Saturday, December 4, 2010

Family Traditions - win a tote... - Now closed

Congratulations to our winner - Vintage Mum - drawn via

Every year for as long as I can remember my grandmother made what we called 'Molly's Balls'. A yummy Christmas treat which she must have spent months making as we each got a filled tin and last count I think she must have made at the least 20 tins for grandchildren and her daughters (not sure if the spouses got their own tins which would really have hiked up the number).
When Molly passed away I decided I would carry on the tradition in my own family, the only problem being, I had never learned the art from Molly herself and trust me as a non baker - it is an art.
After many failed years I finally realized I was reading the recipe incorrectly (dah) and last year made the perfect Molly's Balls!
I am now determined that my own kids will learn the skill and pass it on to their kids and my grandmothers memory will live on. Especially as my son says he is having 10 kids so that they can have heaps of Molly's balls!

Leave me a comment about your own family traditions and I will put you into the draw to win a BabyBaby Tote bag.

Molly's Balls Recipe NZ/US

1/4 pound of butter/ 1 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 - 2 cups finely crushed vanilla wines/honey graham crackers
3 teaspoons of cocoa
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tin of condensed milk
24 marshmallows cut in half/in the US I buy Kraft holiday marshmallows and use them whole.
A bowl of dessicated coconut/organic coconut (the organic is finer than regular which will work too).

Melt the butter and mix with the vanilla, cocoa, sugar, condensed milk.
with damp fingers roll a teaspoon of mixture around a marshmallow and form into a ball.
Roll ball in coconut (finely crushed nuts also works well).
Set on a tray lined with greaseproof paper/parchment or wax paper
Once all balls are made refrigerate.

NOTE: If mix gets too dry during process place bowl in sink filled with hot water.
You can freeze the balls for later consumption.
I double the mix - needed in our family!


Megan said...

Going to have to try the Molly Balls, it sounds easy enough but we'll see.

I can remember as kids all sitting around the kitchen table with a bowl each and a bunch of fresh pea pods and we spent most of Christmas Morning opening the pods and seeing who did the most peas when they were all finished. Once my bubs gets older would love to carry this on, it was so much fun and made the time go by before opening the pressies while lunch was cooking

Kim Lancaster said...

Ours was always the same, EVERY year. We oke up to presents, went to church with ALL the family, went to Nana's for presents and snacks, home to get food for the combined lunch, back to nana's, eat ourselves silly, and relax to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which seemed to be on every Christmas back then. Wondeful!!!

Squ1rt said...

We have a all sorts of things we do each year, however with the arrival of the little people, things change... but we usually meet with my Hubby's family sometime before Christmas as they are all over the lower NI - then they can do thier own thing on Christmas Day...

I like to bake for Christmas & gifts.. and one of my favourites is this...
Creamy Chocolate Fudge Sauce

1 Cup water
2 Tablespoons cornflour
½ Cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups evaporated milk powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee
300 gm dark cooking chocolate (broken into pieces – or use chocolate chips)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
¼ cup brandy

Place water and cornflour in saucepan, stir until cornflour is dissolved (off the heat)
Add brown sugar. milk powder and coffee, stir well
Bring to boiling point, reduce heat and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly
Remove from heat, add chocolate bits to saucepan with vanilla
Stir until chocolate has melted and leave to cool
Once cool, stir in brandy.
Pour into bottles and label

Makes approx 4 cups
Store in refrigerator, use within 6 weeks.

Liz M said...

As our extended family has grown it was agreed that we would only buy presents for the kids - while this is a nice idea (the bank account certainly loves it) I feel that it is important to teach my children that christmas is a time of giving but that it doesn't need to cost a lot. So every year my 2 older children (youngest will join in soon too) spend a couple of days in the kitchen making yummy treats to give out to the adults on christmas day, my boys love doing this and love the reactions they when they get to hand out the gifts

Vintage Mum said...

one tradition we had growing up was a pillowcase of smallish presents was dropped on each of our beds during the night - we had no idea that Mum was the one doing the drop, she must have been so quiet! I do the same for Mr3 although because he's an only child (so far) it's probably not as exciting. Those Molly Balls look delicious!

oh and I should add I won some babybaby bath wash from Sarah aka bobbyrobin - I wish I had known about it 4 years ago, we finally have soft smooth skin in this house!

ElizabethOrmes said...

Question on the Molly balls: where do you add the vanilla wine/honey Graham crackers? I am assuming with the vanilla and cocoa part?

My favorite tradition with my kids is on Christmas Eve. We make our cookies for Santa, put them out while listening to Christmas music, open new pjs and a book. We put on the pjs and read the book before bedtime. Christmas itself never seems to have the same rituals year to year but Christmas Eve we manage to do those things year after year.

Anonymous said...

Our family Christmas tradition is to make batches of Christmas shortbread biscuits to give away to family and for snacks on Christmas Day. So yummy! My girls love helping me make them on Christmas Eve. :-)
Melissa S.

Kelly said...

Loving all these traditions! Can't wait to add some new ones in to our little family (my son is 15 mths). Our wider family traditions involve all the aunts and cousins getting together for a bit kiwi BBQ style lunch, lots of salads, cold drinks, sausages and ham off the bone followed by Christmas Cake and coffee. Its caotic but so fun!

Anonymous said...

The past few years Christmas has been very changeable as we haven't had kids. This year will be my daughters first Christmas and I intend on picking up some of the traditions we had as children. (some of these traditions will come in to play when she is a bit older...)

It will start by her helping (or hindering! lol) to decorate the Xmas tree on the 10th of December. Then on Xmas eve the family will open a "family" present which will be a boardgame / cardgame etc and all play it. Then put out some milk, cookies and a carrot for Santa and reindeer with a homemade thankyou card. On Xmas morning kids are allowed to open their stockings in bed, then we will all have breakfast and then sit around opening pressies. Lunch and dinner has always been and will always be salads, salmon, bread, cheeses etc. We don't really do the whole roast dinner / hot meal!

khaymax said...

Every year on Christmas Eve we would open one gift. It would always be new pajamas. :) I've continued this tradition with my own kids. That way everyone looks cute in pictures the next day. We get cozy in our new p.j.'s and then either my husband or I will read Twas the Night Before Christmas aloud to the kids. I also make the same breakfast every Christmas morning. We do a yummy baked egg dish, baked french toast, bacon, and orange juice. Our rule is a site down breakfast together before presents. We let the kids open their stockings while we make breakfast(which is all prepped the night before and just has to bake). We try to focus on the importance of being together and not on the gift frenzy.

Innersight said...

I don't really remember having any traditions when I was young apart from our present sacks ( a pillow case which my mum had hand painted Christmas motives onto). Since Miss L came along we have hand made Xmas decorations every year and now she is 5 our tree is quite full of decorations. It is nice as we get to spend some quite time making them together in the build up to Christmas. We also make a birthday card for Dad as who has to share his birthday with everyone.

willoughbee said...

We always went to my grandmother's for Christmas Eve for dinner and then went around in a circle opening gifts one at a time. I miss that. I look forward to starting new traditions with my son. This is his first!

Anonymous said...

Every Christmas day morning we get up early (really early!! lol) and wake up everyone, then we all head into the lounge for the stockings. After the stockings, it's breakfast time, and in our family that is ham sandwiches, chocolate and lollies from the stockings and for the kids their fizzy from their stockings and the adults have a cup of tea. After breakfast you get dressed and then it's tree time. Once all those presents are done you are allowed the first drink of day, men have a beer, women a shandy (make it last, the next alcoholic drink comes about 4pm!! lol). It doesn't matter whose house we have Christmas in, this rountine is followed, it was like this at Nan and Bobs and at Mum and Dads and we all follow the schedule too.

Jodee, I'm going to have a crack at your 'Molly Balls', in fact it might be something our Molly and I can do each year. Here is my much loved family recipe to add to your collection......

MacDonalds Magnificent Truffles

300g butter
16 TBSP milk
380g caster sugar
90g cocoa
360g full cream milk powder

Melt the butter, sugar and milk
Add the sifted cocoa and milk powder
Mix well and place in the fridge to set
When chilled through(if there is any left!!) roll into balls and coat with coconut......mmmmmmmm delish!!

Jodee, I'm so glad you have taken all your family traditions with you to the States, some things make you feel close to family no matter where in the world you are.

Susan said...

We used to always go to Midnight Mass and then get home and put out milk and cookies for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer. Put our Santa sacks at the end of our beds and try to go to sleep!
They were always magically filled in the morning no matter how hard we tried to stay awake through the night.
We are carrying on these traditions with our kids altho 'Santa' has now requested beer rather than milk... hmmm how times change ;o)
I love Christmas especially now we have a family of 3 kids to share it with.

Vintage Mum said...

Thanks so much! I still haven't tried the Molly Balls but they're on the list this week for the kindy Christmas party. And I feel terrible that I didn't click earlier that you were Matisse's family - I remember looking at your About Us page on the website and thinking that little girl looked so familiar. I have been following her story through the herald and she is never far from my thoughts. Wishing her a speedy recovery so she can finally have the seafood she's been asking for