Aromas remind that holidays have arrived

How many of you can almost smell the aromas of Christmas that are so tied to memories, family traditions and magical times.

Those memories can make you smile, some will cause tears and others will make you, well, hungry.

And, as we all know, new traditions and memories are constantly being blended with the old.

It’s all a part of the season.

Whenever I smell something that smells like my grandma’s (and mom’s) Bohemian Christmas kolaches or mom’s refrigerator date pinwheel cookies, I think of the year we hung grandma’s nylon stocking along with our Christmas stockings. Mom and me and my siblings were then living with Grandma, while Dad was in the Navy.

That was the Christmas I absolutely, positively heard Santa’s sleigh bells outside my bedroom window! I’m serious. The next morning, Grandma’s stocking was filled with a giant orange, a special tea and a new cup and saucer.

And there were gifts and a letter from Dad telling us how he loved and missed us.

Breakfast was hot chocolate, cookies, kolaches and Grandma’s orange. It was a magical, albeit a somewhat sad time.

My husband, Fred, and I have blended our families traditions and made new ones with our children.

I can still remember Fred, sprawled on the couch by the Christmas tree, waiting for our daughters to go to sleep so he could “help” Santa put toys together (without instructions, of course).

While he waited, he’d munch and munch until Tums time on homemade caramel corn made from an old recipe we got from a new friend.

Ask our daughters about a family food tradition and they’ll tell you making and decorating Christmas cookies for family, friends and neighbors.

May you enjoy memories of Christmases past, present and those coming in the future. Merry Christmas!

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER

According the Burmeister Clan. It’s also my tradition to print this recipe every so many years.

6 tablespoons butter/margarine

6 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk beaten

1 cup of flour

Cream sugar and butter together thoroughly. Add egg yolk and vanilla, beat well. Add flour. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8–1/4 inch thickness.

Cut out shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) for 10–15 minutes. Watch carefully they can burn easily.

We paint before baking with egg yolk paint (beaten egg yolk mixed with 1/4 teaspoon water, divided into cups. Add food coloring for colors you want). Paint cookies with small brushes, bake. Make colors dark to bake like stained glass.

Truly Delicious Caramel Corn

8 cups popped corn (we air pop)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup hot water

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tablespoons molasses

Cook sugar, corn syrup and hot water rapidly in a heavy 2 quart saucepan to 260 degrees on candy thermometer. Then reduce heat to medium, add butter, salt and molasses.

Continue cooking until golden brown, 260–270 degrees. Stir occasionally across bottom of pan to prevent scorching. When done, pour syrup at once over popped corn in a large bowl; mix quickly with two forks to distribute syrup. Spread corn on foil-covered table top. When cool enough to handle, break apart. I know there are quick and tasty recipes out there but we think this is the best.

The Gingerbread Contest at the Dec. 11 Palisade Olde Fashioned Christmas was amazing!

A couple visiting the showcase said that years ago they made a gingerbread sleigh with reindeer. The next morning. there was their beautiful sleigh with legless reindeer and one happy cat. And that was the end of their gingerbread making.

Many winning entries are on display at the Wine Country Inn this week.


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