Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas breakfast, movies and a cookie history

While other Bloggers have wished their Merry Christmases and have moved on to celebrate the holiday, I relish and savour this time I have today to post.
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.


An Urban Cottage said...

What a sad backstory to your grandmother's childhood. It's great that you were able to figure out the cookies so you share a little bit of her with your family.

I hope you enjoyed your big day off.

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing your family story. So glad you had a lovely leisurely day.

flwrjane said...

What a sweet bit of family history.

And how awesome you had the time to share it!

Today is our day to relax.

What a lovely world it is when florist have put down their knives for 48 hours.

xo jane

webb said...

That's a great - and meaningful - tradition. Your grandmother would be justly proud.

Glad you had a peaceful day.

Falls Flowers said...

I miss those tasties. I miss you more! Lots of love and joy to you and Joe from the flatlands (very, very, oh-so flat) of western MN!

marlowe said...


Martin & the Magpie said...

what a beautiful story of your grandmother ..have a happy new year..x

Sue A said...

What a lovely post. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year.

flowers on my table said...

My goodness, we have it so easy today compared with our ancestors. What a lovely story, and clever you figuring out the cookies! I hope that you had a relaxing, albeit short holiday! I wish you a happy, healthy and productive 2012. I really enjoyed meeting and visiting with you, and look forward to the year ahead. With love, Linda x

A Whole Lotta Magic said...

I love your Christmas morning tradition and the memories of your amazing grandmother.

Have a beautiful day!