My grandmother Virginia makes the best cookies. When my cousins and I were growing up, she always kept homemade cookies stashed in old cookie tins in the freezer (I bet she has some in her freezer now, too). She’d open up a canister and unfold the waxed paper lining, and we’d start grabbing for one after another. I like her cookies straight from the freezer; they have a more satisfying chew that way. I like them at room temp and fresh from the oven, too.
The cookies that stand out most in my memory are her oatmeal, dried cranberry and macadamia nut cookies. Or does she use white chocolate chips, not macadamia nuts? Grandma will tell me. She’s eighty-four, operates a brand new iPhone, and receives my new blog posts by email. She reads your comments, too.
She’d tell you that I wanted to do things my way when I was little. Guess I’m still doing it, because I came up with my own oatmeal cookie recipe instead of asking for hers (I’ll get it later, for sure). I wanted oatmeal cookies with a soft, fluffy interior and crisper edges with more concentrated flavor. I wanted these cookies to be even more redeeming than most, but mostly to be the tastiest of oatmeal cookies.
Instead of adding dried cranberries and macadamia nuts (or white chocolate chips), I kept these simple with some cinnamon and nutmeg, which permeate the whole cookie with delicious warming spices. More specifically, I used Frontier Co-op’s Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract, which are all organic. Frontier Co-op has generously filled my spice drawer with their products and the more I use them, the more I appreciate them. Take a whiff and you’ll know what I mean; they’re more potent and offer superior flavor than other brands. Plus, you can read where the spices came from on the bottle. I’m glad to be working with them again this winter.
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Christmas isn’t here yet, and I’m already worn out. Who feels the same? You can show your hands. I won’t tell. Beneath all the sparkles, parties and sales this season are a lot of tired eyes. I’m weary with you, weary ones.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve transferred a kitchen that could easily feed a family. I’ve packed and unpacked enough photography equipment and props to shoot an entire cookbook. I’ve driven five hours home and back for Thanksgiving (worth it alone for my grandmother’s reaction to an electric pepper grinder), and I’ve scrubbed three years’ worth of dust from my old rent house. I’ve placed my first grown-up furniture orders and nearly had heart attacks at checkout.
I’m so tired, you guys, but there is no time for rest yet. I’m working on another round of cookbook edits through next week. I have fun parties to attend. My thirty-first birthday is looming just 24 days away, and I’m as single as ever. And yet, my cookbook is turning out beautifully, and this new space is so nice. I have more counter space for my creations and I’m finally trading in my hand-me-down box spring for a proper bed with a headboard. A headboard!
I’m blessed with a season of abundance. Friends and family to celebrate the holidays with, the sweetest four-legged companion, and readers who let me do what I love for a living. I’m so thankful for all of you. I haven’t been as present in this space as I like to be lately, but your presence and comments are as appreciated as ever.
Here’s what I’m trying to say: the holidays are hard and wonderful. It’s a condensed and conflicting time. A time to celebrate new loves, and a time to mourn those who aren’t here. I’m right there with you.
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The post What to Cook This December appeared first on Cookie and Kate.