My memories of Christmas have centered on food. I had a Grandmother who loved to cook. She faithfully made the same pastries and cookies every year. At the end of November, she started her season by baking at least a dozen poppy seed and walnut rolls some of which I wrapped in gold foil and delivered on her behalf as gifts to close friends. The rest she stored in the garage in tins.
She tackled cookies the first week of December and stood in the kitchen with the hot oven going for days and days. She made delicate almond crescents rolled in vanilla sugar, puff pastry bites oozing with apricot preserves, raspberry pinwheels and apple squares that no one could duplicate. To keep the family’s thieving fingers out of her cookie stash, she put a sampler plate of her product daily on the table after dinner for everyone to share. Each delicate morsel melted in my mouth with the creamy sweetness of butter.
I loved every cookie and pastry she made. Eating them became an evening ritual. I slowly savored each bite when she proudly served plates filled with her creations between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. I knew she would not bake any of these cookies or pastries again for a whole year. When I asked why not, she said she was making memories.
My Christmas would not be complete without the cookies and pastries my Grandmother made. The only month of the year I buy mountains of butter is December. I bake and put my family through the ritual of my youth. What could be better than making memories by celebrating through the sense of taste?
Have a yummy and blessed season!