The daughter of an interfaith marriage, I chose Judaism, but Christmas cookies chose me.
. . . This year I reconsidered the cookies of my youth, baked each Christmas by my grandmother. I had neglected those recipes in recent years . . .
Many recipes were titanic and laborious. The royal fans required washing the butter, a throwback to the days when most butter was salted, and carefully pinching the dough to shape the creases, each painstakingly painted a different color.
. . . Even though I fashion my gingerbread into dreidels and menorahs, as I bake from her recipes I feel close to her arms, crepe-thin and marked with pronounced veins, working the dough.
These days my grandmother is suffering from severe dementia and lives in a nursing home. I called the other day to discuss white bark balls, but she kept speaking about the beach. I don’t know where this beach of her mind exists, but I’ll bet they wash butter there.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Memories of Christmas Cookies
I enjoyed this recent article in the N.Y. Times. Perhaps you will too. The article drew me in from the very start:
At one point, the author refers to "chocolate ginger snaps." Those could either be really good or really disappointing. I love ginger snaps so much I'd almost be too afraid to mess with a good thing.