Spend­ing time to­gether in the kitchen is part of the fab­ric of the hol­i­day sea­son.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Bar­bara El­lis

Cer­tain smells and cer­tain foods trig­ger mem­o­ries of hol­i­days when gen­er­a­tions gather to cel­e­brate, feast and spend time to­gether. Two Den­ver Post staff mem­bers share their fam­ily tra­di­tions of mak­ing tamales, and latkes.

Ev­ery year, in the month be­fore Christmas, my sis­ters and I pull out our old recipes and gather fam­ily and friends to make a Pol­ish del­i­cacy, pier­o­gis. The coun­ter­tops and ta­bles in our kitchens end up cov­ered with tea tow­els, cut­ting boards, bowls, mea­sur­ing cups, pots and pans. Bak­ing sheets and but­ter and onions are ev­ery­where, as are mul­ti­ple trays of potato and cheese or cab­bage fill­ing. Flour motes fill the air — and so does the chat­ter and the laugh­ter of our loved ones.

Food binds us to­gether, es­pe­cially at the hol­i­days. Even though my sis­ters and their fam­i­lies are 1,800 miles away, par­tic­i­pat­ing in this fam­ily tra­di­tion never fails to make me feel closer to them.

Other fam­i­lies have their own food tra­di­tions, and on page 3C, two Den­ver Post staffers shared theirs.

Happy hol­i­days!

Linda Shap­ley hosts “Ta­male Day” ev­ery year to kick off the hol­i­days. Her fam­ily gets to­gether to make a big batch of tamales. Pho­tos by Amy Broth­ers, The Den­ver Post

Fran­cie Swi­dler and her mom, Pearl Swi­dler, (above) make latkes with ap­ple­sauce and sour cream (be­low) for Hanukkah.

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