Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)
TITLE: Pages Splattered and Worn
By Jan Christiansen
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I remembered the day Lee gave me the cookbook. It was the first Christmas after we were married. I had hoped for a diamond ring to go with my plain gold wedding band. In fact I had dropped so many hints in the weeks before Christmas that I was sure my wish would come true. Instead, I'd received this bright red and white checked cookbook. I was not a happy wife at that moment. I can laugh about it now, but back then I was ready to hit my husband over the head with it!
I flipped through the pages to find Grandma’s Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe – Lee’s favorite. As I mixed the batter, I thought about the first time I’d made them for him. I had measured each ingredient precisely, stirred the dough with shaking hands, and rolled it out to just the right thickness.
I opened the plastic packaging on my new cookie cutter, dusted it with flour and proceeded to cut out 3 dozen cookies - all in the shape of a baby bottle!
Lee came home from work to the smell of warm sugar cookies fresh from the oven. I can still see the puzzled look on his face as I waited for it to register that we were having our first baby.
I remembered making a Chocolate Cake (page 132) with Chocolate Butter Frosting (page 147) for our daughter’s first birthday, then snapping a million pictures as she demolished it.
Page 57 had been ripped loose because it contained the recipe for Homemade Egg Noodles, the key ingredient for Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup. It was the cure-all for any sickness that hit the family over the years.
Among the pages of this book are recipes for Thanksgiving Turkey, Candied Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkin Pie, instructions for canning and freezing the fresh vegetables that grow each year in our garden and that one cantankerous recipe for Fluffy White Bread that never, ever turns out right.
Ah, page 181 – Grandma’s Rolled Sugar Cookies. As I run through the ingredient list, I am reminded once more of the many ways God has blessed my life – a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter and a worn out red and white checked cookbook that holds as many sweet memories as it does recipes.
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