Tag Archives: Family traditions

Orange Coconut Refrigerator Cheesecake

Every year when birthdays come around we try a new cake recipe with the one exception (we are not into caking eating)

One family member (my sister) only requests to have this orange coconut cheesecake; it is so tasty there never is any complaints.

Here is the recipe:

Coconut crust
1 cup orange juice
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (1 lb.) fine-curd creamed cottage cheese, at room temperature
Grated rind of 1 orange
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream, stiffly beaten
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Prepare crust and chill.

Put orange juice in a saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes, and then stir in sugar, egg yolks and salt. Stir over low heat until sugar and gelatin are dissolved and mixture coats a metal spoon. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat cheese until fairly smooth. Beat in orange rind, lemon juice and cooled thickened gelatin mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into cheese mixture. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into crust and chill overnight, or until firm.

Combine toasted coconut and orange rind and sprinkle over top.

Coconut crust
Combine 2/3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers, 1/3 cup flaked coconut, 1 teaspoon grated orange rind and 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine. Press on bottom of 9″ spring form or other loose-bottom pan. Chill

December 6 – Saint Nicholas Day

Saint Nicholas is celebrated in numerous countries in Europe on December 6. Saint Nicholas is the patron and protector of small children. The legend of Father Christmas was derived from the legends surrounding the life of Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicolas was inspired by Nicolas de Myre also known as Nicholas of Bari. He was born in Patara in Asia minor between 250 and 270 J – c. He died on 6 December, 345 or 352 in the port city of Myre in Asia Minor.

After his death, St. Nicolas fueled a multitude of stories that reflected his generous personality. He is one of the saints most represented in religious iconography.

Saint Nicholas provides for children the opportunity to receive gifts three weeks before he visits every chimney in the world. On the eve of Saint Nicholas, small children place their shoes by the hearth before going to bed. Next to their shoes, they will place a carrot and sugar cubes for Saint Nicholas mule as well as a glass of wine to warm the great Saint.

Starting in the 12th century, it is said that Saint Nicolas, disguised, goes from House to House on the night of 5 to 6 December to ask the children if they were obedient. Good children receive gifts and sweets while bad ones receive coal or stick provided by of St. Nicholas’ companion. (Père Fouettard in France) Continue reading


Family traditions create positive feelings, strengthened unity and love. These practices (or beliefs) are more than routines and often are handed down from generation to generation. Every family can create its own tradition based on cultural and/or ethical heritage, beliefs, emotional events or needs.

Effective traditions promote a feeling of belonging and identity. This in turn promotes self-esteem and a feeling of safety and/or security within your family. Spending time together to take part in a tradition and celebrate brings family members closer together.

When considering a new tradition be practical. Aim for a moderate number, too many and it becomes a chore rather than a special event. Identify what goal you are trying to achieve, when to start and how often it should be repeated. From time to time evaluate your traditions to make sure they are working for your family.

Some common traditions are:

  • For birthday’s each family member chooses his or her favorite menu
  • Movie night with each family member taking a turn choosing the movie
  • Driving around your neighborhood looking at Christmas lights and decorations
  • Dye Easter eggs together

Our family has a special Christmas tradition. Each year we buy a Plant-a-tree ornament. For each beautiful pewter ornament a tree is planted somewhere in the world to help ward of deforestation. As a couple we bought one each year. As we added to our family, we added another ornament. I am very proud to say that as a family we have planted over 37 trees so far.

I invite you to consider starting your own family tradition.