-12 minutes. Let it cool slightly before turning out from the moulds.
To make the cream filling whisk eggs and sugar above boiling water until it reaches sherbet consistency. Let it cool. Beat butter until light and fluffy and incorporate the egg mixture.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.” T.S. Eliot