We, like many families … and families of many faiths keep the tradition of making Christmas cookies. It would be impossible not to begin with our Nana’s shortbread cookies. They actually got better as the months pass kept in a treasured cookie tin. Gingersnap cookies are another favorite. Once I got married I learned of a number of cookies from the Polish batches of baking due to my mother-in-law’s recipes. Daughter Janet faithfully recreates her Polish recipes each season. I’m not sure where Janet got the recipe for her incredibly crumbly, nutty, powdered wonders named, ‘Mexican Wedding Cakes’. I require these every year even though the word Christmas is not mentioned. Jelly filled cookies are also high on my list. I not only like the traditional jellies such as blackberry and raspberry but I love a dozen with a spicy jelly such as my mother’s red pepper jelly which is laced with jalapeños. Zing! Santa’s suit is red after all! Modern Christmas cookies can trace their history to recipes from Medieval European biscuits, when many modern ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, almond and dried fruit were introduced into the west.
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show!