Many countries celebrate a white Christmas but, since it is Summer time in Brazil, many places have Christmas lights on palm trees. However, we also exchange gifts, decorate our houses with lights, put up trees and have large family reunions. Turkey and roasted pork are traditional dishes during Christmas supper.
Another Christmas tradition here is the Portuguese French toast or "rabanadas" that were brought from Portugal and consist of french bread, milk, eggs, and cinnamon sugar on top. It is a part of my husband's family memories on Christmas day. My father-in-law usually orders the bread in advance and keeps this tradition going. It is like a magic moment, an opportunity to spend time with the family members during breakfast or the afternoon snack. As this year we are celebrating Christmas with my parents, I already asked my mother-in-law to make "rabanadas" on New Year's day!
Rabanadas - From the kitchen of my mother-in-law
About 20 1-inch-thick (2.5 cm) slices french bread
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (reserve other half for topping)
2 cups of milk
3 eggs, separated
About 3 tablespoons oil for pan-frying
Sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle, condensed milk or syrup to pour over fried bread
1) If possible, buy the bread the day before, slice it and let it sit overnight in an open container.
2) Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add egg yolks and beat again until thick.
3) In a medium bowl, combine half can of condensed milk with the milk.
4) Soak lightly each slice of bread with the dissolved condensed milk, drain the excess and coat the slice with eggs whites.
5) Fry in hot oil until golden brown on each side. Place on paper towel to drain and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, condensed milk, or syrup. Serve warm.
Does your family have any Christmas traditions?