Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The pumpkin pie is no sooner polished off than I'm thinking about Christmas cookies. You know, holiday baking. It doesn't seem to be too big down here in southwest Louisiana. Last Christmas, I found it odd to go to holiday parties and there would be no cookies. I mention Christmas cookies, and folks look at me quizzically. My apologies to all y'all who enjoy baking Christmas cookies. In Pa., no respectable Christmas party is without the requisite "cookie tray." Pittsburgh women say things like, "Oh, I still have so much baking to do" and "What kind of cookies are you baking this year?" Every year, I'd be in at least one "cookie exchange," sometimes two. They call them cookie swaps here, and my friend Carolyn organized one at our church, bless her heart. And only two other women besides myself signed up. Imagine that! It's way more fun if there are at least ten bakers. In Pa., I never had to make pizzelles because EVERYONE else made them. So I just ate theirs. Besides, I'm not Italian. But I'm really missing them down here. No one here has ever heard of them. And so naturally I can't find a pizzelle iron. They don't sell them here. In case anyone wonders, I've made chocolate chip, peanut butter blossoms, and three kinds of biscotti (my signature Christmas cookie, even though I'm not Italian); cranberry pistachio, anise almond, and chocolate cherry. And I'm done with my baking. And if I can get my hands on a pizzelle iron, I'll be making those next year.