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Hormel Historic Home: How sweet it is

A Christmas card from Mr. and Mrs. George A. Hormel. Photo provided

Like many of you, I’ve been to a few holiday parties this season.  Cookies and snacks seem to be everywhere and it’s sometimes hard to resist.  My normal attitude is everything in moderation, but the definition of moderation gets edited this time of year.

George Hormel’s brother, William Henry, wrote about the treats that their mother, Susanna, often made for the family.

“Mother was always a genius in the kitchen and about the stove, and on Christmas she was at her best, preparing a variety of good and attractive things which make young hearts glad and happy.  Cookies in many shapes, heart-shaped, round, stars, animals, all were sprinkled with a variety of colored sugar.  How good these looked and tasted, especially when we saw them taken out of the oven in large pans.  The atmosphere of the large kitchen was filled with their appetizing aroma, and we literally were breathing Christmas with every breath we drew.”

“Mother was adept at making a variety of rich cakes, called in German ‘Zimmet Cuchen,’ ‘Aepfel Cuchen,’ ‘Kranz,’ and ‘Zwiebak.’

William Henry goes on to describe each cake this way:

“Zimmet Cuchen-like American coffee cake with holes in the top filled with butter then covered in cinnamon and sugar.

Aepfel Cuchen-similar to Zimmit but with rows of sliced apples and cinnamon and sugar on top.

Kranz-dough richly filled with raisins and braided into a circle.

Zwiebak-Kranz that is sliced and toasted in the oven.  It is called Zwiebak because it is baked twice.”

As much as I like attending holiday events, I am not an eager baker.  Baking is too exact for my personality, but I will for sure enjoy what others provide.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone from the Hormel Historic Home. And Holiday Greetings from Mr. and Mrs. George Hormel as well.


Historic Treasures Series

  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 9
  • Presented by Jaimie Timm, Curator Mower County Historical Society.  Free

History Happy Hour: 100 Year History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement

  • 5:30 p.m. Social, 6 p.m. Presentation, Monday, Jan. 13
  • Free for members of the HHH, Mower County Historical Society, and the Friends of the Library. $5 for non-members