Many of these women have been a part of this tradition as long as it’s been happening— thirty five years.
Gathering in the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Towson, MD kitchen, chatting in Greek and English amongst themselves, a dozen faithful women with a purpose started the arduous task of mixing, kneading and baking.
The women have arrived with a purpose— baking Christopsomo, or Christ’s Bread, which they will sell to raise money for their philanthropic efforts that help those in need.
They create a fine-tuned assembly line to mix the dough, trusting their memory of the recipe and not a sheet of paper or cookbook.
Each of these women know exactly when the dough is ready. They’ve been doing this at home, as well as at the church for decades.
Christopsomo is a traditional, spice-filled bread baked for Christmas Day in many parts of Greece. It’s a cousin of the more popular Tsoureki, which is baked during the Lenten feast and eaten on Pascha.
This year, many younger women joined the elders— some for the first time.
The event not only becomes a wonderful lesson in working tirelessly to help those in need, but also a cultural “passing of the torch” as the older women “experts” share their cooking secrets with those of the younger generation.