As a first generation Canadian growing up in a Dutch immigrant family, Langley City Councillor Rudy Storteboom has many Christmas foods and traditions he enjoys.
“Like our annual experiment with changing up the stuffing in our Christmas turkey, holiday flavours have changed while serving up some new and tasty pleasures,” he said.
Dutch treats of salted licorice, speculaas cookies, bitterballen, and chocolate letters remain a part of his family’s Christmas festivities, as well as “olieballen” (Dutch doughnuts) on New Year’s Eve.
However, “old country” foods now compete with new favourites like icebox cookies, halvah, fruitcake, and samosas.
These new holiday treats are contributions from his neighbours’ cultures and, he said, are welcomed into his Christmas family celebration.
“My family continues to celebrate faith, family, and food at Christmas. But childhood memories of Sinterklaas and Black Peter are now translated into Santa and Mrs. Claus,” he elaborated.
And now, on Christmas Eve, he enjoys a new tradition of Chinese dinner.
But one seasonal favourite for Storteboom and his mother remains: her “melt-in-your-mouth” shortbread. The secret ingredient? They’re “made with love.”
1 pound butter
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups flour
Vanilla or almond flavouring
Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Spread onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 300º0 for about 25 minutes.
Do not brown.
OTHER LANGLEY ADVANCE HOLIDAY RECIPES: