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Monthly Archives: December 2020

Christmas Past

Christmas present.

I am feeling a bit nostalgic these days. Missing my parents and in-laws. We always spent Christmas with one or the other.

This is our third year without my mom, who lived the longest and who was the driving force behind the celebration of Christmas. She never tired of the holiday. She always bought presents for us, even when she was slowing down in her late eighties.

I kept some of her decorations when we were clearing out the apartment and deciding what we wanted from her collection of many handmade items.

I make her sugar cookies every year. It isn’t Christmas without her cookies.

Those crispy thin cookies are all I need to resurrect Christmas past in our house.

Today I made a small feast. Mixed grill. Potatoes with peppers and onions. Cheese. Bread, Really lovely old wine. We sat for a long time at the table, reminiscing.

Time to head into the family room to see if the Saints can hang on and win.

Happy holidays to my friends and relatives. Hoping 2021 is far better than these last two years have been.


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Do you sometimes crave those simple desserts from your childhood? Like real gingerbread. Not the cookies, but the cakey moist flavorful version, made from scratch.

For me, a few minutes spent sifting through my old recipe cards yielded this oldy but goody.

From the McCalls Recipe Box, which was my husband’s. I had the Betty Crocker box. I was cleaning out some stuff in the bookcase back in the bonus room over our garage I was trying to decide whether it was time to let go of the recipe cards. But they were how I learned, and so did my husband, to cook.

I was looking for comfort food, and gingerbread certainly fits the bill. I made a few adjustments. I went a little heavy on the spices. I used Grandma’s molasses, which I believe is dark molasses. I used the last of the self rising flour from one of my curbside pickups, where it was a substitute when flour was scarce. That meant no baking soda. I used a 10 by 15 pan so my gingerbread wasn’t the same height as the recipe showed.

Still, it is a wonderful trip back to the days of homemade goodies baked by my mom.

I really enjoyed doing this. I will have to dig through the cards and find something else to evoke those memories. Baking from scratch. Nothing from a box even comes close.