Does anybody really like mincemeat pies? I know I will hear from people on this, but it was never a favorite in our house. It is British in origin but contains no meat, although the medieval tradition dating back to the 13th century supposedly was made up of “minced” mutton. Now we know it as a sweet mixture of dried fruits and spices.

Or how about fruitcake? Another not-too-big favorite in the Kosey house, although I will admit to having a slim piece once a year. My parents yearly were sent a fruit cake in a tin. My mother would put a shot glass of brandy in the center of the fruitcake and close the tin tightly, so that eventually it became good (potent) fruitcake.

What made me think of this was a gift from Pam at church who gave us a homemade potica, an eastern European nut loaf. The potica is made of paper thin dough which is rolled around a filling made with nuts or apple. It’s lots of work but worth it for those who receive it. Thanks, Pam.

Other traditional holiday sweets are stollen from Germany, a buttery fruit bread. Anything from the Black Forest of Germany also qualifies as good, like pfeffernusse, glazed spice cookies. 

Hard to pronounce but good to eat, rugelach, a crescent-shaped Jewish pastry is right up there with its flaky pastry dough and different flavors. And, yes, there is something called “figgy pudding,” an English dessert made with figs, currants and dark rum which is steamed to make it moist.

Then there’s pannetone, what I refer to as the Italian answer to the Czech houska. There’s nothing better than to take a slice, toast it and slather on some butter for a real comfort time. Aunt Inez’s biscotti, now made by her daughter, my cousin Josephine, brings back memories.

The holidays not only bring back memories of food but of the people we shared it with; that is really what it is all about. So as you make new memories this year, whatever you are celebrating, enjoy it all with a spirit of peace.

My wish for all is a happy and peaceful holiday.

To the family residing at Gage and Delaplaine roads in Riverside, you’ve done it again: a Christmas display better than ever. I appreciate all your hard work. And if you see a silver Honda slowing down pass your house, it’s just me enjoying it again, not a stalker. Congrats!