Every year I end up stressing about Christmas presents, but not the way you might think. I don't stress about Mother and Michael. They are not that tough to buy for.
As I've mentioned, I spend some teeth-gnashing moments trying to figure out what to get my brother. But that's not even what I stress about the most.
I stress about what to give the neighbors, and people I work with.
Should I make cookies? Brownies? Banana bread? Pumpkin bread?
The first year I lived here, I spent a lot of time baking about 4 different kinds of cookies and made huge, elaborate gift baskets for the people I worked with.That was 1993. I had a fairly large kitchen, despite the fact I lived in an apartment, and I had time to kill. Not so any more.
Last year I made up homemade herb dip for some folks, figuring people get tired of so many desserts around the holidays. That was well received. I also made us an Apricot Brandy pound cake. That's only for family because it's a pain in the butt to make.
So this year I am pondering the choices. I am powerfully tempted to make Snickerdoodles - a fairly simple little cookie, but so so yummy.I doubt any friends or colleagues would get ANY, though, after I plowed through them...
I am also thinking about how much my dad loved Rocks. These are spicy cookies made with nuts and raisins, and I've made literally thousands of rocks. They will keep for a long time in a tupperware container, so they are great for popping out when unexpected guests drop by.
Recipe of Cephia Henderson Adkins, Courtesy of Diddy Thompson
1 t. soda 1 t. cinnamon
2 egg yolks 1 t. cloves
3/4 c. butter 1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour 1 t. to 1 T. water
1 1/2 c. sugar 1 box raisins
1 c. chopped nuts (preferably pecans)
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, well beaten. Sift flour, spices, and soda together, and blend well with butter and sugar. Add water, nuts, and raisins. Mix well. Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. I use part butter and part margarine, and rarely add water unless the dough is too stiff after testing a few in the oven first.
My aunt Ceph never wanted to share the recipe, but my aunt Diddy found the recipe written down on a scrap of paper years ago.
Speaking of nostalgia...
If I ever want to go right back to my childhood, in a happy way, I just listen to this song. I was in the car with michael the other day and it came on, and he got just as big a kick out of it as I always did: