Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Baking

One of the wonderful memories from my childhood revolve around all the treats that were available at Christmas. My mother was a heck of a baker and used to make tons of cookies and cakes for the holidays. To this day, I've never tasted cookies as good as hers.

Off the top of my head, I can remember chocolate chips, brownies, naniamo bars, date crumbles, short bread, snowballs, fudge, peanut butter/marshmallow cookies, cream cheese and cherry cookies, light fruitcake, dark fruitcake, cherry cake, pineapple cake, date bread, and I'm sure there was more. There were always a few different kinds of freezer squares as well.

Mom always had plenty of baked goods to put out for guests. And we had a ton of folks come by our house when I was a kid.

I'm older now. The family home is long gone, many friends and family have passed on or are living scattered around the world. It's the way of things, I suppose. But nothing will ever match those wonderful childhood memories of home.

Mom doesn't bake like she used to. She's older, it's expensive and there are just not as many folks eating sweets nowadays. Thankfully, she still sends fruitcake every year. Yes, we love fruitcake in our family. Mom's is out-of-this-world good.

I bake a few favories--cherry cake, fudge and short bread cookies. Folks don't drop in around the holidays much anymore. Used to be everyone spent at least one day "visiting" over the holidays back in the seventies. I miss those times. They were simpler and I lived in a small community were folks knew their neighbors. It's harder in the city to make those kinds of connections.

Still, I love the holiday season and will bake and share with those friends and family who live nearby and drop in for a visit.

What will you be baking this holiday?


Kara said...

Wow...did you bring back good memories. I agree, people are just too busy to do the visiting at Christmas that they used to do.

I have a tradition of either going to my friend's house of her coming over to mine and we spend the day baking cookies for our families. We play Christmas music and the kids come in and out of the kitchen helping when they feel the urge to.

Great post!!!

N.J.Walters said...

I'm glad it brought back good memories, Kara.

That's a great tradition. It's fun, you get to spend time with your friend, and you get cookies. It doesn't get any better than that.

Charlene said...

I'll be baking! And here in the midwest, things are a bit more neighborly. : ) Maybe economic pressure will bring back some traditions.

Mary G said...

I'm Italian descent and although my hubby isn't, he makes the most amazing biscotti in 4 flavors: cranberry-pistachio, anisette, orange & chocolate hazelnut. It makes the house smell amazing.
BTW - while I'm waiting for the rest of your Jamesville series to come out in print, I just ordered Erin's Fancy. I'll be reading it till its time to clean up after Martha Stewart LOL.

Shelley Munro said...

Hubby enjoys cooking and baking as much as I do. We've been making shortbread, pavlovas and rocky road. There's no doubt about it - we'll need to cut back after Christmas!

N.J.Walters said...

I think more folks are baking this year, Charli. It's cheaper to make stuff than to buy it and baked goods make good presents.

N.J.Walters said...

That's fabulous that your husband is so handy in the kitchen, Mary. Sounds absolutely yummy.

Jamesville Affairs (which contains A Legal Affair and Past Promises) will be out in print in February. :-)

I hope you're enjoying Erin's Fancy!

N.J.Walters said...

I think it's wonderful when a couple likes to work together in the kitchen. I'm refusing to think about calories until January. *g*

Anny Cook said...

Yep, I remember those days. My family is very far flung now. Those I used to send the treats to can no longer eat sweets. Sigh. This year I baked cookies with my granddaughters. And of course, there will be fresh bread on Christmas Day.

Kat said...

My mom and I are baking for the holidays. Pumpkin pie, peach cobbler, strawberry shortcake and various types of christmas cookies including my favorite of oatmeal cookies.

N.J.Walters said...

Nobody seems to bake as much as they used to, Anny. Although, I did make snowballs and shortbread cookies yesterday. I'll be giving away about half of them to family. :-)

N.J.Walters said...

That sounds yummy, Kat. I love oatmeal cookies.