Have you noticed the pace and enthusiasm with which people are gearing up to celebrate Christmas 2020? Shopping aside, it seems to me that people are particularly keen to deck the halls and enjoy the holidays this year. This is true even – or especially? – for those who won’t be hosting or attending gatherings on the same scale as we did before this year’s pandemic.
In a social media group this morning, I was e-chatting with Sabrina from Belgium. She’d posted a lovely photo of panettone and tulips. I admired the pic and mentioned Michela Luoni’s panettone recipe I posted here back in 2015. It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years, and yet Michela’s recipe is one of a few holiday baking recipes I published from readers around the globe that year.
Traditional cookie exchanges
If you’ve not been part of a real world cookie exchange, these events are social gatherings. The host will set the tone with great music, some seasonal decor, beverages and (non-sugary!) appetizers for guests to enjoy. Each guest bakes and wraps up a dozen of her or his speciality for each person who’ll be in attendance – and an extra dozen.
The host will also have a buffet table ready and waiting for guests to deposit their contributions, and each guest will bring an empty tin or container (or two) in which to take home a dozen of each of their friends’ home baked treats. The idea is that each guest then has a good variety of goodies to share with their families and friends at upcoming gatherings.
For example, if eight friends gather together, then each friend will bake and bring nine dozen of her or his favourite holiday cookie, bar, square or tart. The extra dozen will be set out for tasting and enjoying during the gathering, with leftovers staying with your friend who was generous enough to host the event.
Our 2020 digital cookie exchange
In the early days of cookie exchanges, each contributor would bring more than their baked goods and a hostess gift. They’d also bring a supply of hand printed or typed copies of the recipe for her or his particular contribution, so that all guests would have one another’s recipes.
These days, people are more likely to share their recipes electronically … which is what I’m inviting you to do!
Send me your favourite recipes, to reflect your culture
… and holidays, whether that means Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving or New Year’s. If you’d like to participate, take a few minutes to go through your favourites and send in recipes that may represent your family, your original home or the country in which you now live.
Where to send your recipes
You can email them to me, at ExceptionalEAs@gmail.com … and it would be great if you write “2020 Cookie Exchange” in the subject line.
I’ll publish your recipes, to share with readers around the globe
This can be a great way to share and explore recipes from near and far. As well as Michela’s pannetone recipe, I’ve published other holiday recipes readers have already contributed from Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Turkey and the USA. From the home page of my website, follow a series of drop-down menus – BLOG/AWAY FROM WORK/Readers’ Holiday Recipes – and that’s where you’ll find the collection to date.