The holidays are here
As hard as it is for most of us to comprehend, another year has almost flown by. And with it comes the realization that the rest of the holidays are not far behind.
In many areas and communities of our beautiful Antelope Valley, holiday preparations are already under way. And, although the communities of the Valley are growing and now offer many of the benefits formerly only found in the big city, we’re still small enough to provide the wonderful and memorable holiday activities, pleasures and delights found in any small town in America. With this in mind, we’ve geared this December issue of LIFESTYLE magazine to one of those traditions, holiday baking.
In celebration of National Cookie Day (Dec. 4), this month’s issue explores the world of holiday and Christmas cookies and other baked treats. Readers share their holiday baking traditions, including an annual “Grandma’s Christmas Party” and sending cookies to troops overseas during wartime, along with their treasured recipes.
Other Valley residents whose families hail from far-flung places around the globe talk about holiday treats from Greece, Hungary, and Germany.
And in “Christmas cookies are all in the family,” special sections editor Karen Maeshiro examines the multigenerational gathering of Susan Chaisson-Walblom’s clan, which gets together every year to make hundreds of Christmas cookies and candies for neighbors and friends.
A brief history of the Christmas cookie is provided, and there’s also recipes for no-sugar options for those who need to watch what they eat, and for baked treats for those most important family members — the pets.
For many in Southern California, another holiday tradition is the making of tamales, where in some households families gather in the kitchen for an all-day, assembly-line production of the savory bundle of food.
Tamales are typically made of seasoned meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed or baked in corn husks. But the corn masa can also boast an endless variety of fillings and flavors, including chiles, cheese, raisins and pineapple, as Lancaster resident Guadalupe Castellanos discusses in “Special time for tamales.”
Other holiday-related stories include a look at the development of Christmas carols through the ages, and recommended Christmas entertainment fare for young and old.
However, not everything in this month’s issue of LIFESTYLE concerns the holidays. There’s many more interesting and informative articles. Historian Norma Gurba, in “‘Miss Ella’ Rosamond pioneer,” documents the life of Ella Blanch Kinton, a pioneer homesteader, merchant, hotel owner and postmistress. And Palmdale artist Julie O’Sullivan, whose work features abstract renderings, is featured in “Driven to abstraction art that’s ‘pure and true,’” reported by staff writer Andrew Clark and photographed by Christina Ramos.
In addition, all of our regular columns are featured, including Horse Tales, Kovel’s Antique Forum, Collector’s Corner, A Taste for Wine, and much, much more.
LIFESTYLE is a great way to begin your holiday season. We hope you’ll join us.