Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Second Annual Blog Cookie Exchange!

To find out more, click the tree, which will take you to Susie's blog, which has all of the details.

Please check back here later this evening (after 10 p.m., NY time) as that's the only time I'll have some private baking time to devote to the actual baking, blogging and photographing...

This year's cookie will be some form of a lemon sour cream sugar cookie, and or an "amaratini" (little nutty cookie balls made with hazelnuts ground and almond flavor). The amaratini might actually have chocolate chips in them or be dipped into melted chocolate. I haven't decided which. The base of each cookie will be ready made cake mixes for the dry ingredients.

But in the meantime, I'll post point for point as Susie did:

Favorite holiday recipes:
My favorite holiday recipe is my great-great aunt Rose's Gingersnaps. [Recipe to be posted once I am home]. Or my grandfather's "Italian Stuffing," which is only made once a year and contains no less than 6 eggs, different sausages, cheeses, olives, raisins et al. The recipe has yet to drift in my direction yet...

The gingersnap recipe has stuck through the years, and even though Rose is long gone, I remember her every time I make those cookies. It's a recipe, I don't know where it came from, or if it's a genuine family heirloom recipe from the "old country" [Switzerland], or a "throw back" from the Depression Era (when received as a gift, they were always packed into a graham cracker box) but it's my dad's fave.

Sadly this year I will not make them until after January [reason for this is obvious for regular readers and friends].

For years, I tried to duplicate the recipe from memory. Mom had the little hand scrawled recipe tucked away and didn't see the light of day for nearly a decade. Some years I made it with more ginger; other years more cinnamon. Even one year I added cayenne, as dad kept saying he remembered the cookies having a lot of "heat."

In the end, when the recipe was finally unearthed, and finally demystified, turns out, it had twice as much cinnamon in them than ginger.

In January when I churn out a batch, I might even add some minced, candied ginger for added zing.

Special traditions:
No real tradition to speak of for me. I do most of my shopping either by August or online. I try to crochet or handcraft a few gifts. And even though I struggle with a religious identity, I tend to attend midnight mass at a local Episcopal church. Some years my husband surprises me by cooking up a batch of lamb biryani for a late night supper when I return.
Favorite gift to give:
Something crocheted.
What you wear when you don your gay apparel:
When I go to midnight mass, I wear basic black. Nothing special. And I always wear a dressy hat... a hat bought at an artisan fair I attended eight years ago with a cousin. A hat made and designed by a milliner. Nothing fancy. Dark green wool felt, molded crown, brim adorned with some mustard gold velvet and a port wine colored velvet rosette with some pheasant feathers tucked in.

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