Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cookies & Wreaths

Picture: Kim with her wreath.

I was looking at all the cookie magazines at the grocery store the other day. So many cookies, so little time!

My daughter, Karla, hosts a wreath making party at her home every Christmas season. She invites friends and family to come over and we all bring a wreath wire, or straw wreath or whatever we want to decorate and hang on the house for the season.

Wreaths did have meaning before the buy, Santa, buy, Frosty, buy, presents, crowded elevators & the poor ol' run over Gramma frenzy took over. (Personally, I enjoy all of that too.) It's so good to slow down and remember or learn anew the thoughtfulness that spurred the Christmas events and traditions that sadly have become many of the mindless actions I do during this holy season. I know many holidays have fingers in pagan practices, but to me, Christmas is holy and each tradition I am trying to attribute to them the truths of God's love.

This wreath making tradition can be used to pass the story of eternity on. The circle shape represents eternity. A very real upcoming event! I look forward to eternity. No more sickness, no pain, no heartaches. I believe it. I can't be swayed to think otherwise. If that belief is taken away, what is there? Nothing. That is an important truth to pass on to our children and grandchildren.

Here is a site that gives a good description of why we have the wreath.

"Some believed that hanging a wreath was a sign of victory, be it political, personal or religious."

Traditional Christmas wreaths are a symbol of faith. Since Christmas wreaths are a circle with no beginning or end, they symbolize God's eternity and mercy during the Christmas season. When Christmas wreaths are decorated with evergreen leaves and branches they symbolize everlasting life and God's everlasting love. Their green color is a representation of hope and new life.
(As read at the above link about Christmas wreaths and the story, meaning behind them.)

While reading magazine front pages, I saw a cranberry/white chocolate chip cookie that looks soooo good. So I did a search and found an Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe. Makes my mouth drool typing it out! They should be yummy. I plan to make them for the cookie exchange that is part of Karla's wreath making party.

Here is the recipe:

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies (drool)

2/3 cup butter/margarine, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6 oz. pkg. Craisins or dried sweetened cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F Mix butter & sugar until fluffy, stir in the eggs. Mix the dry ingredients well and mix into the butter mixture a little at a time, making sure to mix well each time. Stir in the cranberries and the chocolate. Drop by rounded teaspoons on to ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

I also found a recipe for an Amish Ginger Cookie I hope to make these for thanksgiving. My daughter Kim's husband, Tony does not care for pies like we love, but he loves gingerbread cookies.

Amish Ginger Cookies (Makes 48)

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Extra granulated sugar

While reading recipes, this site included a Comments section. Here is a cute little comment I read there. The successful baker said something like:

"I loved these cookies, but I didn't have extra granulated sugar, but regular granulated sugar works great too."
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Beat butter & 1 cup of sugar until creamy. Add egg & molasses, beat until combined. (This would be a good one for easing those frustrations, beat it and beat it again!) Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Make 1 inch round balls, roll in the "extra granulated sugar", place balls on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until barely turning brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to cool on cookie rack.

I sure love molasses cookies myself!

When I was a little girl, we had a Missionary named Violet Able living in Old Harbor. She would have children's Bible classes, and game nights. At the end, many times she passed out a big, huge molasses cookie to each child. They were so good! I don't think I have ever had a molasses cookie so good ever since those days.

Sometimes, she would let the big kids into her home during the week to help with Sunday School lesson cut-outs and after they finished the work, she gave them a molasses cookie!

One day, I knocked on her door and asked if she needed help, (I was almost a big kid, I thought). As I stood tall as I could she looked me up and down and then said, "Okay, you come in and we will see what we can find for you to help me with."

She found several sheets of Old Testament Bible story characters to cut out. I had quiet fun studying the pictures before I carefully cut each one of them out. When I finished and as she took the last of the cut-outs she said, "Let's see what we can find for a treat to pay you for your work."

She went to her kitchen, looked through the cupboards and brought a carton over. Hmmm, no cookies. Okay I thought to myself, what could they be? She opened the box, put her hand in and then set before me --------TOO MANY vegetable crackers!!!!!

Have fun baking and wreathing everyone and pass on The Story, the real one of Christmas!

"O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" I Corinthians 15:55

1 comment:

Kerri said...

Vegetable crackers! *giggle*