Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Memories

The Good Old Days

Christmas in the kitchen
was mothers favorite room
where she would do her cooking
from morning, way till noon!

She was so very happy
with all the things she'd cook,
cookies, pies and puddings
all from grandma's book.

Some of it for stockings,
and some for Christmas day,
most of it for neighbors
that she would give away.
~Gertrude Rudberg~
Memories of looking back
at days gone by...
each of us has them tucked away
 in our hearts, don't we?
I was blessed with the love of a
 grandmother and a great-grandmother.
On my fathers side of the family
I had many precious years with my grandmother Maxie,
who was 97 when she passed away
just this fall.
Grandma Maxie was full of spirit and life!
 On my mothers side of the family
I have sweet and precious memories
of my great-grandmother Helen McKenzie.
 Granny is how I know and remember her.
She was beautiful and such a lady.

I pray that the Lord would mold me
with character traits of both of these women
as well as the beauty of my own dear mother.
Granny was my mother's mother.
My mother's mother passed away
when I was very young with breast cancer.
My mothers side of the family was Italian,
and I am thankful for the women in my life
who taught me how to be a lady.
Who were ladies themselves
and graced their homes
with love, laughter, joy and tender mercies.


For the next couple of weeks,
I would love to share with you some
of my days gone by
with the memories of those women in my life
who made an impact on my heart,
and share with you
some of their recipes
that were baked around the holidays.
I was blessed to have inherited
cookbooks from both sides of the family
that were delicately put together
with their loving hands.
What a treasure I now have in my possession.
This year I plan on making Pizzelles.
These delicate snowflake like cookies
were a favorite of mine growing up.
My Granny would spend hours
sitting on her stool in what we would now call,
her "retro" kitchen
making these delicious cookies.
These cookies take time to make,
and I know there was love poured
into the batter of these delightful Italian cookies.
The name pizzelle comes from the
Italian word pizze for round and flat.
In some parts of Italy,
the irons would be made with family crests on them
 which would be passed down to each generation.
Recipe for Pizzelles
12 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 dash of salt
2 Tablespoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons lemon
3 1/2 cups flour (sifted 3 times )
2 cups butter (4 sticks) melted
1 teaspoon anise seed (I do not add this)
Cream your eggs & sugar together.
 Add the butter, vanilla and lemon until creamy.
Fold in the sifted flour and pinch of salt.
You will need a pizzelle iron to cook
these delicious waffle cookies on.
Trim the lace off the edges of the cookies,
this is best done while the cookie is warm to the touch.
Keep on a cooling rack until cooled and crisp.
The time and love you pour
into these cookies will be enjoyed
by all who are blessed enough
to receive them.
When gift giving, these cookies look beautiful
 stacked and wrapped
with clear wrap, then tied with a 
beautiful Christmas bow.
Enjoy! And share the goodness with others.

May we as ladies grace our homes with the
Christ of Christmas,  showing our love,
as God manifested His love 
in giving His great Gift to the world.
Let us willingly give of ourselves
to our family's, loved ones, neighbors and those in need.
With Christ in our hearts,
Christmas will have a softening,
sweetening influence that will tug
at our heartstrings of love
and cause us to share with others Jesus Christ,
our Christmas gift.
" Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift."
( 2 Corinthians 9:15 )

Precious Heavenly Father.
Only by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior,
will You be the center of our lives.
One must come to Bethlehem's manger
and walk with Christ to the cross
in confession of sin
and acceptance of Your grace
to have exceeding joy.
Woo us to Thyself,
I pray in Christ Name.

~ Joy in Jesus ~


Billie Jo said...

Good morning!
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this beautiful post...
Thank you for sharing the memory of these lovely women.
They touched your soul and live on through you!
I think of my own grandmothers often, and how I am but one link in the chain of women caring for and loving their families. : )
Have a cozy day!

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Yes this is a beautiful post. It is so nice that you are going to share with us some of your family's wonderful recipes. Thanks for sharing your cookie recipe today.

Debby Ray said...

Debbie...what a lovely post! I also have precious memories of my sweet mom (never without her apron) hustling around in the kitchen, creating her soft sugar cookie with orange rind, yummy fudge and wonderful pies. I don't have any memories of grandmothers...I was a baby when my mom's mom died of cancer in her 60's and my dad lost his mother when he was only 7. But with my mom being older when I was born and I was the youngest of eight, she was not only mom to me but her old fashioned ways and dress seemed to bring out that "grandma" quality...does that make any sense?? Anyway, the wonderful memories of her are what I love to think about...especially at Christmastime!

Cranberry Morning said...

Yum! I love pizelles. (sp?) Our family always had sandbakkels and krumkake as treats. What a wonderful and godly heritage you have. It's good to take time to reflect upon the blessings we have in those parents and grandparents who were such a godly influence in our lives. It's easy to take that for granted. Have a wonderful day, friend.

Stephanie said...

Pizzelles?? When did you make those? Were you hiding them at Thanksgiving? I know the photo was taken at your house because that is your table and green chair in the background - in fact, I can even see the glass hutch by the water heater closet. :)

Mom, your post is beautiful - one of my favorites that you have written! I can't wait to read more about your precious Christmas memories.

And may I just say your photos are perfect! Love to you!

SarahGeorge said...

Amazing post about all the precious ladies in your life! Waiting to hear more :). Cookies look yummy and beautifully packed :)

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Dear Debbie,
What precious memories you have of your dear Grandmothers. A beautiful tribute to these women of grace. Thank you for the wonderful recipe - I have always wanted to make these and have seen the pretty 'irons' in vintage shops, but have passed them by not knowing what they were! Now I will look for one! I look forward to reading more of your precious memories. I love the beautiful vintage image and poem and also the photos of your dear loved ones. Hope you have a blessed week, my Dear.
Hugs xo

Celestina Marie said...

My Dear Debbie, I simply love this post and what memories it has blessed me with this day. I have the same background and I too was blessed with a grandmother and mother who made Pizzelles and they have been part of my heritage and Christmas baking forever.
I have my grands original vintage iron and my mother's electric iron. I also have my own electric iron maker from Italy that I use to make just two at a time. Yes, it is a labor of love to make them but they are loved by all. Every year I make these pretty treats. Have you tried them using two with a slice of ice cream between for an ice cream sandwich. Oh so good. I see you doubled the recipe too. I always do this as one recipe only make about 60 which is never near enough. I too use vanilla for flavoring instead of the traditional Italian version using anise.
I have also rolled them like a cone while still hot and they can be filled that way too.

So enjoyed you sharing these special memories and thank you for ending with such a beautiful prayer.

Love to you

Sylvia said...

Precious memories, they bring joy and tears. We all have them, especially at Christmas time when we feel their absences so strongly. I too have memories of my mother at this time of year and miss her each day. Love your post and looking forward to each one in the days coming up. Have a blessed Christmas!

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Debbie! What a beautiful post today and what precious memories of lovely and loving women in your life! What a blessing! I too have memories of my two grandmothers, both of whom loved the Lord and were models of Christ-likeness to me as a young girl. I have such wonderful memories as a girl in each of their kitchens and also cherish the wonderful (and many) recipes from my mom, who also had a number of recipes from my grandmas. I love them dearly. I also have a number of precious hand-written recipe cards in my one grandmother's handwriting and many from my mom...they are very dear to me! Yes, may we continue to strive to be godly and lovely women who love the Lord and model the love of Christ! Warm hugs!

Marilyn Mathis said...

Oh how much I enjoyed your post today. It brings tears to my eyes because of memories I have of my grandmothers. You are so sweet to share your memories with us. Their godly influence lives on in your life and in your daughter's life. Thank you and Hugs.

Valerie said...

Dear Debbie,
What precious memories. I so loved your post! How wonderful to have so many years with your sweet grandmother. My grandmothers died in their 70's. I miss them so very much. You always write such lovely things.
Blessings and holiday hugs,

Robyn said...

Good morning, dear Debbie,

Such a beautiful post! You write in such a way that deeply touches others - from your pure heart.

Memories of spending time in the kitchen with mothers and grandmothers are so precious, aren't they? It was such a pleasure reading yours and I'll look forward to more.
Now I have not even heard of pizzelles but they look fabulous and if you make them, I just know they'll be special. I am going to pick one of your recipes over the next weeks and make it for Christmas. You've inspired me :)
Have a fabulous day, sweet lady!

Deborah Montgomery said...

How wonderful to have those precious memories. Thank you for sharing them with us Debbie, and I'm looking forward to reading more. My grandmother has been gone for 30 years, and I still think of her every day.
Thank you for this beautiful, heart-felt post.

Deborah Montgomery said...

Oh, and I love your new header!

White Lace and Promises said...

please do share! My heart is so full right now of memories and good times. I was thinking about something special that I could give my children to remind them of my Christmases long along. Thanks for sharing.

Sola Scriptura said...

Thank you for this recipe. It sounds like a wonderful Christmas tradition to make these. Beautiful post :)

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Hi Debbie,
I loved reading about the dear women in your life that influenced with their own beauty and grace. My own dear mother-in-law always made pizzeles every Christmas, although she was not Italian. My beloved hubby loved those cookies and I bought a Pizzelle maker several years ago to make my own. Yours look so pretty all packaged and ready for gifting. Blessings to you, sweet friend.

Jan Hermann said...

Oh, what a lovely memory filled post and tribute to a few of the women who have meant the most to you, throughout your life.


Crown of Beauty said...

Dear Debbie
Thank you for your beautiful comment on my recent blog post. I do appreciate having readers who take time to leave a comment, because it establishes a heart to heart connection between us. I took time to read your post about your grandmothers and your mother. What a heartwarming post it is. I've always had a great admiration for American women, how hardworking they are in their homes. and that is actually the kind of upbringing my mom and dad also gave me and my sister, although our culture is different here. And your recipe is so yummy, I would love to make them, except that I do not have a pizzelle iron. Do you think I could make them on a cookie sheet? And I assume that the lemon in the recipe is lemon juice? I love your photos too! Blessings on your new day, dear Debbie. Love, Lidia

Lottie said...

Debbie, what a beautiful post! Looking forward to reading many more!

Lady Linda said...

What a fun post Debbie. I make those cookies too and am taking my iron up to Seattle to make cookies with my daughter and granddaughter. They are a favorite in our family.

Zaa said...

OMG ...You brought my eyes to tears with this heart warming post..It was such a lovely tribute... Thank you for sharing these joyous memories...Blessings

Jazzmin said...

Debbie, what a joy it was to fill my heart and mind with such lovely thoughts as I read your post. How special it is to get to know and admire the women that came before us and to get to keep their memory alive as we talk about and share, or even just think of, what virtuous ladies they were and all of the love and warmth they gave to our families. You are blessed to have and have had these women in your life and always in your memories. What an incredible treasure to have your families' cookbooks! It is so thoughtful of you to share with us a treasured recipe. These cookies look and sound delicious. I have seen them before in an Italian cookbook and they always looked so pretty and delicate with their designs.

It is so refreshing to read of the coziness of your memories, the poem, and the wonderful message at the end of your post.
Love and hugs, and blessings for a wonderful week to you!

M.K. said...

Debbie, I'll enjoy reading about your memories :) What a treasure to have ladies in our families who thoughtfully, deliberately build homes of love and faith and pass on these traditions to their girls.

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