I don’t have the counter space to roll out Christmas cookies, so I decided that I would make snickerdoodles instead. They’re surprisingly easy, if time-consuming, and very tasty.

Here’s the recipe I used:

1 cup butter (or shortening, but actual butter is healthier than shortening in the long run. And tastes better.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoons baking soda
cinnamon and sugar mixed to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix together butter and sugar until smooth, then add eggs, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Stir in flour until well mixed. Roll into balls about 1″ in diameter and roll in cinnamon and sugar to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes. Cookies are done when they are just barely browning.

This recipe made almost five dozen small-ish cookies, probably more like 3 dozen if you make them bigger. I strongly suggest lining your baking sheet with parchment paper to make them easier to remove, and to keep the bottoms from burning.

And in my oven 8.5 minutes was the perfect amount of time.

Fuzzy got to sample one, but the rest are being packed off to my adopted soliders in Afghanistan. Next up: chocolate chip.

Love Changes Everything

Or maybe it doesn’t. But Meg of is all about sharing the love, so she’s created this Love List. Yes, it’s a meme. Meme’s are fun. My answers are below. The blank meme resides below the fold for ease of snippage. Do share. But credit Meg as the Source.

Things YOU Love: Hats, jewelry, books, my various computers. Shoes.

Song you love: A perennial favorite is Joy to the World (the Three Dog Night tune, not the carol.)

Food you love: Pumpkin ravioli

Thing you love to look at: Stormy skies

Sound you love: Wind chimes on a blustery day

Thing you love to laugh at: The antics of my dogs

Gadget you love: Does an mp3 player count? No? Then my garlic press.

Person you love: Fuzzy.

Software you love: NeoOffice and OpenOffice

Word you love: Twilight

Thing you love on the internet: the ability to make friends in far away places. Or

Place you love to go on vacation: Mexico. France. The beach.

Sensation you love: Cool rain on sun-heated skin.

Animal you love: Dogs.

Book you love: Bread Alone, by Judith Ryan Hendricks

Emotion you love: Giddy joy

Occasion you love: Christmas. I’m still a kid on that day.

Quality you love in people: Generosity, passion, intelligence, humor.

Thing you most love to shop for: Books, stationery, and clothes.

And finally…

What you love about today: It’s cool and misty, and the twinkle lights are shining, and there’s a salty tang in the air even though we’re hundreds of miles from the sea.



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Tradition, Tradition

Holidailies 2007

From the Cafe Writing December Project: List seven traditions – big or small – that you and your family observe. You don’t have to explain them, but it’s more fun for readers if you do.

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As it’s December, and I’ve just strung my house with lights, and my lit tree is resting in the window, as yet bare of ornaments, I offer seven of my family’s Christmas traditions.

  1. Resting Tree: We generally let the lit tree sit undecorated for a few days, even though it’s plastic, just so we can get used to where it is, and get a feel for the best side and worst side, etc.
  2. Ornaments: From childhood, my mother and I would take out all the ornaments and talk about each one as we hung them on the tree. Most of our ornaments are hand-made or specially chosen, and none are plain glass balls.
  3. Pfefferneusse: My mother and I share a box of pfefferneusse cookies every Christmas. These spice drops are perfect with coffee, and represent a shared history.
  4. Aglio Olio: It’s a garlic and olive oil sauce that you toss with fettucini, and it represents our family’s Italian heritage. For most of my life, my mother always made it on Christmas eve.
  5. Stockings: As we’ve grown older, we’ve pretty much stopped with huge presents (except between Fuzzy and myself) and embraced the challenge of only buying items that can fit in a stocking. Some years, this is extremely easy, other years, rather difficult, but it’s always fun, and it limits the amount we spend, as well.
  6. Brie: I am a cheese fiend, and one thing always in my stocking is a small round of brie. Yay for runny cheese!
  7. Tinsel: We no longer use it on our tree, either at my own house or at my mother’s in deference to the memory of my deceased uncle Merrell. I wrote about it in 2005 for that year’s Holidailies. The entry is here.