Thursday, December 18, 2014

Celebrating 10 Years of Cookies

This year marks the 10th year my sister, my mom and I have been baking cookies for the holidays.  For those of you who do not know the story, we decided to take over for Grandma who couldn’t bake like she used to anymore because of her arthritis.  Its become an event we plan ahead for, we have an inventory spreadsheet, we even have a list of all the cookies we’ve ever made since 2004. 
This year we had two little helpers, my 8 month old niece and 2 year old nephew, who played with mixing bowls and a whisk.  My nephew helped bring us our ingredients too.    We were very thankful that we all could be together this year in Albany, NY, unlike last year when we were separated by a snowstorm and had to do this in two different locations.
After 4 days – 20 hours and 40 minutes of baking (including naptime, storytime, lunch, dinner and babysitting so my sister and her husband could finish Christmas shopping) here are the Top 10 Cookies we made this year plus the new ones* (and any extras made with the ingredients we had left):

Spritz – Happy Little Trees
Spritz – Red Bells
Peppermint Meltaways
Orange Creamsicles
Double Mint Chocolate Chip
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Cinnamon Chocolate Drops
Sugar Cookie Mint
White Chocolate Cranberry
Minty Pretzels
*Chocolate Krinkles
*Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
*Whole Grain Cherry Almond Cookies
*Holiday Eggnog Snickerdoodles
*Kitchen Sink Cookies
*Chocolate Cappuchino Cookies
(recipes available by request only)


Key Phrases during the cookie baking:
  • Italians like them hard and dry – American’s like them buttery
  • Let me wash my hands, then I’ll roll my balls
  • Balls aren’t sticking
  • I can’t hold a pen
  • What if we make denture friendly cookies?
  • Roll roll roll your balls
  •  Let’s make some Italian dressing for the Italian cookies 

Phrases from the little helpers
  • “The deer are all gone”
  • “The turkey are all gone”
Our cookies are baked with friendship and love and we look forward to continuing this family tradition once a year in December to bake our hearts out and create new memories to pass on to the little ones.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Cards – To Send or Not To Send

Why not? I always sent out Christmas cards, I can’t tell you when it started, probably after college sometime and definitely after I got married. You take your wedding list and send out cards to who attended.  The next year I took it one step further, I added columns to that excel sheet I call an address list (which was originally an Access database), and added columns with years.  I began tracking who I sent to and who sent one back.  It wasn’t a game, it was courtesy.  I take the time to write something in the card, rather than stick a family photo printed from Shutterfly and leave the personalization to the printer.  I WRITE something in the card, I may even say ‘Hey wanna meet for lunch in January?’  Unfortunately anyone who doesn’t send one back gets dropped from the listing for the next year.  Anyone who doesn’t respond to my attempts at meeting up I no longer waste efforts to try.  But I still send Christmas cards, signed sealed delivered.  At least this year the list is down to 30 people, 30 of my closest friends and family (imagine if I got remarried, wow my budget would love me).  I do think any glitter cards should be disbarred, I’m sure the CDC or NIIH will find something wrong with glitter eventually, inhaling it could be hazardous to your health besides making a god-awful mess.

On the annual cookie note….my cookie goodie bag list has diminished too. I no longer just hand them out to the usual suspects, especially if they don’t talk to me all year.  I consider that list a list of VIPs, not the occasional acquaintances.  No apology here, treat me the way I treat you and perhaps you’ll get a card and a bag of treats.