Sunday, December 24, 2006

Linzer mess

I made a big mess. I was determined to make Granny's Christmas cookies this year. And damn the mess it causes. I had forgotten how much work these tiny delightful cookies are. Thankfully I was bright enough to make the dough yesterday morning, saved on some cursing. It gave the dough plenty of time to chill and be ready to go for today. Gratefully the kiddies and Husband went out to leave me alone with the cookie process. For as much as I enjoy the girls' help, with these cookies there's only room for one cook in the kitchen. The cookies are sort of Linzer like. The dough is close but not quite the same. (It's Kosher too!) In fact the recipe I have is a handwritten one by my Granny from her mother's memory. There were no cookbooks nor need for them in Great-Granny's day. She cooked from memory and taste. Hmm. Sort of like me. Anyway so there was a lot of guess work in this recipe to ensure it turned out right, that was what Granny, after years of practice perfected. Making these cookies is an art. The dough is so delicate it melts easily by touch or even sitting in a warm kitchen and it dries out quickly. Those two factors can drive any sane person mad.

These cookies are well worth the effort. The memories they bring, this delicate sweet taste, signifiy Christmas and all the traditions I hold dear. As a child my family spent Christmas Eve at my Granny's house where we ate and visited with my mother's siblings and their children. We would feast on cabbage rolls, cold cuts, breads, loads of cheese, crackers, veggies with dip and the cookies. The cookies were gone so fast, if you were not smart enough to wolf one down once you arrived then you were a fool. They always looked so pretty on the plate with all the others Granny made. I also enjoyed the hand made gifts my Granny created for us. It was such a complete surprise to see these fantastic things that became favorites. She spent months preparing the presents. I still have her toy creations. They are my dearest possesions. There are several blankets my girls use for their dolls that I once used. It's just great to see this enjoyment passing on.

Oh? Uhh, yeah so, wow was that a flashback or what?

As I was mentioning I finished up the cookies and made enough for us and possibly the neighborhood. I was a bit wiped out after all the rolling, cutting, spreading, washing, sprinkling process. We had tamales for our Christmas Eve meal. That's a tradition in Keith's family. And whoa baby, was that helpful today. I popped those frozen tamales in the oven and dinner was ready in 30 minutes. I did make some black beans, spanish rice, guacomole and refried beans. I opened a jar of salsa sliced a few limes and warmed the tortillas. The girls were not fond of the tamles, what a surprise, so the make your own bourrito thing went well for them. Our neighbors dropped by adding latkas, quiche and fruit cake to the food fest. Oh yeah the margarita mix was their addition too. Keith wanted to have a cookie competition. He too made some great cookies, ribbon cookies, a creation of his Mother. They are very addictive. However he could not persuade them to pick one over the other, wise move, and besides what cookies are bad? So now I go to leave Santa a heafty plate of cookies. And big glass of nog to wash them down.

No comments :