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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Best Christmas Memories!

"Christmas Memories"
As many of you know I am not one for cooking.
When I met Dan about 40 years ago and we were to spend our first Christmas with his family I wanted to show his extremely domesticated mom that her son would be well taken care of so I was going to bake some cookies for a gift. Now, I can barely boil the proverbial pot of water so following a recipe is pushing the envelope! I had no problem with college chemistry but what the heck is a teaspoon and a tablespoon or for that matter cups!!!! You think I'm kidding, this girl flunked high school Home Ec! Now back in the day the only option for cookies without baking for us novices was the slice and bake variety or hitting up some bakery. I wanted them to be from me and special and "By the Gods" they were that "special"!

I decided that I would attempt to bake "Russian Teacake Cookies" which seem to be pretty common during the holidays. The first accident happened while trying to cut a cold chunk of butter and slicing my finger....I put a band aid on it and continued on my mission. The dough was so tough and dry that I broke my mixer trying to mix the darn stuff so I finished up by mixing them by hand....Okay this might work, I think to myself! After burning the first couple of sheets I started to get the hang of this baking thing and the cookies were looking pretty good. Heck they even tasted alright, major perk for this "NON" kitchen diva! I put the prettiest cookies in a festive Christmas canister and off we went to meet the in-laws. After dinner my pride and joy cookies were displayed for all to see and admire. I remember my father in law taking his first bite and smiling with a look of pure delight...THEN IT HAPPENED!!! My world began to spin and I wanted to duck and cover from what was going to haunt me for the rest of my life! My father in law reached into his mouth and brought out a small piece of plastic that had once been that DAMN band aid I had put on my finger! He stared at the band aid then at me and smiled...Yes everyone he smiled! He looked serious and made a Hmmm sound and said, "So Pam, is this what you use to hold the cookies together, interesting!" He then leaned over and hugged me! Soooo this was the beginning of the "Band Aid Cookies" as they became to be known! I still try to bake but no longer wear band aids or any type of jewelry cause you just never know! My father in law was my hero and so dear to me through many adverse circumstances. He taught me to accept and understand, and he admired my ability to stand up for myself. He left us in 1989 and there has been a huge void in our lives ever since. "Hey Ken do they have Band Aid Cookies in Heaven? If they do they won't have as much love as mine do!" Merry Christmas All?

Here is my recipe for "Russian Tea Cakes" or fondly known as: "Band-Aid Cookies"

A ball-shaped cookie with chopped walnuts, rolled in powdered sugar.

Makes about 48

1 cup softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
additional powdered sugar

In a large bowl combine first 6 ingredients on low speed of mixer about 1 minute. Blend well. Gradually add flour at low speed until just combined; stir in nuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls; place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes until firm to the touch but not brown. Do not overbake. While warm, roll in additional powdered sugar. Cool; re-roll in powdered sugar before serving.


suz said...

what a great story - I was fortunate to have great in-laws. Long after their son and I divorced, we remained friends until they left us. The recipe looks great and I love the "advice" above!

Kays Kids said...

Ha ha... I laughed at this story. You had a very special Father In Law.
It is funny how the stories come out every Christmas, about the bad things that happened. They are what makes the fun memories.