Yesterday I got started on cookie baking, beginning with a German/Mennonite cookie called pfeffernusse, or peppernuts. They are delightful little spice cookies that go excellent with tea or coffee. I grew up with these during Christmas and many variations were shared within our church, as well as several baking parties for the Mennonite Country Auction every Fall.
This is one thing I love about the holidays. So much of what we do as adults is influenced by the traditions we experienced in our childhood. Regardless of how some may try to escape their background, it's nearly impossible to leave behind. Especially when it comes to cookies. Because the sense of smell is so strong, it connects us to many specific memories. There have been times at work when a dish was made that could only be described as smelling like "Christmas at Grandma's."
Rather than running from memories, I like to run to them and recreate happy holidays in the past with my cooking. I plan on creating just such memories for my own children. I will celebrate where I've come from.
Here is the link for the pfeffernusse recipe I used if you're interested. For vegans out there, Earth Balance can be replaced for the shortening, egg replacer for the egg and it still turns out great. It does have honey.