Tag Archives: christmas cookies

Holiday Feast

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Borrowing a page from Mary Robinette Kowal’s book – I mean, blog. She posted an absolutely gorgeous holiday menu a couple of weeks ago. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, I’m posting our Christmas dinner menu. These are  mostly dishes we’ve enjoyed for many years. This has been a busy few months, so I’m sticking with the tried-and-true.

This menu might seem unusual. See if you can spot what I mean.

Appetizers
Vegetable Birds Nests with Dipping Sauce
Assorted Cheeses and Crackers
Veggies and Dip

Dinner
Spinach Soufflé Crepes
Orange Scented Beets
Mashed Golden Potatoes
Green Beans
Applesauce
Olives
Croissants

Dessert
Christmas Cookies
Peppermint or Vanilla Ice Cream

Did you figure out how this menu differs from much traditional Christmas fare? Leave your answers in the comments section below. Christmas cookies will be awarded to the first five who answer, if you’re willing to provide an address.

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Missing Cookie Day

Have I mentioned that I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month this year? No? Well, I am. NaNoWriMo starts on the same day every year, on November 1.

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This year is no different

I’ve met people (Hi, Liz!) who are of the opinion that November is probably the worst month to write a novel. They may be correct. There’s Thanksgiving, after all. And Black Friday, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not.

And in my family, there’s also Cookie Day.

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We didn’t really make these cookies

Cookie Day started in 2003, when my cousin Cecelia thought it would be a fun tradition for her daughter Emily to grow up with memories of baking holiday cookies with her aunts and cousins. Emily was about to turn 5. At first, the event was so small that the bakers just divvied up the cookies among themselves.

The 2nd year, Cecelia’s sister Camille (who is also my cousin, and Emily’s aunt) thought of shipping cookies to siblings who weren’t there. That was a lot of shipping, as Cecelia and Camille have 8 other siblings. We’re talking about a nice, Irish Catholic family, after all.

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Yeah, we didn’t bake these either

Eventually the recipients of the cookies morphed from siblings into parents, uncles and aunts (relatives we’ve taken to calling the “wiser generation”), and nephews and nieces who were in college. The number of people who joined in the fun of baking increased as well. My sister Liz and I have made it a habit to schlep into Indiana for Cookie Day many times over the last few years.

Liz and I were probably there in 2005, a watershed year. In any case, I bet Liz was. That year saw the highest number of bakers (12) and the most varieties of cookies baked (27). Another record year was 2012, when we shipped 15 boxes of assorted cookies to various relatives.

Cookie Day has seen a lot of changes over the years. There were 3 years when Cecelia’s neighbor let us use her oven to accommodate the huge numbers of cookies being baked. Then in 2011, Cookie Day became somewhat easier in Cecelia’s gorgeous, newly remodeled kitchen.

Cecelia has always mobilized for Cookie Day as if she were in charge of the Normandy Invasion. This is swell, because when I warned her I would be blogging about Cookie Day, she sent me this information:

My crazy, geeky spreadsheet has been narrowed down to about 70 kinds of cookies and if we were to bake them all, would need 96 sticks of butter, 53 cups of sugar, 22 cups of brown sugar, 102 cups of flour and 88 eggs.

I had to miss Cookie Day this year. it got scheduled for the same weekend I was hosting the first NaNoWriMo Woodridge Write-In this year. You can’t blow off your own write-in, after all. Liz couldn’t go either, since she was on call at work.

Cecelia says she’s sending us cookies anyway.  Isn’t she lovely? I just hope next year, Liz and I can return, NaNoWriMo or not, work be damned, and once again revel in the glory that is Cookie Day!