Monday, December 19, 2011

The Exchange

One of the few moments mothers find to themselves in the bustle of the holidays is in the kitchen.  Now there may be 100 things to do but I find refuge in the kitchen.  After the dinner is done, people in my house usually evacuate the kitchen as quickly as possible.  I really don't mind if they don't do a dish, as long as I can find a few minutes of quiet.  The other night after I did all those dishes I found my recipe books and clippings and began to plan for the cookie exchange.  It is a trip down a familiar lane, looking at all the recipes I have collected, some scrawled in my grandmother's perfect Palmer penmanship.   I drank a cup of tea and fantasized about what my cookies would look like this year.  After finding a recipe whose ingredients seemed simple enough to master, I got to work.  Molasses cookies!  This was one of my Grandmother Sandell's recipes and it was simple enough to make.  It calls for lukewarm coffee, molasses, and lots of flour.  Perfect.  Precooked, this batter had a dark almost smoky taste. ( Of course when the kids knew the batter was ready it was all hands on deck wanting to helptastehelp taste!)  When cooked it lost a little of that sublime flavor but was still delicious.  Then, you know, the packaging is all-important in the cookie exchange.  That would require a little thriftiness.

I love using Chinese take out containers for packaging.  After that it's free game.  I usually try to find a ribbon, paper, and pen that either match or coordinate.  This year I found brown in my trimmings bag and it worked well with the Molasses theme. 

 Then I took a closeup picture of the one that I misspelled - mosasses.  Can you tell?  I hope the recipient couldn't. 
Enjoy your baking!

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