Baking with Mom: A Resident’s Cherished Holiday Traditions

As the holiday season begins, residents’ families reflect on their favorite festive memories with their loved ones. The Sliski family shared these cherished holiday memories of time spent with their mother, Helen.


Dan Sliski and Ann Mark, Children of Helen Sliski, Bridges® by EPOCH at Westford Resident.

The moment the season started, Mom got out her 78 RPM records and filled the house with Christmas music all day, every day. We have fond memories of listening to Bing Crosby crooning “White Christmas,” Gene Autry singing “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and Spike Jones performing “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” on that old pre-high fidelity record player. We loved those songs, and Mom kept them special for us. If we asked to hear those records throughout the year, she’d insist they could be played only at Christmastime.

We always had a Christmas tree in our living room – decorated with shiny, carefully placed ornaments, strings of lights and lots of tinsel – towering over gifts wrapped in brightly colored paper. Early in the season, we’d set up the manger, but Mom wouldn’t hear of placing Baby Jesus in it until Christmas morning!

Just before Christmas Day arrived, Mom would make a big batch of special pastries called “Chrusties” (pronounced Kroos-tees). These delicious treats are popular in Eastern European countries, and Mom’s recipe came from her mother. There was something especially sentimental about baking Chrusties. The finishing – and our favorite – touch was a dusting of powdered sugar. We would sit waiting for Mom to reach for the powdered sugar because, in just a few moments, we’d each finally be allowed one taste of those tender, crispy, crunchy pastries. Mmm-mmm good!

Curious to know just how Mmm-mmm good? Use our family recipe below and bake them for your holiday gatherings this year!

Sliski Family Chrusties


2 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks (room temperature)

1 large whole egg (room temperature)

3 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream (or sour cream)

1 teaspoon vanilla lard for frying

Powdered sugar for dusting


1. Combine flour, sugar and salt

2. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, whole egg, 3 tablespoons of cream, and vanilla

3. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing until dough comes together; add a little more cream if necessary

4. Roll out dough as thinly as possible

5. Cut into 1×5-inch strips, cutting a slit in the middle of each strip

6. Pull one end through the slit, creating a twisted appearance

7. Heat lard to 350º F

8. Fry in batches, turning to cook both sides, until golden brown

9. Drain on paper towels

10. Roll in powdered sugar

Learn More About Bridges®

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.