Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories December 2 – Holiday Foods

Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book

Here is another Christmas Memory of my own about my brothers and our mother, Alberta Joy (Gardner) Brown, 1928 – 1992, daughter of Nathaniel & Helen (Coyle) Gardner.

At Christmas time there was always lots of baking, especially on Christmas Eve. My brothers and I all helped. My oldest brother, Lance, was good at stirring the big bowls of thick batter. He could stir thick buttery batter when our mother’s mix master could not. The kitchen would be in a delicious disorder. The counter would be covered with canisters of flour and sugar, teaspoons and measuring cups, spoons and spatulas. On the table we’d have red and green sprinkles and chocolate chips. Decorating the cookies was great fun. We’d make several types of cookies. I liked the Sptitz cookies that we made using a metal cookie press, loading the dough inside and then pushing the handle with just the right amount of pressure to make the shapes of trees, wreaths, reindeer and bells. Making and baking all those cookies and restoring the kitchen to order again was a huge job for our mother. She’d be moving from the stove to the table and back again, with hot trays of cookies. Our attention would be divided between watching Charley Brown’s Christmas, wrapping the last presents, hanging up Christmas cards, and giving her a hand. I’m sure our mother was hot and tired but she kept smiling and baking making Christmas special for us.

Those favorite Spritz cookies were from our mother’s Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book [unsure of the year of publication because the cover is missing.]

Spritz Cookies

Mix thoroughly: 1 cup soft butter; 2/3 cup sugar; 3 egg yolks; 1 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring. Work in with hands: 2 ½ cups sifted flour. Force the dough through cooky [sic] press onto ungreased baking sheets in desired shapes. Bake until set but not brown. 400 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Written in response to Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Click on the link to read Christmas memories from other genealogists.

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