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Swiss Roll Memories

A cozy memory for Eloise MacDougald is baking during the holidays amidst the cold winter with the women of her family.
Klava Alicea

Eloise MacDougald baked a Swiss roll in preparation for the holiday season, as she did many years ago. The last time she baked a Swiss roll was when she was 5 years old with her mother and grandmother before Christmas. She described the cake as nostalgic.

“It’s a chocolate cake that’s rolled into a spiral and it can be called a Christmas log,” MacDougald said.

After mixing together egg whites and sugar, a white foaming mixture appeared that was combined with sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. The batter was put into a pan and was placed in the oven. The recipe said for the pan to be in the oven for 10 minutes but the batter chose to be uncooperative that day. MacDougald took the pan out after 30 minutes.

MacDougald remembers baking in her kitchen with her mother and grandmother as snow fell from the sky and Christmas music played in the background. Looking back on the memory, baking with the women of her family, it reminds her of a cozy time of the year.

“When it’s cold outside, you want to make something warm and comforting and I think this is that for me,” MacDougald said.

Baking during the holiday season allows people to come together and create shared memories with one another.

“I think the Swiss roll brings up a lot of good memories of my grandma,” MacDougald said. “It’s a nice dish to bring us together.”

MacDougald learned the recipe from her mother who learned the recipe from her mother, which has now become a family tradition.

“We all made it together. It’s a complicated recipe so I think we butchered it, but my grandma ended up saving it,” MacDougald said. “The thing I remember about the actual cake is making it, rather than eating it.”

A Swiss roll is a complicated dessert especially if the baker does not consider themselves to be good at baking. Before baking, MacDougald felt that she was not a good baker. Typically, the end result of the Swiss roll was more of a puddle of chocolate batter and melted whipped cream rather than a Swiss roll. Although the end result was similar to an expectation versus reality meme, it is the memory of the cake that holds real value.

Food holds memories and brings people together. The holiday season is an opportunity for people to come together and share important family recipes just as MacDougald’s family has done.



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About the Contributor
Klava Alicea, Journalist
Klava likes to have sleepovers at her grandma's house. She likes to make crepés for breakfast for her grandma. She likes to have dance parties with her little brothers while blasting either Taylor Swift or Pit Bull. Klava is sad that summer is over because she will miss the sun and the warm weather. She is excited for fall because she loves all the pumpkin flavoring.

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