Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from East Hill Creamery! We have had a wonderful year and have so much to be thankful for! In 2015, we got two more grandchildren to add to our family of cheesemongers, and we are in the process of finishing the construction of our creamery! We literally got to see our dream being built from the ground up. We have so much to look forward to in 2016, as the Creamery will
be completed in short time, and we will start making cheese this winter. We thought for a Christmas/New Year’s blog, we would share with you some of our family traditions. Come “sit” at the Burley family table and hear about the traditions of our family and our traditions growing up!
Each Christmas, Ms. Betty serves Christmas dinner, and everyone else has the big job of showing up hungry. She serves ham and mashed potatoes and gravy, cinnamon apples, and peppermint ice cream cake roll (just to name a few). Betty also likes to serve a plate of cheese (of course!) and crackers while waiting for everyone to get together. Betty’s dad’s birthday was on Christmas Day, so he was always full of Christmas spirit. He would want to go shopping and have lots of candy and food around, and Betty remembers with a smile that he LOVED chocolate. She said that her mom came from a family of 7, and they always got together at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and Grandma always had a little present for everyone. On her dad’s side of the family, the cousin’s always would come to Grandma Ziegler’s house, and Betty fondly remembers her always having delicious fudge, sweet rolls, and kuchen.
Gary’s mom was a perfectionist—he says he gets his traits from her. He said their house was always well-decorated for Christmas, and they always had lots of good food throughout the holidays—desserts, bread, cookies. His mother grew up in inner city Rochester, and her and her siblings made a pact that they would always get together for the holidays. They always made a point to put their differences aside and get together at Christmas. Her family's goal of doing that each year is something we should all strive for at Christmas time – putting our differences aside and coming together in love and kindness! Since she moved away from the city, they all came out to Aunt Jean’s (Gary’s mom) and had a big Christmas occasion with all the brothers and their wives and children. Aunt Jean would put a spread out; she would get up early in the morning and start cooking. Gary said, “We would all feast, and then they would play cards all night long. There would be a little snack before everyone left at 11 PM. It was a big deal for everyone to drive all the way out to our house.” Gary said cutout cookies with frosting were his mom’s traditional goodies at Christmas.
Another part of the Burley family Christmas tradition (food aside), is to go to the woods and get a tree. Gary’s dad planted all the pine trees in their forest in the 50s and 60s. If you recall, the wood that was used to make the boards the cheese will age on comes from the Burley family forest. Also, you can see some of the photos of Gary getting this year’s tree (second generation seedling)! As a kid, Gary and his siblings trimmed the trees and sold them as Christmas trees for his sisters' school fundraising.
We hope that you have enjoyed hearing about some of our family traditions from today and from the past. We would love to hear about your family traditions. Please comment on Facebook and tell us about your favorite memories, foods, or things that you do around Christmas time. We hope that you have had a wonderful 2015, a blessed CHRISTmas season, and will have a very Happy New Year. Thank you for your support of our family dream!