“The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as the lay;
In fields where they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s nigh that was so deep”
-From “The First Noel,” old traditional Christmas carol
Who doesn’t love a candy cane? If the flavor doesn’t snag you, the Christmassy colors and association with this happy time of year almost certainly will. Many historians credit a 17th century choirmaster of the Cologne, Germany Cathedral with inventing this sweet treat. It is believed he had the candy created to keep children quiet during services. The confection was shaped like a shepherd’s crook to reference the shepherds who visited the infant Jesus in Bethlehem, thereby legitimizing its use in church. The candy cane’s popularity spread through Europe and seems to have become associated with Christmas as early as the 17th century; and candy canes are known to have hung on Christmas trees since at least the 19th century. We hang them on ours every year.
I began that tradition when my kids were little and the budget was tight. A $2 box of candy canes filled a lot of tree space. Each day leading up to Christmas the kids could snatch one off of the tree as an afternoon treat.
As a native Chicagoan, I’m proud to say that the Windy City’s Bunte Brothers patented the first candy cane machines in the 1920s, which made mass production and distribution easy.
Anything easy is right up my alley. That’s why I love the beautiful and delicious Candy Cane Calzones pictured here. They let you make a lovely holiday party hors d'oeuvres in no time flat, or whip up a quick holiday-season meal.
I stuff mine with my favorite spaghetti sauce and a combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses. Then, I decorate the exterior with pepperoni slices.
Take a look at Easy Weekly Meals 2012 12 Days of Christmas series as we roll out a new picture each day. And check out our smart cookbooks for people on the go. Priced below $8 they make wonderful virtual stocking stuffers and gifts for people who love delicious food that’s quick and easy to make. Remember, ebooks can be sent to anyone with an email address!
Stop in tomorrow to see what we’re doing on the 4th Day of Christmas.