Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookies Equal Childhood Memories

So I discovered Saturday when my sister, boyfriend and I went to a party at my Cousin Jon's house, his annual Christmas bash. This is the first year either Lisa (sister) or I have been able to attend as he lives in Sacramento, along with the bulk of our relatives on Mom's side of the family. This year it happened to work out that Lisa was returning from China with a layover in San Francisco, which she turned into a two day stay so we could go to the party and see aunts, uncles and assorted cousins we haven't seen in years. Something about our dad's brush with death last Sunday and his continuing illness in ICU made us both want to spend time with family. I think it's pretty natural a reaction when mortality rears its ugly head and threatens someone near and dear to a person.


After a battle with the mean streets of Carmichael versus Google Maps' totally screwed up directions, we made it to Jon's house and reacquainted ourselves with family. Met kids of cousins last seen when we were all, oh, twenty years younger?

Then our cousins from Auburn arrived, bearing a platter of assorted homemade Christmas cookies. The sight, smell and taste immediately sent me into a happily nostalgic state: crescent cookies dusted with powdered sugar; chocolate snowflakes, gingersnaps, and chocolate fudge. The same cookies baked in each of our houses back when we were all kids, our grandparents still alive, and the future still a wide open vista of possibilities. No cell phones, no computers, lots of games of kick the can, hide'n'seek, and frog hunting out back of our Uncle Bob and Aunt Betsy's house with Cousin Grady, who used to eat dog food. Good times.

I'm not saying I regret the advent of computers or other useful technology. But I'm very glad I grew up in an era where a kid was still very much a kid.

Heh. Signal 'when I was a kid, we walked to school in the snow!' about now... :-)


Marian Allen said...

I don't have any Christmas cookie or candy memories. The only confection I remember from Christmas was Mom's Sea Foam, a kind of Divinity. I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now. It's hard to believe there could ever be anything too sweet for me, but that sets my teeth on edge!

Our daughters have let me know the past few years that THEY have Christmas cookie memories. Their late mother used to make sugar cookies with them, and they love to do that with their kids (those who have them--kids, that is, not sugar cookies). They also have fond memories of the sweets I always make: springerle, fruitcake, bourbon balls and Russian Tea Cakes. :) Wonderful post! Thanks for the warm thoughts.

Dana Fredsti said...

oooh, Divinity is FAR too sweet in my book too...

It's wonderful how many memories are associated with food and cooking...