Growing up, at home, there was no better scent than Mom baking Christmas Cookies. I’d hate to have to give a quantitative analysis of the ingredients she used every year; flour, white sugar, brown sugar, salt, Crisco (she didn’t use butter, it was too expensive), chocolate chips, coconut, candied fruits, oatmeal, raisins, dates, figs, eggs, and who knows what else.
She’d give the cookies to all our neighbors, teachers, relatives, and bunches of other people I can’t name. The Tupperware containers filled half of our huge dining room table when she was finished. For storage until packing day, we had a “back porch.” It was a small room, part of the house, with cabinets on one wall, that had no basement underneath, and was not heated or cooled. Above it was an open porch with high sides off the kitchen on the second floor, in the “apartment” my parents rented until we were a little older. More about that later.
Since it was cold in the back entry room, it was a great place to store the containers until the day she’d dedicate to packaging dozens of small sample packs of all the cookies. She’d use last year’s Christmas card boxes, and bigger boxes for large families. Henry Ford may have invented the assembly line, but Mom had it down to a fine art (or would that be a science?). Cookies, fudge, sugar cookies only had sugar sprinkles, no frosting. She made drop cookies, refrigerator cookies, spritz cookies (I loved those. Especially the ones that looked like a strip of bacon!), bar cookies, did I miss anything? Probably. And of course, chocolate brownies, blonde brownies, walnut cookies, oatmeal cookies, my memory is clearly foggy on all of them. Every year, this took place. Gotta love someone who loves Christmas, decorations, and cookies.
I’ve scoured the kitchen (searched, not cleaned, yet!) for my bundt pan and/or the Angel Food Cake pan. And recipes for a similar fruit cake that Mom used to make. Haven’t located anything yet. But Google has some interesting recipes listed. We’ll take a cruise downstairs to peek around, but I doubt either are there.
Time to get moving on the baking I’m going to do, so better go. However you’re preparing (or not) for this Christmas in a couple days, enjoy doing it. Put love into it. You’ll find good memories in there somewhere, and remember them. Be mindful of creating new ones. After the decorations are down, I’m going to deep clean our downstairs family room area, and finally unpack my books from when we moved here. I’ll put together the book cases I bought this year, and then decide which volumes I’ll keep. It will be quite a process, quite a task. I expect it’ll probably take a month, in between writing, working on the novel/kid books, and enjoying my life. Looking forward to more healthy habits, better writing sessions, and eating well.
Take care today, be safe out there. Whatever they decide for our lives when the next surge of COVID goes through, I’m in. I dislike the masks as much as the next person, and I will still wear them when I feel I need to, or if we’re under mandate. I’m not going to pretend to be smarter than my doctor, and I trust his judgment. End of story.
Have a beautiful day. Help someone out. Call someone who is alone. Be kind. See you tomorrow!