Georgia Magazine - December 2011 - (Page 30)

Festive gatherings BY JANE F GARVEY . T he holiday season along Georgia’s coast is a richly varied experience, shaped by the nations that have settled from Savannah to the Florida border. Colonists included Spaniards in the 16th century for 100 years, followed by French, English, Jewish, Austrian and German, Portuguese, and finally the Irish. The original trustee’s roster even includes a pair of Italians. Greeks claim a share of Savannah and Brunswick. In Savannah, Maria Palamiotis hails from northern Greece, where, she says, pork was traditional for Christmas, along with both white and sweet potatoes. Baklava, katafii (a pastry that looks like shredded wheat filled with nuts and topped with a honey syrup), karithopita (a cake with nuts and eggs inside along with toasted bread) are among the desserts Re-creating the atmosphere of the Coastal holiday seaGreeks enjoy especially sons, docents at the Isaiah Davenport House in Savannah at holiday time, she says. don period attire for the occasion. A thriving Portuguese community of fishermen established them about Chanukah. As a gift to the themselves in Brunswick after World class, I would bring them doughnuts War I. From this community, Mary fried in oil. Even to this day, 15 years Theresa Martin has compiled a book, later, some of those children, now “Reflections of Little Portugal in Old grown, still remember my doughTown Brunswick: A Taste of Portu- nuts.” Doughnuts are traditional for Chanukah, and so are potato panguese Culture and Cuisine.” “Christmas,” she says in her book, cakes (recipe appears in online con“is still celebrated the Portuguese way tent, starting on page 32A). In Liberty County, Jim and Pat Bain our home.” And that includes food. “The Portuguese women started mak- cote use their home as the Geechee ing special sweets several Kunda Cultural Center to preserve asweeks before the Holy pects of the Gola-Kissi culture as it evolved in Georgia. Day arrived.” “There were lots of special things Also in Brunswick at Temple Beth Tefilloh, cel- that people did around the Christmas ebrating its 125th anniver- holiday time,” says Jim. “For examsary this year, Congrega- ple, children got a lot of fresh fruit, tion President Mark Fried- oranges, apples and nuts. Until two man recalls the Chanukah generations ago, this was a big thing tradition of frying foods for children. They didn’t have these to mark the miracle of the during the year, and these were their oil. When the temple in Christmas gifts.” Other foods included sweet poJerusalem was rededicated after the successful Jew- tato pone (recipe follows), and Cocaish revolt against an op- Cola wine, mixing the soft drink with pressive monarchy, there different berries, he recalls. “People seemed to be only enough made their own fruitcakes,” he says, to keep the Eternal Light making them with rum or homemade lit for one day. Yet, the spirits, and starting them earlier in supply miraculously lasted the year so they have time to soak up the spirits. eight days. At Tramici, his Italian restaurant on St. Simons Island, Chef And on New Year’s night, church “When my children Dave Snyder sets forth a platter of Italian-inspired seafood were in school,” he recalls, services featured the famous ring dishes for the holidays. For many Coastal families, seafood “I would be invited by their shout that is a hallmark of this unique plays an important role in holiday celebrations. elementary school to teach American culture. More online at TOTH PHOTOGRAPHY 30 COURTESY ISAIAH DAVENPORT HOUSE Coastal holiday traditions from the melting pot GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - December 2011

Georgia Magazine - December 2011
Georgia News
Picture This?
Calendar of Events
Magical Nights, Holiday Lights
Between the Covers
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Georgia Cooks

Georgia Magazine - December 2011