Plenty of colours are associated with the festive season. (Pixabay)

Plenty of colours are associated with the festive season. (Pixabay)

COLUMN: Colourful memories of Christmas past

Colours and foods associated with the festive season

This time of year holds special meaning to us in many different ways, but this particular Christmas will be unlike any other we have experienced.

When I think back on how my family and I have celebrated in the past, the memories are as colourful and bright as the twinkling lights around our town.

Green was always the freshly cut fir tree, prickly needles poking at your skin while hanging the decorations and lights.Tuck the tree skirt underneath and you have the perfect setting for presents and a place for the cat to sleep. It could also be a sprig of mint.

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Red is the colour of so many objects around this time. The suit that Santa Claus wears, strawberry jelly or Rudolph’s famous glowing red nose. Fresh raspberries, too.

Orange is the colour of the juicy mandarin orange plopped into the bottom of a stocking’s toe. Traditionally eaten after the last present is opened.

Thinking of the colour white, the first thing that comes to mind is snow. Deep and crisp and even, white snow on the ground is essential to get into the spirit of Christmas. White is also the peppermint globe candle that we unwrap carefully every year to burn for a few hours. It fills the house with a lovely, confectionary type of smell, reminding me of whipped cream.

A lighter shade of yellow is the colour of shortbread, or any other type of cookie or cake made with butter. Golden yellow sponge cake cut into cubes, or creamy custard for example.

Layers of colour brighten our world during this dark, cold time of year. Layers remind me of my grandmother’s traditional English trifle, so I thought I would construct a word trifle. Did you notice the ingredients listed as you were reading? Cake, custard, jelly, and fresh fruit. A dessert that all my family would typically sit down and enjoy.

While we long for the family get together this year, we can still cook or bake with time tested recipes.

Come to the library and check out Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook, which contains trifle recipes, or just for fun try the culinary mystery English Trifle by Josie Kilpack (with recipes at the end of each chapter).

Staff at the Summerland library wish you the best of health and happiness this season, and a big wiggly bowl of colourful trifle.

Caroline McKay is the community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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