- The Plate
Winter is Here. Let’s Bake a Bûche
As far back as the Iron Age, people have gathered to celebrate December’s winter solstice and welcome the lengthening days. As part of the earliest Nordic rituals, Yule logs were decorated with evergreen and holly, pinecones, berries and other ephemera of the forest, rubbed with fat, salt and wine, then set on fire. Even the ashes from these logs were valuable, considered to have medicinal benefits, guard against evil, and even ward off lightning.
Over time, the Yule log became more decorative and less imbued with magical properties. In England, it’s oak; in Scotland, it’s birch; and in France, cherry wood logs are sprinkled with red wine to scent the air before lighting.
For generations, families have gathered around the hearth to burn a particularly beautiful