Archive | December 2012

Fruitcake, how could I forget?

Yes, how could I forget fruitcake? Believe me, I’ve tried!!!!

I don’t like fruitcake. Yet, I’ve made it once. Only once. That was only because Mom was battling leukemia and could not make it herself. She had made it for years, her mom’s recipe. Mom made fruitcake for Dad and my brothers, then later, my young niece. How this beautiful little tomboy could like fruitcake, I will never know. Maybe it was time spent with her “Grammy” to make the fruitcake.

Amazingly, all these family members actually LIKE fruitcake! Amazing. How could they?

Yes, even though I don’t like fruitcake, at all, I made it. Just that one time!

I made the fruitcake that year with my young niece…. out of love. Love for my Mom. Love for my niece. Love for my Dad and brothers. But, I mostly made it for Mom…. she would have made it herself if she were able. She was simply too weak at the time and, with her illness, should not be working in the kitchen regardless.

Mom’s fruitcake, using Grandma Booth’s recipe, uses a LOT of ingredients. And, it takes a LOT of time. Well, a LOT of time for a first-time fruitcake maker and her young seasoned apprentice. Even though Mom was sitting at the dining room table watching the ordeal and giving us instructions and encouragement, Natalie and I struggled to make the fruitcake (a double batch, all at once). It seemed like it took us forever.

After quite a time of adding ingredients and stirring, again and again, I exclaimed, “Making fruitcake takes a long time. This is EXCRUCIATING!”

Mom quietly said, “Think how it looks from my viewpoint.”
“I could have done this in far less than half the time.”

Thankfully, Mom was a patient teacher and we all laughed.

I will never forget that time making Mom’s fruitcake with my niece for our family. And, while I still don’t like fruitcake, at all, I LOVE that fruitcake-making memory.

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Christmas Cookies – traditions old and new

I remember Mom LOVED Christmas time.

Her family would gather. She could once again treat them to traditional holiday enjoyment.

Besides the Christmas decorations, a holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, a family drive to look at Christmas lights before returning home to exchange gifts, Mom would make sure her family had some traditional Christmas treats.

Among the treats, Cookies. Christmas Cookies!!!

Mom taught me how to make sugar cookies.

Green Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie

Green Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie

Christmas Trees like Mom used to make.

Christmas Trees like Mom used to make.

Sugar cookies are a favorite Christmas cookie tradition. So are my Grandma Booth’s Swedish Jelly Cookies. I did not have the recipe handy, but I did locate one online. Ahhh, technology. 🙂

Grandma Booth's Swedish Jelly Cookies

Grandma Booth’s Swedish Jelly Cookies

While using my laptop, looking for the Swedish Jelly Cookie recipe, I also spied what just may become a tradition of mine to add to the mix. Cocoa Coffee Crinkles. Okay, they had me at “Cocoa”, so I thought they’d be worth a try and I was oh-so-right. YUM….Decadence! Dark chocolate, coffee and cinnamon in an easy to make cookie. This recipe called for some instant coffee, not having any I used some fresh finely ground coffee instead. Perfect.

Cocoa Coffee Crinkles

Cocoa Coffee Crinkles, a possible added tradition

 

Recipes I found online.

Sugar Cookies
I added a bit more Vanilla Extract (1/2 tsp) and a teaspoon of Almond Extract.
Also, I did not level the teaspoons of Baking Powder, but they weren’t super heaping either. … so actually just a bit more Baking Powder. And I added Green Food Coloring until the dough was the green I thought it should be. Be sure to refrigerate the dough. When you roll out the dough to cut the shapes, be sure to work with a small amount of dough, placing the rest of the dough back in the refrigerator. Roll out and Repeat. Bake for 6 minutes at the temperature given, Cool, Frost and EAT.

Swedish Jelly Cookies

Cocoa Coffee Crinkles

Christmas Morning Looking Back

Shortly after getting out of bed on Christmas morning 2012, I looked in the mirror. I saw my ‘little girl self’ looking back at me. I smiled, then laughed. That image made me think of a photo of me taken at Christmas when I was about two and a half years old.

Yes, at that moment, I was my ‘little girl self’ once again.

Me and my doll, Genevieve, having tea on Christmas morning. December 1959

Me and my doll, Genevieve, having tea on Christmas morning. December 1959

Mom must have taken this photo of me. At least Dad and I think so.

We were celebrating Christmas with my Grandma and Grandpa Booth – Mom’s parents, in Salem, Oregon. While I don’t exactly remember this special tea party, after all I was just barely two and half years old, I do remember the tea set; the ‘my-sized’ table and chairs set; my other doll and the cradle; my grandparent’s piano, even the photo of the snow bound mountain hut and the Christmas card tree on the piano; and the special ornaments on the Christmas tree.

I am thankful to have this wonderful Christmas memory. Glad that my Mom saved this image for me.
This Christmas, looking back to that Christmas moment is priceless.
Another way I can still share Christmas with Mom.