I decided I wanted to bake Sis's delicate cream cheese cookies with her--because they are a tradition that stirs up joy in my Christmas heart. I wanted H. and Fig to be a part of it, too, and they were--Fig helped decorate one batch, and H. wandered in and out of the kitchen in his red plaid shirt, eating them.
Sis's cookies are dainty, pressed into shapes like trees and flowers, and lightly sprinkled with red sugar crystals. The dough is old-fashioned and rich. She's been making them since she was a teenager.
I asked her what kind of cookie she wanted me to make, and she chose Mexican Wedding Cakes, one of her favorites. I used the recipe from Rose's Christmas Cookies, a great classic book by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
So I toasted and ground pecans, whirred in sugar, butter, flour, pinch of salt, vanilla. We rolled the dough into balls and then twirled the lightly browned cookies in a bowl of snowy powdered sugar.
Between making and baking our doughs [they had to chill], we drove to the cemetery in Paramus to visit our parents' graves, over near the spindly pine tree. It was a wet, dreary afternoon....we put a little potted pine over the two markers, for Mom and Dad to share. I miss Dad a lot--when I see Christmas lights, mangers, Santa boots and hats, decorated trees, Godiva catalogs, and everyday life. And I am so grateful for my sister.
- Planned salad for supper, to go with moderate amount of pizza [1 pie for 5 people].
- Going to bed. Need rest and contemplation.