We all need a little Christmas in July, right?
It is very obvious that I've lost the blogging buzz, as I'm not posting very much anymore, except for my Friday Friend Cookbook countdown. There is no reason in particular--I can't tell you why, because I do love the blogging world so much--it's a great community--I'm just not contributing so much to that community right now. I'm in a slump.
(only a blogging slump, not a life slump)
(only a blogging slump, not a life slump)
But anyway--my slump being what it is, I've been looking in my drafts and guess what I found? Photos from my Cooking Club's December get-together!
So that is why you are getting a little Christmas in July!
Christmas time is always so hectic, but we, the Cooking club friends, do love to get together and visit with each other.
We enjoy each other's company and just hanging out cooking and talking about our themed food. But because December is very busy and hectic, we wanted to make it simple-- so we decided to make a Christmas cookie or treat that reflected our heritage.
Then we'd just have some hot buttered rum, maybe a Christmas cocktail, whatever and just laugh and talk.
We wanted to make it simple.
Well, let me tell you--when one starts to look into their 'heritage' for recipes--you open a whole can of worms!
First, Debbie E looked into her Swedish traditions and discovered the 7 cookie custom, so she went all out and made
Swedish cookies at that!
Seven has lots of meanings:
According to mythology, the city of Rome as built by 7 kings.
According to Islam, Allah created 7 heavens on top of each other.
According to the Bible, God created the world in 7 days, 7 years of plenty, 7 years of famine in Genesis, 7 days of the feast of Passover, Jesus is known to have had 7 last words on the cross, and finally,
7 is the number of the wonders of the ancient world.
It's a cool tradition!
She made little flags so that we would know what cookie we were eating.
We had to try them all of course.
We had to try all the cookies everyone brought!
Sally made some Czech Jam cookies (there is a strong Czechoslovakian ancestry in her background) which were so, SO good.
They were still warm.
And then she brought a print out of Czechoslovakian Christmas dinner traditions.
These we laughed about all night:
-No one should sit with their back to the door!
-the first person to leave the table after dinner will be the first one to die in the coming year -that is why you should all get up from the table at the same time.
-no alcohol should be served on Christmas eve (damn it!)
-a pregnant woman will know whether she is carrying a boy or a girl once the first Christmas eve visitor enters the house. If the visitor is a male, she will have a son, etc.
-the table should be set for an even number of guests. An odd number brings bad luck.
There were more, but these wove themselves into the conversation all evening.
It would be hard to remember all those superstitions!
Gina made some Italian Butter Cookies and some Russian Tea-Cakes.
I love Russian Tea-Cakes*! (that's what we called them when I learned how to make them in 7th grade home-ec), also called Mexican wedding cakes and in my house, chocolate chip snowball cookies (I put mini-chocolate chips in mine).
Gina didn't bat an eye, or have to go searching for her heritage recipes. She's been Italian her whole life!
*the Russian Teacakes are the one cookie that is made the world over. It's a shortbread cookie rolled in powdered sugar. This was probably an Italian Tea-Cake, because I don't remember Gina saying she was Russian. Or Mexican.
Now, Shelly had some trouble. She kept saying that she didn't know what she was and she didn't know what to make. Then it dawned on me-- Shelly is CANAIDIAN! You are Canadian! I said, Go make those Nano Nano Bars you make!
She really does have family in Canada, so...? It's okay, right?
And she does make the Nanaimo bars at the holidays and everyone loves them. They make them in Canada. (and upper Minnesota)
So they were perfect!! And rich and decadent.
Me? Well, I made a batch of Italian Christmas cookies with sprinkles. In honor of the Handyman, of course. His mother is 1/2 Italian, which makes him 1/4 Italian. He likes the cookies his mommy made.
Then I made some mincemeat cookies in honor of my heritage.
Mincemeat is very "British" isn't it? And my mother loved a mincemeat pie. Like real mincemeat. With venison.
You know, those old Brits would shoot a stag on the country estate and chop it up and make a pie!
So did my mom and grandma.
I don't go for that---my mincemeat comes from a jar, purchased in the store and it only has fruit in it.
These cookies are good and moist.
Everyone liked them.
I like to see us laughing......
We really needed coffee or milk at this point. Something to cut the sweet with. It was pretty sugary that night!
Just waiting for the pictures to be over so they can have some cookies!
We were all on a sugar high for a while -- then we got sleepy. We are such party people!
I'm not sure why the Handyman has his hand raised?
Baily has spotted a friend!
I hope Lorin gave her a crumb or two.
Cooking Club #10 was the best one yet!
And these cooking club meals were all good too... Just click on the link to see.
Cooking Club #1 Meals your mom used to make
Cooking Club #2 Cajun Cooking
Cooking Club #3 -Let's all go to Hawaii
Cooking Club #5 Famous Chefs
Cooking Club #6 Meatball madness--or something round
Cooking Club #7 Breakfast for dinner
Cooking Club #8 Slow cooking
Cooking Club #9 Mexican Street Food
Cooking Club #10 Your Christmas Cookie Heritage
Coming soon-- Recipes from the back of a box
See you next time.