‘Tis the Season of Treats: Freeman Family Holiday Recipes

Brooke Ward

Staff Writer

As the air becomes crisp and the snow begins to fall, the holidays are rapidly approaching. A time of hectic Black Friday shopping, celebratory gatherings, and family fun brings tons of savory treats from diverse backgrounds. With the season of giving in mind, students Adair Reid and Mekdelawit Fantahun have shared their favorite holiday recipes for the rest of the Freeman family to enjoy.

“My family bakes basic sugar cookies that we decorate,” said sophomore Adair Reid. The ingredients for the recipe include: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 ½ sticks of softened unsalted butter, 1 cup of sugar, 1 large egg, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla.

Adair’s sugar cookie recipe can be made in just 10 steps:

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture and cookie mix until combined.
  5. Form dough into a log on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll dough up.
  6. Chill dough on a baking sheet for at least 4 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Cut slices of the dough and fill 2 ungreased baking sheets.
  9.  Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking.
  10. Take out when edges are golden, about 12 to 15 minutes total.

These sugar cookies aren’t just sweet, they hold significant value to the Reid household. “Decorating sugar cookies with my brother has always been a family tradition,” said Adair. “It’s more about being together during the holidays rather than making the cookies look nice.”

Adair’s family isn’t the only family cooking up a storm during the holidays. Senior Mekdelawit Fantahun also enjoys a traditional, homemade dish that brings together his family while delighting their taste buds.

“My family and I enjoy cooking an Ethiopian traditional food called Doro Wot during the holidays,” said Mekdelawit Fantahun. This Ethipoian-style spiced chicken stew dish is made up of: Niter Kibbeh (spiced butter), berber (spice mix), 8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs, 1 lemon, kosher salt, 4 large eggs, 2 large yellow onions, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 ¼ cup chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken broth), and injera (Ethiopian flatbread) for serving.

Here are the 9 steps in making Doro Wot:

  1. Rub the chicken pieces all over with lemon juice and salt, then set it aside. Chop the yellow onions and get the other ingredients ready.
  2. Leave the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the Niter Kibbeh in a large saucepan on medium heat and sauté the onions for 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Add most of the berber (keeping aside ½ teaspoon), and cook for two minutes, mixing everything (including the tomato paste, ginger, black pepper, chicken stock, and garlic) in well. Add a touch of water if it’s too dry.
  5. Add the water, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken pieces, stir, increase the heat and bring it back to a boil. Once again, lower the heat, and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.
  7. Prick the eggs in 3 places with a small knife and add them to the stew. Stir gently to mix. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the Doro Wot with the remaining berber, stir and take off heat.
  9. Place the injera on a plate and serve!

“In Ethiopia, you will find Doro Wot in everyone’s house on every holiday like New Years, Christmas, and Timket,” said Mekdelawit. The overall love of the frequently-used dish has made it the national chicken dish of Ethiopia. 

The holidays are a time of togetherness. Homemade food plays a large role in bringing together family. “We all gather in the kitchen and have conversations that are always memorable,” said Mekdelawit. It also provides a safe space for family to relax and indulge in life’s pleasures. “My favorite part about the holidays is the peaceful atmosphere and being with my family,” said Adair.

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