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Turrones, Polvorones, Mantecados… our Xmas candy tradition

These days I have been virtually travelling to your kitchens and seen all these beautiful candies and cookies you bake for Xmas days; all these moving stories, cooking with your moms when you were just kids and learning the recipes while it was snowing outside, I could just see the picture…

I wish I had cooked with my mom when I was a kid too, but I never did, oooohhhh, and I wish I would, really!. We have been cooking together only once or twice when I’ve been a grown up. The only thing I did at my mom’s kitchen when I was a baby was to sit on the floor and play with her tupperware recipients and the wooden forks and spoons and see how it sounded when beating the aluminium pots! (In the picture holding a cook book, though ;-)) And the only thing that she does when she comes to my kitchen is sit down, relax and talk with me and my dad. I just love to have a beer with them while I cook. I like being the one who “works” and have them resting as spoiled kids.

It never snows in Barcelona during Christmas, it has only happened a few times and one of them was on 1962, when my mom was pregnant a huge snowstorm covered Barcelona during Xmas eve, people still remember it, it was sooooo huge that getting the car outside the parking place was impossible, they were fully covered of snow. My mother was in her 7 month of pregnancy and that day they had to go for Xmas lunch to her aunt’s house… my parents, by that time, didn’t have a fridge and therefore they didn’t have food to eat at home! So my mom and dad had to walk all the way to her aunt’s with all that snow on the streets, with her big belly and with a freezing cold!!! They walked for 3 to 4 kilometers and finally got there. That’s an experience they won’t forget.

Here the foodie tradition is to buy special Xmas candies and cakes. There’s specialized shops where you can find all these mouthwatering delicious “desserts”. Of course you can also bake them at home but I know nobody handmaking turrones for example. During Xmas day all family gets together and eats and drinks a lot, we seat on the table from 2pm to 6 or 7pm and these you will see here under are all the sweet things that come after the huge lunch.

There’s many kind of turrones: jijona, chocolate, fruities, hazelnuts, walnuts, rice, licours… anything you can imagine! There’s also polvorones and mantecados: flour and spices with nuts. And also Bombones: that’s black or white chocolate sweets, small sized, sometimes filled with licour and sometimes not (you probably have those too). And finally here in Catalunya – Catalonia we have neules which are these tubs some of them covered with chocolate. Lovers eat them each one starting one side and finally kiss.

The weather man just said that cold winds are coming over (this morning at 8am we had 5ºC below 0… that’s very low temperatures for us! And next week snow will fall over 600 meters!!! I’m not 600 meters high, I’m lower, but hopefully we’ll have some snow this winter!!!


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12/15/2007 · 5:44 h by Emiline

I would love to live in Barcelona!

We’ve had rain and ice here, all week. Now it’s sleeting/snowing.

That sounds like quite a snowstorm you had. I feel bad for your mom, that she had to walk so far.

12/15/2007 · 9:29 h by Núria

Yes I read your post about the hard weather you are having… I’m sorry for that. Extremes are never good… but we would love to have a little bit of snow here. It’s so exotic!!!

12/15/2007 · 16:15 h by Bellini Valli

When you have snow all winter it is not such a novelty and pleasure Nuria…wink..wink… I live in a condo so longer need to shovel, but I still need to drive. When we were kids we loved the snow..tobogganing, skiing, making snow angels and snowmen……Thank you very much for sharing your stories and photos from your childhood!!!

12/15/2007 · 18:15 h by Núria

Hi Bellini Valli! Yes, I guess that when you have snow all winter long it gets too heavy!
It’s a pleasure to share my childhood memories and pictures with you!

12/16/2007 · 15:26 h by JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

Those look like such lovely treats Nuria! Yum!

I am not missing the snow this year!

12/16/2007 · 23:13 h by Misslionheart♥

Lovely warm post Nuria….

We had snow on Christmas Day here in Ireland a couple of years ago. It was just magical.

(You can only use my new word ‘differlicious’ if you give me credit for it!)

12/17/2007 · 8:26 h by Núria

HOla girls!
Thanks for your comments! Clare… I already used your word!!!! It was wellused, just check Sugarlaws Joust post and you will see!

Jenn, hopefully, I will have some time and patience to try a very easy recipe on Polvorones (Baking… me baking?) I’ll let you know!

12/19/2007 · 5:33 h by ley

That’s you?? Aww! You’re so cute!!

That’s awful that your mom had to walk that far in a snowstorm while pregnant! My goodness, I’m glad her belly didn’t freeze! ;) I’ve been really hoping that we have snow here for Christmas, but I wouldn’t trade our 60 degree weather for a snowy trek like your parents’ just to see snow!

12/19/2007 · 6:08 h by Mallory Elise

thanks Nuria! sometimes i think im a little too sappy, but i love to write! I wish i cooked more–alas i am forced to eat at restaurants for a year! time for more cookies I think. your christmas candy is beautiful, i want to make candy!

12/19/2007 · 9:05 h by Núria

Hi Ley!! Nice to hear from you!
Yeah, that’s me… only 14 months! That horrible cap was used to avoid babies to heat the walls with their heads while learning to walk… amazing uh?

Hola Mallory! thanks for dropping by. I like writing too, but my english needs some improvement… my vocabulary is soo poor… but, that’s how it is ;-) I’ll surely learn new words reading your posts!!!

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