What do I always say, my Sweet Little Baby Angels? Yes, yes, I know I always say, “To hell with anything unrefined,” and I know I always say, “There is one unbreakable rule in writing: Do whatever works.” But this is something else I always say. What is it?
Now, let’s not always see the same hands.
That’s right. “Everything is about writing.”
So I was talking to the effervescent Beth Johnson, who has been my friend even longer than Jane, and she said her kids are coming to visit, and they want to bake Christmas cookies. She says she told them, “You know you don’t have to spend half your visit baking.” And they said, “But it’s tradition!”
I asked her if she still made caramels. She and her sister used to make caramels and give them away. If that isn’t Christmas generosity, I don’t know what is. Mom adored those caramels. Beth said, “I was thinking about those. I think I still have the recipe.” All these years, not a Christmas goes by that Mom or I won’t say, “Remember those caramels Beth and her sister used to make?”, but she hasn’t been making them. Funny, that.
This year, I made fruitcake, which I usually do. My family (most of us) love fruitcake. I always make Springerle, because Charlie loves those. I’ve come to love them, too, even though they have anise on their bottoms. Whenever I make them, I think of the first time we had them. #1 Daughter decided to make them, because her Dad was always talking about them. I remember her climbing into the attic, holding the trays, because they have to “cure” for at least 12 hours before you bake them. She also made and painted marzipan fruit that year. An amazing girl.
I did not make bourbon balls this year. I used to make them. Mom and I could go through them like … well, like bourbon ball fanciers through bourbon balls. Now that Mom can’t eat, making bourbon balls would put me into an endless spiral of eating my weight in bourbon balls, gaining fifty pounds, then having to eat more bourbon balls in order to eat my weight in them. We got our bourbon ball recipe from the lady next door from where we lived in Louisville. She only had one arm, but she could made complicated dishes and candies, sew, and do anything she wanted to do.
So you see why Christmas baking is writing? Just look at all those stories attached to the cookery!
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write five stories attached to your Christmas (or winter holiday) cooking. Or lack of cooking.