Cookie Party Time!

posted on: December 10, 2019

 

Monday evening,  we gathered for our annual cookie party.  I had made fifteen dozen pecan butter balls, placed them in baggies with a little extra confectioners sugar, wrapped them in red and green patterned tissue paper, and tucked them in bags decorated with a curly bow.  

 

This was my nineteenth party!  Yes I joined in 2000…but I was a late to the fun.  The club started in the 1980s with two friends mixing and stirring up cookie dough and over the years grew to twelve. A cap was put on number of members because 13 dozen cookies is hard enough to make and one dozen is donated to charity. Each member leaves the party with eleven dozen cookies made by friends. 

 I had to wait for someone to drop out to be the cookie virgin. 

When the club began,  the party goers would go dancing after the cookie exchange.  But we have gone from young women to early middle age to late middle age to early old.  Many of us are busily retired… taking classes, volunteering, playing golf, doing Zumba, yoga, visiting grandchildren, traveling, writing. We gotten divorced, been widowed, cared for and buried aging parents and children, beat cancer, remarried, had grandchildren. Thus, we witness and helped each other through life’s passages.   Several left our city making room for new cookie virgins. In fact, the head cookie bitch and club originator moved to be closer to her family and grandchildren. Since then the location of the party has shifted around the members. 

I had planned to create a new cookie this year.  But alas my oven was on the fritz and would occasionally conk out.  It was too old to repair. So I decided to cook a familiar favorite cookie: the  the pecan butter balls that is my grandmother’s recipe.  A new range was installed a day before it was time for me to cook for the party.  It is fitting that the first item I baked in my new oven is such a tradition in my family and is also the first recipe in my novel. 

 

At the party, I was reminded that one year a reporter came.  The Christmas Cookie Club had just been released and she wanted to witness the inspiration for the novel’s setting, and taste some of the cookies whose recipes were included at the beginning of each chapter. 

The Christmas Cookie Club series (there are three novels: The Christmas Cookie Club, A Gift for My Sister, and The Lottery) continues to garner readers and inspire cookie clubs.   Our cookie club inspires parties, and friendship, and charity around the world most recently in Croatia.  Simon and Schuster has released a sample of the audio.

The party a commemoration of friendship and sharing as we eat, sing,  and share the events of the year with each other along with our love of our cooking and decorating.  Yes, year after the year the celebration is a festival of joy, love, laughter, lights and delicious food in spite of rushing cold and darkness.

Together we bring light into the darkest time of the year.

 

Have a wonderful holiday season!  and a peaceful 2020. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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