In our little Pennsylvania Dutchie area of PA, we try to enjoy the seasons at the local German Heritage Center. Each season they open up the farm and give demonstrations of life back in the olden times.
and of course a tractor ride! Not exactly 1800s, but oh well.
There's an old schoolhouse on the property, which is where visits from the Belsnickel occur.
There are lots of other cute little outbuildings, built in the traditional German style using mortar and logs or stone.
and even inside the main house, where they were baking Springerkuche cookies in a dutch oven in an open kitchen fireplace. It smelled so warm and cozy in there.
We didn't get a chance to hear the wandering carolers, or check out the Craftsmen's Guild shop, where one can watch baskets being woven and Hex signs being painted. Hence is the life of a parent--not getting to see it all due to little wandering feet and hands. And somehow I missed the Christmas Putz (Nativity scene), but we did enjoy our time on the farm.
Springerkuche (Springerle) Cookies
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 lb. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. aniseseed, ground
1 Tbsp. aniseseed
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Beat eggs and sugar together until light and thick (20 minutes by hand, 5? by electric mixer). Stir in lemon zest and ground anise. Add flour mixture, stir well. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/2" thick. Press wooden molds into the dough, and cut squares with a knife. Place cookies 1/2" apart on a buttered baking sheet, sprinkle with aniseseed. Leave out uncovered overnight. Then bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, but don't let it brown.