My mother was born in Switzerland, and both my grandparents are Swiss. Growing up, this meant many different ways to celebrate holidays. When I was young, I didn't know any other kids who celebrated St. Nicholas Day. It was not until I was older and had a friend who was half German, and another who was Dutch and German, did I discover other families that celebrated St. Nicholas Day--in different ways according to their heritage.
For my family, it meant that every year we made Gratiman (special bread men), and had a nice evening enjoying marzipan, chocolate, nuts, and oranges. We ate the breadmen with some herb butter, or cheese. Each person got their own bread man --- my mom was always cute and made us each one suited to our personality (in the shape of an animal we liked, or later on one doing a yoga pose for me, and holding a guitar for my brother). The evening was as much about the food, as it was about a beautiful table setting with lots of candles and a nice atmosphere.
When I was still in Canada, and had an oven in my apartment, I made breadmen for the first time 2 years ago. They turned out really well, and I was quite pleased! This year, with allergies to eggs, and no oven to speak of, I had to improvise. I managed to find some bread with no eggs or dairy, and pieced together my own little guest of honour, to be enjoyed with some friends:
In honour of the visual aspects of eating, I decided to try out some of the beautiful Japanese kitchenware I have been slowly collecting (lots of wood and ceramics):
Have you heard of St. Nicholas Day?
Do you celebrate St.Nicholas Day?