Sharon Lynn writes short stories which have appeared in numberous anthologies, including her most recent, Final Curtain, which is in the 2020 Malice Domestic anthology, Mystery Most Theatrical. Click here for her latest post. Her books are here, and you can find out more about her here.
One year my husband decided to spend two days making bagels to surprise
my daughter and me. It was a Valentine’s Day morning, and we awoke to
fresh, heart-shaped bagels in our favorite flavors: salt for our
daughter, jalapeño for me. Needless to say, the whole endeavor was a
So much so, that the poor guy is now stuck with the task. Making the
dough early so that it has time to develop its elastic texture and deep
flavor. Staying up late the night of the 13th to prep and form the
dough. Getting up at 5:00 a.m. to allow the bagels time to rise, then
boiling them, and finally baking. Forever. It wouldn’t be Valentine’s
Day without them! Whenever we think of traveling (remember when we could travel?) for the long weekend we decide “no.” It would interfere with
And it’s not just the fresh-baked bread. We all have our bread
specialties in this family (scones and muffins for me that often wind up
in my stories, focaccia for our daughter, and my husband makes a
fantastic sourdough). What makes the day special is how it brings our
Of course, we had plenty of cooking-based traditions around Thanksgiving
and Christmas that had been passed down from our parents and
grandparents. Homemade bagels, though, is all our own.
What about you? Do you have any family traditions that began with you?
This Post Has 28 Comments
Sharon — I’m fortunate that Len, my husband, is a borderline gourmet chef and sommelier. His delicious meals and wine pairings are woven throughout my books.
Renaissance men are pretty wonderful! Mine has started on craft cocktails that are out of this world
I know how that works, Laurie. I’m more of the cook, but my husband is such a wine geek, the pairings are almost always great. Of course, he makes wine, too, so that helps.
Lucky you to have such a treat prepared for you on Valentine’s Day! I have a huge cookie cutter collection, so I make cutout, frosted and decorated sugar or gingerbread cookies for each holiday in the appropriate shapes. Most go to neighbors in cellophane wrap and curly ribbons.
Is your gingerbread recipe something you’re willing to share? I love a good gingerbread and am having difficulty finding the perfect recipe!
Yes! I’ll email it to you. It’s for gingerbread cookies, not gingerbread, the cake. Still want it?
Absolutely! I love anything ginger 🙂
Okay! Will do.
Sharon, I’ve emailed it to you. Thanks.
The recipe has a lot of molasses! Yum! I’ll let you know when I try it.
Mmm…love bread and this sounds like a delicious tradition. We have a dish that we call “My Favorite Breakfast” that we started making each Christmas morning when our kids were small. It’s a mixture of maple flavored sausage, scrambled eggs, potatoes, and melted cheddar. A skillet breakfast! We still love it and make sure we make it whenever we’re all together, whether it’s Christmas or not!
I love that tradition, Margaret! I made something similar for breakfast this morning, only with refried beans instead of sausage, because Arizona I never thought to make it a Christmas tradition though. What a great idea!
I’ve always loved bagels, but good ones are hard to find in Wisconsin. My tradition is cookies during the holidays. I bake 8 to 10 varieties, everyone’s favorites. Doesn’t sound like much of a tradition, but my mom didn’t bake and nor did my grandmother so I have fun doing it whether the kids are home or not.
I used to do cookies for my classes during finals week because I love baking and all my friends make their own. Usually the student with the highest score got to pick the flavor. I have a spicy chocolate cookie that I’ve surprised a few classes with.
Yumm! Could you share it with me? Mexican hot chocolate is one of our favorite things!
Absolutely! I’ll email it to you 🙂
What a mouth-watering post, Sharon Lynn! I started a Christmas Eve tradition of making Danish Frikadeller, which is just tons of fun to say, even though it’s just a fancy name for a meatball dish with cream gravy. It is now forever requested by my daughters. Over the years, we’ve added other Scandinavian dishes to the menu as well as traditional beverages my dad introduced to me throughout my life.
That is fun to say! My husband and daughter took a Scandinavian cooking class together one year and learned to make ebelskivers. What a treat! The experience opened a whole new style of food for us.
My mother’s Sat morning cinnamon rolls. She wasn’t much of a cook, certainly not a baker, but they were my favorite part about the weekend.
I only do cinnamon rolls at Christmas because they’re so time consuming! It’s nice that your mom made them every weekend.
Your husband sounds like a keeper. And a timely post for me–I’m just about to make Bisquik scones–what a cop out, when I’m actually from England! But it’s just the cat and me, so…
If a Bisquik scone makes your happy then I say go for it! When did you move from England?
Yum yum yum! We have a family tradition that revolves around a drink called brandy slush . . . my parents started making it for holiday gatherings. Seems like a very Wisconsin recipe. (You mix the icey/orangey/brandy slush with sprite or 7-Up.) It never freezes all the way because of the brandy in the mix. Has anyone else made this?
I will say that I’ve never heard of anything like that here in the Southwest. Do you make the brandy slush from scratch as well? I’m fascinated!
Okay, next time we’re going to make you share those bagels… I make holiday cookie/pastry baskets for neighbors and friends each year. I have old standbys that people look forward to such as chocolate-caramel pecan bars and toffee wedges.
I think an exchange is in order! I’ll send bagels if you forward those chocolate-caramel pecan bars to me.
I love bagels! Haven’t tried making them yet. It’s a complicated process, so kudos to your husband for pulling them off.
Bagels are complicated. It’s the dough going into the boiling water before the oven that makes it such a production. That’s why it’s such a special treat once a year.