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Lessons from a Christmas Cookie Marathon

pecantart#2So my friend Patty and I planned an all day baking/cooking marathon for Saturday.  We got a little bit of a late start – that was fine with me.  Patty had shopped for the ingredients and planned to bring her mom’s tried and true recipe for Pecan tarts.

That is when the best laid plans fell apart.  After a 25 minute drive to my house, she arrived without the coveted recipe in hand.  No problem, we searched Allrecipe.com and found a Pecan tart recipe just like her mama’s.

My job was to make the crust part of the recipe, her’s was to make the filling part.

Pecan tart

Well, yours truly didn’t really read the recipe all the way through, and sure enough, before I knew it I had assembled the crust with all the eggs, butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar.  A double batch to boot!

Suddenly we both realized our best laid plans had fallen apart when I was suddenly confronted with the sad reality that I was responsible for wasting 8 eggs, 6 cups brown sugar, a pound of butter, 12 oz of cream cheese in making the “crust” which looked more like a cake batter all because I had not read the recipe carefully!

I think I remember telling my children over and over and over again something like  “Read, read, re-read your recipe several times before starting, please!”

Patty teases me about being a perfectionist, but truly folks, I just didn’t want to waste the ingredients.  I felt sick about one little cooking booboo.  SERIOUSLY!

Amazingly, Patty said, “We’re not throwing that out.”   I said, “So what are we going to make?”

My dear friend Patty took my slogan “Use what you have” to a new level, and it worked!

Yes, I turned all this flour, sugar, butter, and eggs into a clone of my family favorite blonde brownie recipe yummy enough to be suitable for sharing at church fellowship time.

That little “experiment” was followed by successful tart making.  pecantart3

Then another flub-up by yours truly with my family favorite tried and true Microwave Munching Peanut Brittle recipe!  I won’t go into details but suffice it to say, I had to practice my bread baking motto,”There are no failures (in making peanut brittle) just learning experiences.”

peanut brittleThe next four batches of peanut brittle turned out great followed by success with the Enstrom’s Style Toffee Recipe I love so much.

All in all – it was a very good day.  We didn’t come near to completing the volume of goodies as I dreamed of, but much more importantly we had a great day together building our friendship, having fun, teasing each other, being silly and making a few memories.

When we settled down to pizza and a movie I knew the satisfied but exhausted feeling I had came from a day of hard work and good life lessons (re)learned in the kitchen.

So what lessons have you been learning in your kitchen with your children or grandchildren this year?  What tried and true family favorite recipes can you share links to?

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1 comment to Lessons from a Christmas Cookie Marathon

  • I remember in one of Edith Schaeffer’s books, a young helper made a mistake and she was going to throw it out. Edith said they never wasted food so she turned it into something else just like you (I wish I could remember what it was!). Her point was that with a good understanding of cooking and baking, we are often able to use our goofs. :)

    It’s a quiet Christmas for us this year so I haven’t done a lot of baking. But today my whole wheat bread dough was just not turning out and I had to keep tweaking the liquid (must have been the rain?). Thankfully, it tasted wonderful but for awhile there… I was worrying about the outcome.

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