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12.21.2010

STOLLEN: (noun) stó-lun 1. A traditional German cake eaten at Christmas time, made with nuts, raisins and other dried fruits.

My mother and her siblings were close without ever living near one another and even though her two sisters have passed away leaving only mom and her brother, their collective love still shines at Christmas time. You see, when we were kids magical things arrived from the other aunts and uncles that still linger in our Christmas hearts even though we’ve all grown and raised kids of our own. It was rekindled this week during a facebook exchange when Margo sent her family’s stollen recipe to the families.
“I'd love to have the stollen recipe,” I said, “When the Bendix stollen arrived, it meant Christmas had arrived.”
“The Bendix stollen and the Lunn cheese always meant Christmastime was here at the Swobodas!” Our cousin Katherine chimed in.
“And the Virginia ham from your family!” I sent back to her.
“Don’t forget the Lunn fudge and the currant cakes!” Margo added.
It was wonderful to share this collective childhood Christmas magic with cousins I haven’t seen face to face in years.

One of these traditions has survived through the years when Margo’s brother Matt and his wife Josie make stollen and ship it off to one and all. It’s a high point of my Christmas. I figured with the recipe making the rounds, that meant it was time to start looking to the oven, instead of the mailbox for a taste of our mothers German Christmas’s past.

But this morning a box from NY arrived with a collective taste of 50 Christmas’s all wrapped up in the form of a sweet round powdered cake like none other the world over.

Christmas has arrived. Thank you Matt and Josie.