My grandmother used to make cookies at Christmas. I have her old recipe box and it is green metal. It always surprises me to see the things that she did then — in her own marriage. You can tell by the recipes. She used to make something that my mother loved called a chocolate roll. It’s a little like a Buche de Noel (excuse the punctuation) except hers was an American version.
I have that recipe box in front of me right now. It’s like an object from a bygone age in a way.
You need a cookie press for these. She used the ribbon disc, and then she sprinkled them with red and green sugar — or dragees, or sometimes multi-colored nonpareils.
1/2 pound butter
I cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups sifted flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Pack into the press and form the ribbons on a cookie sheet leaving about half an inch in between them (they expand) — bake at 375 degrees for ten minutes and do not overbake — edges should be pale gold.
As I look at that recipe box I see myself in childhood — my handwriting! And my mother — although she never had a recipe box — but her childhood is in here too. Her handwriting.
I wonder what it would be like to fix the things I see in here. All I remember are the cookies, and Christmas.
Try them? If you feel like baking.
That book I wrote is really good and so one little rejection means nothing to me. Nope.
One thing my grandmother was always reading was “Gift from the Sea.”
It was a book that meant a lot to her. Timeless.