Star Staff Reports
One of the best things about Christmas is cookies. One of my favorite memories, that has expanded beyond imagination, is my Mom’s cookies.
My Mom has been baking cookies for Christmas since before 1961, when she married my Dad. It started as making plates of cookies for her office at the National Cotton Council and has expanded over the past 50 years.
My Dad was in the Navy and no matter where we were stationed, she made the plates of cookies for wherever he worked. There were decorated sugar cookies, almond crescents, thumbprints, coconut macaroons, and bourbon balls. The platters would look like something from a professional bakery. I always looked forward to helping to decorate the sugar cookies after school.
Today, she is in her seventies, and with the help of her best friend Vicki, she makes over 150 dozen cookies of various types. They not only ship them to family, but make deliveries around Millington to the post office, MLG&W, fire department, hair stylist, neighbors, friends from bingo, the sanitary pick up crews, churches, nuns, and on and on. Some people get boxes of lovingly prepared cookies, some get beautiful platters.
The types of cookies have expanded, always trying a few batches of a new cookie to add to her standby favorites. Each batch is made with the love and care of the first few batches of sugar cookies from the early sixties. Each sugar cookie is had decorated, and no two are ever alike. The hours of adding noses, smiles, patterns, and just ensuring each cookie gets the Christmas touch only a loving mother can give.
The spread at the “packing “ operation is a sight to behold. All of the happiest ginger bread men, sugar cookies in the shapes of: reindeer, wreaths, rocking horses, angels, the Santa Clause, holly, stars, and snowmen. All decorated in hand made frosting and glitter trim. Just like the cover of Southern Living or the picture from the original recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookie book from 1960. Add in the colorful thumbprints (nut cookie with green or red cherries or pecan half in the center), almond crescents (from my grandmothers’ recipe on my Dad’s side), coconut macaroons, peanut butter cookies, homemade peanut brittle, bourbon balls (actually made with Whisky), fruit nut cookies (like little fruitcakes), and devil bars (rich combination of white and dark chocolate chips, butter scotch chips, toffee bits, on a ginger snap crust). Each box is lovingly packed for its recipient favorite cookie with a few new ones added. Each year after all the cookies are made, packed, shipped, and hand delivered there are the thanks when they are dropped off.
Yes, to me the Christmas cookies are the favorite part of the holiday season. I am so proud of her and just wanted to be sure she and Vicki got a big public THANK YOU for all of those amazing cookies and some of the best holiday memories I have.