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The holidays hold special memories for each of us--whether poignant or laugh til you cry funny, each is a treasured gem. I encourage you to write down your memories, just like your recipes, and pass them on to your friends and family. Here is a grand memory from reader Sherry,who shares this light-hearted view of the holidays;
Sherry writes; Our Thanksgiving traditions include the usual and the not so usual.
Mom and Aunt used to set the table with Gram's good china while Gram scowled and winced with each piece. You see they didn't just set the table like ordinary folks (but then we were never ordinary ;-). One would stand on one side of the dining room and the other would stand on the other side and they would throw Gram's precious china hurtling through the air for the other to catch and put in it's place on the table.
(*editor insert- is anyone seeing a Ringling Brothers theme, here?)
With each throw you would hear a big Hiyah! Everyone got a kick out of this even Gram, though she would never admit it. In 20+ years, not one china piece was broke.
Friends who were with us for the first time during the holiday get togethers, learned fast how to ask for things. Don't ever say "pass" the butter unless you are prepared to catch flying stick of butter, no dish, just the butter. The proper way to ask was Please hand me the dish of butter. It didn't matter whether it was butter, mashed potatoes, what have you - you had better ask the proper way or be ready for a true "pass".
Of course there were the fights over who gets the heart, liver and tail of dear ole' Tom. And many many fights for the wishbone and don't think it was just the kids either.
Throughout the day there would be much catching up, many hugs and happy tears shared. After dinner we would take walks through the woods to enjoy the beauty of nature and sometimes catch sight of deer, fox or other critters. Then it was back to the house for coffee, cocoa and pie. Afterwards we would play games, cards, boggle, etc.
Some of our favorite recipes are Gram's Cracklin's, Gram's Lemon Sponge Pie, Mom's pumpkin pie and my "Poop" cookies. They are actually Pumpkin cookies but one year my nephew called them poop cookies and it has stuck ever since. To this day nephew all grown up still asks for a big order of Poop cookies all his own.
My pumpkin cookies are such a hit with everyone that I make probably near to 50 dozen and there's still never enough. Recipe included below. Aaaahhh, time with family and friends, good food, lottsa love , great memories..... Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.
(*Editors note: Thank you, Sherry! I will think of you and your story as I set my holiday table this year! LOL It so fits in the "zoo" theme of our house during the holidays;))
3/4 c shortening
3/4 c sugar
2c sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Cream shortening and sugar, beat in eggs. Add vanilla and pumpkin. Blend in dry ingredients. Drop by spoonful or cookie dough scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 12-13 minutes. These are cake-like cookies and are scrumptious warm or room temperature.
Sherry Notes: I have tried both the canned and fresh pumpkin, most preferred the canned but some liked both. I have also found that cooking on parchment paper changed the taste of the cookies and they didn't go over as well.