We begin with a 'lying in" this morning. Slept until 9:30, made coffee and enjoyed the caffeine wakening while we watched 'Sunday morning' and read our email. Fully awake and ready to make breakfast, I padded downstairs to the brioche I bought last week at Formaggios in Cambridge, thawed overnight and ready to be sliced.
I served it on the coffee table on my new/old Wedgewoood plates.
Our neighbors at the shop, Thai Hut, brought us coffee cake for Christmas. So sweet. I served up a few pieces with the toast.
After presents, Joe walked the dog and then we went to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It had an awesome ending.
Now, the cookies. I don't have time to bake during the holidays, but my great pleasure is to make my grandmother's cookies for my son, Morgan and his wife, Jeannette on Christmas Day.
My grandmother, Esther was adopted in Wisconsin by a Methodist family who owned a farm. Her mother was part of a Jewish acting troup in Chicago. Her husband abandoned the family, or died.. no one is certain. But she was left with four children who she couldn't support and they were all adopted out in Illinois and Wisconsin.
My Grandmother fell in love with a seasonal farm hand and followed him to the lumber camps in Northern Wisconsin where she cooked for the workers. She was an amazing cook. She could whip up a Christmas dinner in four hours: turkey, stuffing, orange cranberry sauce and rolls...pie and cookies.
She made Maple Nutties and sent them to us every Christmas. She worked in retail too, so she didn't have time until after the holidays to send us our Christmas packages. But the wait was worth it.
As a young homemaker, I asked many times for the recipe. She promised to send it, but never did. She died early: at 67. One year, I experimented. I finally figured out the recipe and it became my special Christmas cookie to send to my own Mother and make for my family. Today, I made the dough, then baked after the movies.
These are just out of the oven. They are waiting to cool and be rolled in powdered sugar.
My Grandmother, Esther, was something of a free spirit. Of all my few relatives, though, she left me with a love of antiques, animals, and this great cookie recipe.
At the end of this free day, this Christmas, I give thanks to my Grandmother who left me such riches to pass on.