Friday, December 24, 2010

Stocking Fillers

Back in Russia, when I was a child, we didn’t celebrate Christmas (it being a religious holiday and religion, while not exactly prohibited, being strongly discouraged and mostly not mentioned), instead we celebrated, in a very similar fashion, New Year. I don’t remember us getting gifts such as toys (though we probably did), however each child always got a bag of sweets, which contained chocolates, various types of lollies, zefir and one or sometimes even TWO mandarins. Zefir is similar to marshmallow, but bigger, softer and fluffier on the inside and crustier on the outside. Both zefir and mandarin were a special treat – as average simple family in a small town we were unlikely to be able to find either one (but especially mandarins) in the shops at any other time than before New Year.

Mandarin & Zefir

This year I got a packet of zefir from a Russia shop. The ones in my childhood were always white and not covered in shaved coconut, however Katya and I shared one yesterday and it tasted and smelled exactly like I remember. The smell of zefir and mandarins is the smell of winter celebrations to me. I’m slowly accepting my husband’s Christmas traditions and starting to mix them with my own New Year’s ones, so this year each stocking will contain a pink zefir and a mandarin.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. I hope there is lots of laughter and joy in your house, plenty of food on your table, many wonderful people around it and some present for everyone under the tree.


driftwood said...

Merry Christmas, and enjoy your mixing of traditions, sounds perfect to me xxx

Kate said...

I loved reading your story so much.
I love that you remembered the taste so well.
I hope you have the most wonderful and happy Christmas.

Annie said...

My children love zephir, but I couldn't find any this year. The ones we get in Michigan don't have any coconut! But that one is lovely.

Enjoy your white Christmas!