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November 2019
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Oh taste and see that the cookies are good

It really is winter.  Even though we got our first snow on the ground just this week, and then it’s been 60 degrees and rainy the past two days.  And in fact, not only is it winter, but it is also the season of Advent.  Even though the limited holiday preparations I’ve conducted are: decorating the tree at church, singing in the Christmas Cantata, putting up the “Welcome Snowfolks” sign and hanging two stockings by the fire, shopping for me (thanks Dad!) and my “Adopt a Family” kid, and starting on the Christmas cards (the most admirable part in my book).  Carrying Abigail’s shopping bags for 2 minutes does not actually count as Christmas shopping progress for me, unfortunately.

This was just the start of Christmas preparations. Until Tuesday night.  Then, the cookies started. Now, it really is the Christmas season.

I love making Christmas cookies. I always enjoyed making cookies with Mom, being funny with the sprinkles or an elaborate frosting scheme.  I have fond memories of making snickerdoodles with Grandma Woodmansee, too.  I have the nice airbake cookie sheets, my grandmother’s rolling pin and nifty stacking space-saving cooling racks.  I have a Cookie recipe book, a gift from Arley Kim that has continued to offer new baking adventures for almost 15 years.  And I have a really top notch taste tester and shopper.  All the right ingredients for baking success.

The catalyst this year: caroling at church.  We’re going tomorrow, and that means we need cookies!  This year is all new recipes: Lemon Bars on a shortbread crust, which were made Tuesday; Gingerbread dough that was made Tuesday but cut-out and cooked tonight; and Cinnamon Diamond dough that was made this morning and cooked tonight.  In retrospect, the Lemon Bars are good for a “one fell swoop” cooking event, though I have to disagree that they are as “easy” as the recipe suggests.  The Cinnamon Diamonds (or any refrigerator cookie that you put in a log of wax paper and slice later) are the more time-efficient choice, if you can split the dough-phase and the cook-phase with sufficient cooling-and-butter-solidifying-phase time.  But who can resist Gingerbread with 5 spices? (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and white pepper – the secret ingredient) There are now dozens of tasty treats downstairs, waiting to find new homes on Purchase Street tomorrow.

Regardless of whether Advent is a time of reflection, a time of celebration, a time of preparation or an annual rollercoaster of stress and excitement (which do you think I tend toward?), it is here!  And tomorrow we’ll share some Christmas spirit with the neighbors.  Bon Appetit!

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