Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day 7 of “The 12 Days Of Christmas Music.” & "Struffoli" For Dessert

“Music is God’s gift to man: the only art of heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to heaven.”  By Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864)

Welcome to Day 7 of “The 12 Days Of Christmas Music.” I hope that you enjoyed yesterday’s post, “White Christmas.” Just to remind some of my readers that have just stopped by what I am doing, everyday for the next 5 days I will post a Christmas song, and share a holiday treat, a homemade gift idea, or just a favorite recipe that I think may go with that song, all leading up to “Christmas Day!” This has been an incredible year! I want to say thank you to my readers, as we prepare for the most joyous time of the year! (don’t forget to come back tomorrow!)

As we enter the last 5 days before Christmas I thought it would be appropriate to share some favorite Christmas carols. Do you know the difference between a Christmas carol and a Christmas song? A Christmas carol always tells the story of the Nativity, and has a religious undertone, but a Christmas song can be sung about any event of Christmas and is usually more jovial.

Since that first rendition at a small Christmas mass in 1847, "O Holy Night" has been sung millions of times in churches in every corner of the world. And since the moment a handful of people first heard it played over the radio, the carol has gone on to become one of the most recorded and played religious songs. “O Holy Night” was written by a Frenchman, Placide Cappeau. (1808-1877) The music was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847. (1803-1856)  Cappeau was a wine merchant and poet, had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem. A Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight (1813-1893) translated the French version to the English translation. The text reflects on the birth of Jesus and of humanity’s redemption. Adam wrote the tune in a few days, and the song received its premier at the midnight mass on Christmas Eve 1847 in Roquemaure. 

Day 8: “O Holy Night

O holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

Struffoli, is one of the most popular Italian sweets found on a dessert table for Christmas Eve. I remember the towers of Struffoli in my mother’s kitchen.! I can just see my mom, my grandmother Julia, and my aunt Sophie making these sweet honey balls in the kitchen in our house in Flushing, NY. I am so grateful that I was there to learn and help make these fried goodies, reminiscent of mini éclair puffs drenched in honey syrup! I hope that you try this recipe and make your own memories of this very sweet, and traditional dessert.

2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (plus a little extra to work with)
3 Eggs
1/4 tsp of salt
2 cups of vegetable oil
2 cups of honey
1/2 cup of sugar

Place the flour in a large mixing bowl add the eggs and salt. Mix well, then put on floured board and knead until smooth. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch strips, and then cut the strips into tiny pieces 1/2 inch long. Shape these tiny pieces into balls by rolling them in your hand. Heat oil to 350°F. Drop the balls into the oil carefully a few at a time. Cook until lightly golden, turning them constantly with a wooden spoon, or a spider wand. Remove balls and drain them on a paper towel or use a clean brown paper bag.

Combine the honey and sugar in a saucepan and boil the mixture over low heat about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Now, add fried balls, 1 cup at a time, and coat in the honey syrup, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove the balls with a spider or slotted spoon and place on a flat plate to cool. Now you can shape you coated Struffoli into a tree or piled up high like a mountain. (A trick if you want to mold the coated honey balls into a wreath or tree shape, wet your hand slightly and that will help you mold the Struffoli easier. Your hands will not stick to the honey.) Then add confetti or sprinkles. They keep up to 2 weeks, if they last that long…  

Till Next Time………………………………............

Copyright © 2013 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Good Morning Dottie!

    Last year when I was in Idaho for Christmas visiting my daughter and her family, we went to mid-night Mass on Christmas Eve and the choir sang Oh Holy Night in Spanish. (there aren't a lot of Catholic churches in Blackfoot) I had never heard Oh Holy Night in spanish before, it was beautiful! Thank you for sharing the song's beginnings:)

    I too remember the towers of Struffoli around Cristmas time. My motherand aunts use to have so much fun making them. I learned how to make them at a very young age too. Unfortunately, I haven't made them in way too many years.

    Thank you so much for sharing these 12 days of Christmas with us Dottie. it really is so heart warming...

  2. Dear Louise..

    I can imagine that Oh Holy Night must be so lovely in Spanish. Never heard it before in another language besides, Italian and English. To me I think that it is one of the most beautiful of the carols!

    You should try them again, they are not too hard, and you can't stop eating them...

    So happy that you are loving my posts, and I am bringing back memories for you.

    Thanks for stopping by...Blessings, Dottie :)

  3. Hi Dottie ,
    I was amazed some years back that a lot of people didn't know the difference between a Christmas song and a Christmas carol , so much is being lost and I do hope the readers and viewers take notice. I love reading the 12 days of Christmas and today was my last day helping at work , I will be , I introduced a lot of employees to your blog .
    "Struffoli" is so tasty , you can't eat only one .
    I don't think they will last 2 weeks at my house . Thanks for sharing and have a very blessed day :)

  4. Dear Nee,

    Thank you so much for being my town are so sweet to introduce my blog to your friends! I hope that means that you will be on vacation...Yes, you are so right, the faster you make these sweet balls of dessert, the faster that they are eaten! They never last that long in my house either...
    So happy that you are enjoying my 12 Day of Christmas Music! I am overwhelmed by the comments so many people have made on how they love each day.. To me that is what it is all about, making people happy!
    Thank you again for stopping by and your kind words...

    Blessings..Dottie :)