Christmas Cookies. As I type these words….images of the plates and plates of cookies we delivered come to mind. When I say ‘we’ that would be my mom, sister and I….some 40 years ago. All homemade with love.
Sarah and I are coming to appreciate the energy and time Mom gave to ‘traditions.’ We made ‘plates and plates of cookies’ and delivered them to EVERYONE. As 8 & 11 year-olds (plus or minus), who were the delivery messengers of our baking efforts, it at least seemed like we knocked on the doors of everyone we knew.
I can’t recall all of the types of cookies we made, but I do remember there was always something for each of us to do. Whether it be rolling out the gingerbread dough, or cutting it into gingerbread men, or placing the raisin eyes as they came out of the oven. One recipe that always comes to mind is Sugar Coated Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates. I don’t remember loving them as a child, but I sure do now.
~ Sugar Coated Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates ~
Sun-Ripened Pitted Dates
Using a small spoon fill dates with peanut butter.
Moisten dates with water and roll in granulated sugar.
Looking back, I’m extremely proud that she insisted on tradition (we also delivered May Day baskets). Mom, always drove a compact car….some by choice (MG Midget) and some due to economy (Dodge hatchback-something-er-another). I’m sure we looked like a circus act as we piled out of the back seat balancing plates of cookies, running towards the doors of our recipients. I remember many of the doors she sent us to, but not all. I wish I could ask her how she chose who would receive these treasured plates.
I’m tearing up a bit writing this, but I think that’s a lot of what blogging is about. It’s a chance to put down memories, in hopes that someone else shares a similar life story.
We visited ‘Old’ people. Please know I mean no disrespect. We delivered cookie plates to the community members of Nana & Boppy (our grandparents). These people were the parents AND grandparents of Mom’s childhood friends. We’d knock on each door with plate in hand. As the door opened, we were greeted with faces of appreciation, followed by hugs. We visited widows and widowers who seemed to mostly live alone. When they opened their doors, they welcomed us with joy and a need to share and talk and appreciate why we were there. Mom spoke softly and encouraged us to share of ourselves. I can still picture the entryways into these very small, often dimly lit homes…that welcomed youth and sweets with grand appreciation for recognition. These folks had touched my mom in her youth. She felt some need to show her appreciation for how they had influenced her life. We didn’t question. We absorbed.
I don’t want to fly soap box, I have no ground to stand on. I do however believe that tradition doesn’t come naturally…at least in my family. You must work at tradition. Mom taught us to respect and appreciate them. I’ve grown to embrace eating a turkey at Thanksgiving, coloring eggs for Easter, celebrating each birthday in the family with a dinner, and waking up Christmas morning to stocking’s filled with care. I hold dear what is personal, whether it’s personal to me or you. That’s the beauty of tradition. I’m sharing my fond memories, in hopes that it may spark your personal fond memories. I would love for you to share a comment. I say again, blogging is a chance to put down memories, in hopes that someone else shares a similar life story.
Here are a few cookies and treats that I believe would have been worthy of our plates.
~ Toothacher Bars ~
~ English Toffee ~
~ Cashew Brittle ~
~ Peppermint Bark ~
~ Nutella Truffles ~
~ Chocolate & Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares ~