Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Traditions...Chowder & Croissants

"The merry family gatherings - the old, the very young; the strangely lovely way they harmonize in carols sung. For Christmas is tradition time - traditions that recall the precious memories down the years, the sameness of them all".
- Helen Lowrie Marshall

Christmas is such a joyful time!
I am amazed every time, when I pull out my Christmas boxes, the wonderful memories that flood into my mind from yesteryear... memories, that I hadn't thought about all year, until I saw or smelled something from our Christmas boxes.

Such is the case for these ornaments. My Grandfather lost his wife my Grandma Laura when I was eight years old and shortly after she died, he remarried a wonderful lady named Ruth. We called her Grandma Ruth. She was VERY Victorian in her decor and these ornaments remind me of going to her house and seeing similar things at her house.
She also LOVED my Christmas Croissants and was SO excited when we would visit during the holidays and bring this tasty treat. She LOVED them and always asked me about how I made them, wanted the recipe, etc..
Clam Chowder and Croissants...
that's what you'll find us dishing up to eat on Christmas Eve at our house.

Christmas traditions and treats at our house are usually pretty decadent and not very frugal, but they are only enjoyed during the holidays and the holidays wouldn't be the same without them. So, this is the one time of the year that we splurge on goodies and calories!

With a little bit of work and planning
you can ENJOY some flaky, delicious croissants at YOUR house during the holidays! They are worth all of the work it takes to make them!
(Recipes below the instruction photos)

for rolling out and baking them...
Croissants (we eat these every Christmas eve with Clam Chowder)
1-1/2 cups butter
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp. Yeast
½ cup warm water
¾ cup milk
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 ¼ to 4 ¼ cups flour
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

Cream butter with 1/3 cup flour. Roll mixture between two sheets of waxed paper into a 12x16 inch rectangle. Chill at least 1 hour.

Soften yeast in warm water. Heat ¾ cup milk, sugar, and salt until sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm, turn into large mixing bowl.
Add softened yeast and 1 egg. Beat well.

Stir in 2 cups of the flour. Beat well. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix with a spoon. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough. Continue kneading til smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Let rest 10 minutes.

Roll into a 14 inch square. Place “chilled” butter on one half of dough fold over other half and seal edges. Roll into a 21 x 12 inch rectangle. Seal edges. Fold in thirds. Roll into a 21 x 12 inch rectangle. Fold and roll twice more: seal edges. Chill after each rolling.

Fold in thirds to 12 x7 inches. Chill several hours or overnight.

Cut dough crosswise in fourths. Roll each fourth into a 12 inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges. Roll up each edge loosely starting from wide edge. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; point down, curve ends. Cover, let rise until double. (30 to 45 minutes). Beat egg with 1 Tablespoon milk. Brush on tops. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Clam Chowder
2 (6 ½ oz.) cans minced clams
1 large onion finely chopped
3 or 4 large diced potatoes
2 carrots diced
3 stalks celery chopped
1/4 cup butter
¾ cup flour
1 quart half & half cream
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Drain juice off clams and pour over vegetables in medium saucepan.
Add enough water to barely cover and simmer in covered pan until veggies are tender. (about 20 minutes).
In the meantime, melt butter. Add flour , blend and cook for 1 minute. Add cream and cook. Stir until smooth and thick.
Add undrained vegetables and clams. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
This is a tradition that I make every year on Christmas eve, along with CROISSANTS!
(it even tastes better if you cook this up the day before as it tastes better the second day)

The joy of tradition..
Looking forward to enjoying
many more holiday traditions with my family these next few weeks!


Ann Marie said...

You know I am DYING over those ornaments.. :) Nice touch putting them in front of my mirror! ;) *wink* ha-ha

Anything that takes time like that is going to be delightful! Those layers... oh man.. could I please live next door???

I love clam chowder.. and I guess.. I love everything on your post! Delightful goodness and LOVE!

The Garden of Egan said...

You are very naughty posting those recipes. They are sinful and Santa is watching!!!!

Looks delightful. We do clam chowder as well. I'll have to practice on the crossaints before Christmas Eve so I can make sure to get it right. Ya, do some taste testing before hand, ya, good idea.

Love your blog. You are so amazing and it's been a treat to get to know you a bit. Yup. You are amazing!

Connie said...

I would enjoy those decadent rolls and scrumptious clam chowder! You have some of the best recipes!
I agree about opening the Christmas boxes and having a flood of memories come rushing to us! Some years I hold an ornament or gift that was given to me by someone dear and shed tears.
Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

Valerie said...

I loooove fresh bread and rolls. These look divine. Lots of great step-by-step pics. Thanks.

Cherie said...

I love reading the comments - Everyone is so funny!! I guess by now you KNOW you are very sinful for posting that decadent Croissant recipe (Can't wait to make it-hee hee!!).

I just wanted to tell you I got your Christmas card today and I was SO happy! LOVE IT! The picture is so beautiful of your family and I see you have it on the side of your blog now. You were also very clever to put that cute picture on your address label. You are so on the ball!!

Love ya and glad you are enjoying your family, all the rich, decadent food, and Christmastime!!

wileyfamilyof5 said...

I have been looking for the longest time how to make croissants. So thank very much I will definettly make these. You have to hvae some naughty recipes for this season, it balances everything out.

Higgs Happenin's said...

Ahh Yes I LOVE CHRISTMAS CHEER!!!! I'll be here until probably Thursday and then I'm going to Idaho Falls. You can bet on me being home in the evening usually anytime after 3. Except today because I'm going visiting teaching.. But seriously Just let me know!

Ps. Everything you make looks amazing. Food yumm. I'm getting warm just looking at it.

Ally Bee said...

those crossaints look delicious! Never had clam chowder - we don't have it here but it looks tasty!
It is a good feeling when all the Christmas decorations come out and the memories come flooding back of previous Christmases. I really miss my Mum and Dad as they live abroad and my brother is going to Hong Kong this year and thats all thats left of our family!! Thank goodness for my children and husband (and my greyhound, cat and ferrets!!)
Right.....I'm off to bake crossaints.......