This year with Covid, we prayed about and debated whether to do our annual Maxwell family neighborhood caroling. Would neighbors open their doors? Would they receive the poppy seed loaves (see recipe at the end of the post) we give them? Would all the effort be wasted? We even asked a Covid-savvy neighbor her thoughts, and she encouraged us to go ahead.
So we proceeded on, and we were very glad we did. People opened their doors, and they again told us how much they look forward to the caroling and appreciate it. Perhaps it brought a taste of normalcy to a strange year and Christmas.
What did we do differently this year? We stood further back from the doors and some wore masks.
Because we are now part of a church that meets on Sunday nights, we moved our caroling from our traditional Sunday night to Saturday night. All the Maxwells were healthy and able to join the caroling, although a couple little ones got cold and stopped early and one joined later because of his work schedule.
After caroling, John and Chelsy had a soup dinner for any who wanted to stay up later and be inside. Nathan and Christopher’s families opted out of that, but the others stayed for it.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men” ( Luke 2:13-14).
Poppy Seed Loaf
3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/8 cups oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring
Mix all ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Pour into 2 large, lightly greased loaf pans (in our case, we bought foil pans from the store and divided each batch into three loaves). Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean.
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
Cool cake 5 minutes. Then, pour glaze over cake. While warm, remove from pan.