Adam and Eve appear in many books besides
Genesis, such as the Quran, the Life of Adam and Eve, the Talmud, and
Gnostic texts. Jewish tradition sometimes includes reference to other
wives of Adam.
Adam and Eve were never officially recognized as saints
the early Church. However, they were honored as unofficial saints
throughout the Middle Ages. December 24 was set aside for several
centuries as their feastday and was often celebrated with a
Paradise Play which told the story of humankind
from the creation of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden up to the birth
of Messiah in Bethlehem. The play featured a large evergreen tree called
a Paradise Tree, with its branches laden with red apples. Eventually,
small white discs were added representing communion wafers.
Paradise Tree was especially popular in Germany where it was brought
was decorated with dried apples that had been kept in the root cellar
for the winter.
In 1880, glassmakers in Thuringia
discovered how to make blown glass balls and bells which soon replaced
the apples and resulted in what we all know as the traditional
Christmas tree all over the world.
has traditionally been the most popular symbol of the forbidden fruit
mentioned in the Bible, which did not describe the specific fruit
of the tree of
knowledge of good and evil eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou
mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou
shalt surely die." Genesis 1:16-17]. There
have been controversies over which fruit the Bible referred to with many
scholars believing that the fruit was a pomegranate or a fig.
There have also been speculations about the peach, apricot, quince, fig,
Adam and Eve's Feastday is still celebrated in
the Eastern Orthodox
and often with apple dishes, such as the traditional Adam and Eve pudding.
Adam and Eve Pudding
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored. and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp powdered cloves
butter for greasing pan
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Cream 1/2 cup sugar and butter. Beat in eggs and
zest into sugar/butter mixture.
- Sift flour and salt. Beat into batter. Stir in
- Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cloves together. Sprinkle
mixture on apples.
- Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place apples on
bottom. Poor batter over apples. Bake for 45 minutes
Eve has traditionally been celebrated with special breads and cakes, a
tradition that is rooted in pre-Christian times. With the arrival of the
winter solstice, wheat was traditionally offered to the field gods in hopes
that the coming spring would produce good planting weather and a good
Poland and in the Ukraine, sheaves of wheat are brought into the
Christmas Eve and stacked in the corner of the living roam or ding room The
Ukrainians bake their loaves of Kalach
which are stacked
over a bed of straw, with a candle stuck in the center of the top loaf.
In Germany, Christstollen is the traditional Christmas
Stollen is thought to have
originated in Dresden in the 1400s. However, at that time the Catholic
Church, as part of the fasting rules in preparation for Christmas, forbade
the use of butter during Advent. In 1650, Elector Lord Ernst of Saxony and
his brother Albrecht appealed to the Pope Urban VIII to rescind the
so-called "butter ban" in effect at the time. The Holy Father eventually
gave in to their entreaties and declared (in what came to be known as the "Bufferbrief")
that milk and butter could indeed be used in baking the stollen - this could
be done with a "clear conscience and with God's blessing", after making the
"appropriate penance". The restrictions were lifted only in Dresden and
began a baking tradition that continues to this day.
In Austria, a similar bread called Klentzenbrot is baked.
Norway has its
the Czechs, Slovaks, and other middle European countries have Kolach, the Greeks have Christopsomo
, and the Italians
. Here are two of the recipes.
- Place the candied and dried fruits in
a bowl. Pour the rum over the fruit, mix well, and let soak for 1& 1/2
- In a small bowl, combine the warm
water, yeast, and 1/2 tsp of the sugar. Stir and allow to stand for
about 5 minutes or until frothy.
- Drain the fruit, setting the rum
aside, and dry it on a paper towel. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. flour and
allow the flour to become absorbed. Set aside.
- Heat the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar,
and salt in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the sugar has
dissolved. Add the rum, almond extract, and lemon rind. Remove from
heat and allow to cool slightly before adding yeast mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the 4&1/2 cups of the flour with the milk/yeast mixture. Beat the eggs until
frothy and add to the dough. Mix in the softened butter. Form the
dough into a ball and turn out onto a board sprinkled with the
remaining flour. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes or until all the
flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. Gradually
add the fruit and almonds, kneading just enough longer to incorporate
them. Place the dough in a buttered mixing bowl. Cover with a towel
and let stand in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled.
- Punch the dough down and divide in
half. Let stand 10 min. Roll the halves into 12 x 8-inch slabs
approximately 1/2 inch thick. Brush each with 1&1/2 Tbsp. melted
butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the remaining sugar. Fold each
strip by bringing the edge of one long side to the center of the strip
and pressing down the edge. Repeat on the other side, overlapping the
folded edges by about 1 inch.
- Place the loaves on a buttered baking
tray and brush the tops with the rest of the melted butter. Let rise
in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
- Bake the loaves on the baking tray at
375° F for 45 minutes or until they are golden brown and crusty. Let
cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into
1/2-inch slices before serving.