Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grandma's German Cookies

I'd like to think that I'm a good writer, and actually when I phrase things in my head, they sound really good.  Then I go to put them down and my fingers just aren't able to keep up with the thoughts, so they seem to come out very rushed and probably don't make a lot of sense.  With that in mind, I'm going to try to explain something that I hold very dear to me.

My grandmother died when I was about 13 or so.  She lived in California for a while when I was little.  I have pictures from when we lived down there too, so I know that I had a relationship with her.  We moved to Portland when I was 4 1/2.  She went on to move to Oklahoma.  I'm sure that she would come and visit, but I don't really have memories of her until she came to live with my family when I was about 12.

Unfortunately, when you're 12 life isn't always (well, is very rarely) sunshine and roses.  I'm sure that I wasn't the easiest kid to be around.  It was very easy to resent having Grandma live with us.  She took up a whole room (all to herself, that used to be OUR room!), she could be very harsh and she made stinky cabbage.  Thing were much better once she moved into her own place that was still pretty close to us, just not in our house.  I really enjoyed getting to know her when I didn't feel like the relationship was an inconvenience to me.

So, that's the background.

Anyway, Grandma used to make these cookies.  I'm sure they actually have a name, but to us they are just Grandma's German Cookies (sometimes Grandma's German CHRISTMAS Cookies).  I think the recipe was actually my great grandma Sattler's, but I maybe mistaken on that.  Anyway, There is something about the smell of those cookies that bring all good things to mind.

I decided today that I would make up some.  Now, I HATE rolling out cookies.  Seriously, I don't think there is anything WORSE that I can do in a kitchen with my kids.  Hate it!  But I was going to make German Cookies.  I missed making them last year, and I think that because I won't be around that side of my family this year for Christmas, I needed that link to MY childhood.

I put all the ingredients into the KitchenAid (I know, I'm supposed to hand mix, blah blah blah, time constraints!!!) and as everything was mixing, I just rested my  head on the mixer and inhaled the scents of MY Christmas.  It was so calming and joyful to smell the lemon and cinnamon.  I must have stayed like that for about 5 minutes.  But let me tell you, it totally felt like a connection to my past and to my ancestors.  So, thanks Grandma.  I know that the relationship that we had was a little rocky, but I want you to know that you did good!  All of your sacrifices were for a good cause.  You have a legacy that you can be very proud of!  Love you!!!

1 comment:

Brynn said...

Great post. I've never made these, I think it's about time I start, I too LOVE these cookies & the memories they bring back to me.

You're right, she wasn't easy to live with. I too resented it, I HATED that she had all the "good" food, the stuff we weren't allowed to touch. She also always had lifesavers that were for her only. Man, how I so wanted some of her orange juice, & the other stuff that she wouldn't share.

I also know that she did the best she could & she loved all of us even though she had a hard time showing it.