Friday, December 9, 2011
Katherine Grey's Holiday Traditions
Everyone I know has at least one holiday tradition they look forward to every year from Black Friday shopping to family gatherings to attending that one special holiday party every year.
I have two traditions I look forward to. One is to watch Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. I’m well past the age of believing in Santa Claus and flying reindeer, but it’s just not Christmas if I don’t watch Rudolph. Every year, the night it’s on, I get in bed, prop up my pillows, and snuggle under my big fluffy comforter and watch the cartoon while my cat curls up at my feet. Of course, there’s always a cup of hot chocolate involved too.
The most important tradition though is making Christmas cookies with my mom. She started teaching me to cook when I was four years old. Every December we would make cut out cookies in various holiday shapes. She would mix the dough on a Friday evening and put it in the refrigerator over night. My brothers and sisters and I would take turns peering into the refrigerator at the bowl of dough and asking when it would be ready for baking.
Finally, Saturday afternoon would come and she’d pronounce it ready. She would roll it out and place the cutters on the dough. Each one of my siblings and I would get a turn to push the cutters down into the dough. My mom would peel away the excess, put the cut out pieces onto a baking sheet and into the oven. We’d repeat the process over and over until every scrap of dough had been formed into a cookie.
Rows and rows of angels, reindeer, snowmen, Christmas trees, holly leaves, tree ornaments, and Santa Claus cookies would fill one end of the table to cool then be packed away until the next day, the most important day of all – the day we would frost them.
My mom would make the frosting and allow each one of us to stir drops of food coloring into bowls of white icing. We’d have a rainbow of colors and little bottles of colored sugar to decorate the cookies with. We’d spend the afternoon decorating the cookies, making sure the Santa cookies were frosted red and white to represent his suit, the snowmen white with a strip of yellow around his neck and down his stomach to represent his scarf. Christmas trees had brown frosting for the trunk and green frosting for the leaves and a dot of yellow at the top for the star just to describe a few. When we were finished, my mom would lay them on wax paper to set. We would ooh and ah over them like they were the most magnificent cookies ever made.
My brothers and sisters are all married with children now and building their own holiday traditions but for two days every December my siblings and I gather together and make Christmas cut out cookies with my mom. It’s a tradition I hope we’re able to continue for many years to come.
My mom asked that I not share our special cut out cookie recipe but here’s one that’s just as special.
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup Crisco shortening
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
*½ cup chopped walnuts
A small dish of granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together the first 6 ingredients (the flour through the salt). Add the Crisco, egg and vanilla. Beat well. Stir in the oats and nuts. Form into small balls. Dip the tops of the balls in the additional dish of granulated sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Makes 3 ½ dozen cookies
*I sometimes substitute the walnuts for craisins.
Below is the blurb for Katherine’s debut novel, Impetuous.
Teresa Darlington will do anything to keep scandal away from her frail mother and prove her father wasn't a thief, even risk her reputation in a race to find the missing heirloom before the Count does. But she didn't count on falling in love with the man determined to ruin her family. Can she find the heirloom before he does and protect her family, or will her heart lead her in a different direction?
You can purchase a copy at any of the following links:
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/impetuous-katherine-grey/1105052736?ean=2940013040984&itm=4&usri=impetuous#CustomerReviews
You can learn more about Katherine on her blog and Facebook page.
Thank you for joining us today, Katherine. I can't believe your mom wouldn't let you share the cut-out cookie recipe :-( but I love oatmeal cookies.
Readers, please leave a comment for Katherine.
Happy Reading and Writing!