Friday, November 19, 2010

Today in NOTL:  Cold, with noonish temps at 39F/4C.

As the holiday season begins, I am having the happy task of sorting through my cookie recipes for a project I have been wanting to begin for some time: Twenty-Four Days of Cookies!!!!  That is, twenty-four days of cookie recipes...

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a long history in the kitchen.  Back in the long-ago days of my childhood, children were expected to begin helping out around the house at a far earlier age than today.  As a result, I began helping Mama with cooking when I was around four.  Simple tasks, to begin - handing her a spoon, stirring something, getting the flour or salt for her. 

By the time I was in school, I knew how to measure ingredients; by age ten, I was mixing recipes with Mama supervising me while she completed other tasks.  I enjoyed our time working in the kitchen, but it was at holiday times that I proved my worth as budding cook, helping Mama put on our Christmas Eve spread.

Together we would pore over Mama's big green Encyclopedia of Cookery, choosing the recipes we'd make and serve.  Mama would purchase the ingredients, then I'd make the cookies, stuffed celery, and sometimes the hot miniature meatballs.  She would make the Date Roll herself, as it was a bit trickier than cookies.  Each year, I'd hear her telling my aunt which items I'd made.  "I'd never be able to do it without Jean," she'd say often.  With a busy household of seven, there was more than enough work to keep Mama working every minute even without the holiday preparations, so she appreciated my interest and willingness to help put on Christmas.

 I'll be sharing many of my favourite Christmas cookie recipes in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!  Art is a 2-inch watercolour.

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