I’ve been baking up a storm this past week, using my Thanksgiving vacation to create a series of tasty treats. While the baking is fun in its own right, what I truly about it is the connection with others.
Take these filled cookies. They’re from a recipe from my great-grandmother, Daisy Bickford. I only know about them because many years ago, someone decided we should compile family recipes, and this is one that came from my paternal grandmother.
She didn’t only send the recipe, though – she also sent a story.
I never met Daisy, but apparently she was a pretty independent lady. During the Depression, she wanted some money of her own, but between all the chores on a farm and caring for a family of five, she couldn’t go out to earn anything.
But fate smiled on her. At the time, people had bread delivered instead of going out for it, and one day, the bread man arrived shortly after she made some of her filled cookies. Always hospitable, she offered him some, and he loved them. He was so enthusiastic that he said he thought he’d be able to sell them on his route.
Daisy gave it a try, and soon enough she was in business, with packages of cookies prepared each delivery day. She had found some independence.
This story always make me wish I could have met her, but at the least, I’m able to make these cookies and share them with others, keeping that piece of her alive and well.
I’ve found connections in other holiday baking, too. The whoopie pies I wrote about before are from a recipe I got from my aunt (same side of the family as Daisy, and my father who was a professional baker for a while – there’s definitely a pattern), and when I found out how hectic things would be for my brother and his family on Thanksgiving, I offered to make them a pie. It was my first chocolate cream pie.
I’ve also discovered another favorite for cookies, which is a family recipe, just not from my family. It comes from a compilation of cookie recipes my church put together some time ago, and these ginger crinkles are made using a member’s recipe from her grandmother. Plus, I got together with a friend to roll them in sugar and bake them, so it was a good time all around.
As if all of these connections weren’t enough, I look forward to the future connections when I can pass these on to family and friends and share them at my church’s holiday fair. For me, that’s as much of the delight as the memories and the taste of the goodies I save for myself. May you also find such sweetness and joy in connections in any of your holiday baking.