I have really scaled back on my holiday baking the past few years. I don't need to eat a lot of cookies, and since I'm retired, I can't share the goodies with people at work. So I cut back on the variety of cookies and most years, eliminated the fudge I always made for Christmas.
But today I made some ginger snap cookies, something I haven't done in decades.
As I mixed the dough, I remembered that my dad always liked ginger snaps. Then I remembered that my grandmother, who has been gone more than 25 years, also liked this kind of cookie. So what was it that prompted me to make a cookie that I haven't had in decades? And I wasn't even sure I liked ginger snaps. I am not a fan of ginger tea or ginger anything. But something caused me to buy a package of ginger snap mix. Why now?
I used one of my mother's old mixing bowls to mix the cookie dough. So making some cookies reminded me of both of my parents and of my paternal grandmother. She was an excellent cook until dementia took that skill away from her, and I am certain she never used a store-bought mix to make her cookies.
I also remembered the delicious butterscotch cookies my mother used to make, and how I loved eating the uncooked dough. I do remember making butterscotch cookies after college, but that's something I haven't done for decades as well. I bet I can find my mother's hand-written recipe on an index card, along with some other favorite recipes she gave me. I also inherited some of her old cook books. It's fascinating to read the original recipes that call for lard and other things we health-conscious Americans no longer use.
And yes, I do like ginger snaps. But better than the cookies are the warm memories making them brought to the surface.