Moonlight Cocktail

What is a Telefunken radio?

Telefunken was a German radio and television apparatus company, founded in Berlin in 1903, as a joint venture of Siemens & Halske and the Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) (‘General electricity company’). Telefunken. Telefunken’s current logo since 1919.


Watching a program of ‘Christmas Traditions Around the World’ got me thinking about traditions in general.

I was born to certain holiday family traditions. We put up a tree with tinsel. Dad put up pine boughs up above and parallel to the stairs with colored lights until the first of the new year.

Gifts galore opened as the Christmas music played on our family Telefunken radio. Mom cooked like a master chef and then split from the ladies to join the men in poker.

We did not go to church but after dinner the large family broke up. Kids went wild and the adults drank and played poker.

Dad had a bar built into the living room area. It was always well stocked, especially around the holidays.

So much has changed. I no longer have a large family. It is currently down to my husband, two sons and Sara. It is a freedom from traditions that I enjoy so much.

With traditions comes inclusion but also dogma. Now I pick and choose the traditions I want for my family.

There are two that have lasted the test of time.

Jean’s Beans and Sue’s Green Goddess Jell-O salad or side.

Jean’s Beans

Jean’s Beans is something that my mom brought to her family. As a youth her mother died, and her father never remarried. Yet Jean was her father’s sweetheart. They both had big families to tend to since both had lost their spouses. Jean raised my mother and my two aunts. My grandfather seemed a happy man though I only remember him as a toddler from pictures.

A bag of baby Lima beans (or bag of small white beans)

Cube of butter

Maple Syrup

Dried Mustard

A large container of Sour Cream

Set the beans to soak until they are pumped up then rinse. Cook the beans until they are soft but not mushy because they will go into the oven.  In a saucepan put the butter and half of cup of Maple Syrup. Melt and then slowly whip in the sour cream and about a tablespoon of dried mustard. Remember adding more or less to taste is the key. Put in an average size casserole dish without lid.

Preheat the temperature to about 250 in your oven because this takes a long time to cook and must be fussed over like my mom always did. It has a mind of its own and can take anywhere from two to five hours to get it just right.   

Sue’s Green Goddess or (Ambrosia)

Sue was the second wife of my now dead oldest brother Steve. She brought this dish to the family, and it became a hit right away like she was! She could hold her own with my family, which was not an easy thing to do.

Two 8oz containers of Cool Whip.

Two pistachio packs of instant Jell-o.

Two cans of crushed pineapple.

Mix it all up and put in a large container for the refrigerator.  Let it sit overnight.

The Telefunken radio is what I miss most about my cursed indulgence of having been born to a large family. Yet now these two dishes are part of my tradition for the holidays that make me… happy.


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