So…how many things have you crossed off your Christmas to-do list? Surprisingly enough, aside from grocery shopping, I have most of my list completed, or at least in motion! I like to do my Christmas shopping all year around, picking up gifts as I stumble across them, and tucking them away in my favorite hiding places. My plan works great…unless I forget where they are hidden, that is!!!
My grocery list is ready for the holiday week, and on it are a lot of typical “grocery-list” things, as well as a few things I consider to be traditional Christmas goodies. For me, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without my Mom’s anise flavored Polish cutout cookies, a wedge of Bond Ost cheese and the makings for a batch of glogg!
For most people, the holidays have certain sentimental memories, and many of those memories revolve around food. Haven’t you ever caught a whiff of something in passing and suddenly found yourself transported back to a lovely memory of times past? The smell of anise cookies baking takes me back to my Mom’s kitchen, the smell of sausage and sage stuffing sends me to my Nana’s kitchen…you get the idea!
The idea of “comfort food” is a common theme when families gather. Traditional meals frequently include dishes that you only enjoy a time or two a year. Whether they be a seasonal dish or simply a fussy one that you can’t justify taking the time to make frequently, a holiday family gathering is a worthy cause for celebration and thus, the culinary effort!
For many of us, a family dinner isn’t complete without a bowl of pasta at the table, while others would feel deprived if there wasn’t a favorite dessert to finish the meal. Perhaps it’s pickled herring that takes you back to your childhood Christmases or toasting the New Year with a favorite wine that is the tradition in your family. Whatever the favorite may be, the memories revolve not so much around the food itself, but in the love that surrounds the table when it is served.
My wish for you, dear readers, is that this holiday season you may find yourself surrounded not only by the bountiful feasts of the season, but by the love that envelopes us as we come together. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!
Mom’s Polish Cut-Out Cookies
- 1# lard
- 1 T butter
- 1 ½ C Sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 t anise oil (not extract)
- 8 C flour
- 8 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1 ½ C milk
Cream lard, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add anise oil and eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to sugar mixture.
Roll dough on a floured surface to ¼” thickness. Cut into favorite shapes. Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake, as cookies will remain white.
Frost as desired and enjoy!
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.