Since I am ahem-years-old, you might expect me to say, "I can't believe it's already December." This year has passed slowly in some regards, but at the speed of light in others! I must inform you that it really doesn't have much to do with my age! In the car this afternoon after school, Ben said, "Wow, is it really December 1st already?" And Aly said, "When I was writing the date on my papers today, I had a hard time realizing that it is already December!" See? It's n.o.t. just my age.
We have party invitations, school choir programs, family coming in (CAN'T WAIT!), and the general buzz that surrounds the Christmas season. I LOVE the buzz personally: the Christmas carols in every store, the Christmas carols on the radio, the Christmas carols in my home, the Christmas carols … but I have to say, "Please let me (fully) enjoy one holiday before you expect me to pounce on another one!" As soon as Halloween was over, I started hearing Christmas carols on the radio. I instinctively changed the station. And, it's not because I don't like Christmas carols, or that I don't like music. If you have any inkling of knowing me at all, you would know that is not true! Christmas is my favorite time of year AND I was a music minor in college! But the Thanksgiving holiday seems to be fast-becoming a Hiccup in the Trio of End-of-Year-Holidays. I suggest we make it more of a Speed-Bump … allow it to slow us down, allow it to cause us to think about the meaningfulness of our blessings, and allow it to return us to sanity so that we are better prepared for the Christmas Buzz!
I'm climbing off of my soapbox now …. And moving happily on to the Christmas Holiday with Christmas carols playing in the background!
There are three things I plan to do each day this month (except for the 3rd one and I'll only do that the first TWELVE days):
- I'll be taking a photo each day (I usually take many more than this so it's not too much of a challenge, but I'll be posting them at www.jessicasprague.com and participating in what I affectionately refer to as PhAD –Photo-A-Day—along with many of my closest friends there.)
- I'll be creating a December Daily Album using those photos (and others, too!)
- And, this one is a bit of a departure … drum roll …. I plan to post a cookie recipe each of the first twelve days of Christmas!
Today's cookie is the Swedish Wedding Cookie. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law years ago. Regina is known world-wide for her cooking –not that she is a famous chef or anything, but that she COULD be a famous chef. She doesn't WANT to be. Her biological father was a chef, but he was killed in the war in Russia when she was little. Her uncle has a bakery in Germany –still in the family—but she is happy baking 12-20 varieties of Christmas Cookies every year, hosting 65-70 people for dinner several times a year, experimenting with all kinds of new recipes, making Cream Puffs just because she wants to (she sends them to work with Bob! They love him there!!) … she cooks for therapy. It's cheaper than a shrink, and she would probably say that the shrink don't know nothin' anyway.
I only found out as I was preparing these cookies last night that it was my husband's favorite cookie that his mom made every year. I had no idea and I certainly haven't made them often—at least not often enough to know THAT! He said he got tired of them after about fifteen years and switched his favorite to the Terrassen –that sounds like an attempt at his dry humor, but it's really the truth. (I have to admit that I'm wrestling with posting the Terrassen recipe! It's an Old-World German one with no exact amounts … … … the story is probably better than my trying to communicate the recipe! We'll see.)
On to the cookies for TODAY … these are really kind of healthy! (wink) What?! With the dates and nuts?! Sure, they are healthy.
Swedish Wedding Cookies
- ¼ c. margarine (I always use butter!! Margarine is fake and I don't do fake anything, except highlights in my hair and that's only because I live in the NW where my hair no longer has its natural blond tendencies—because.there.is.no.SUN. for long enough at a time! And I'm happy as a blond.)
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- Dash salt
- 1 c. cut-up dates (I used fresh Medjool dates.)
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 c. Rice Krispies (or any puffed rice cereal will do)
- ¾ c. coconut (I use sweetened, but if you want to use unsweetened, just be happy and do what you want!)
- ½ c. walnuts
Combine Rice Krispies, coconut, and walnuts in a bowl and set aside.
Combine butter, sugar, egg, salt, and dates in a saucepan. Cook 7-10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Pour mixture over Rice Krispies, coconut, and nuts. Blend well and allow to cool slightly.
Make small teaspoon size balls and roll in coconut.
And that concludes the first installment of the Twelve Cookies of Christmas!
If you are the praying kind, I would really appreciate your prayers for my sweet Daddy. (Yes, I'm ahem-years-old and he's still my Dad-dy! Always has been … always will be.) He started his December by having surgery today. He is currently (hopefully) sleeping in a morphine-induced happiness as he was in bad shape in the area that the surgeon corrected and he is in great pain. The next few days will be very difficult for him as he recovers –he is also diabetic and that is always another factor that causes concern for this Daddy's.Little.Girl. I wish I could be there, but have to remain content with the fact that I do have a brother that lives down the road from them and another couple of brothers that are only about two hours away. Mom is doing very well with the situation –but then again, it's only the first day. She is spending the night at the hospital and is supposed to go back to her part-time job on Wednesday. She'll need grace and allowance to do that as well as to keep up with his recovery through the next few weeks. They are only in their early 60s and are strong … we just all need a little support once in a while.
23 days till my brother and his family come!