By Ann Wright
The conversation began around the table – what was our families’ favorite holiday dish? Much to my dismay, it was not any of the dishes that I worked hard to create or spent hours finding just the right ingredients, the precise brands or those that contained the best items that had been lovingly canned or frozen back in the summer from the garden. No, the dish that achieved the ranks of “the” favorite was the Christmas butter cookies.
Now you have to understand that even though I claim to be a great cook, baking is not always my forte. The butter cookies come from a package of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix. Our butter cookies aren’t even butter cookies, but actually sugar cookies instead. I think they got that name from my notorious use of butter in every recipe that I have any thing to do with. The icing that we use is Betty Crocker cream cheese icing. We add red and green and yellow and blue in separate dishes to separate the icing and make many colors, we also add red and yellow for orange and blue and yellow for different shades of green and, of course, the kids add colored sprinkles, colored sugar and anything else they can find that is edible and messy. At our house it isn’t about eating the cookies as much as it is about making a bigger mess than last year.
I do have to say that in spite of the plastic tablecloths that cover the floors and the various card tables that are set up all over the place, the kids have been excellent sports on clean up brigade. Of course we use plenty of carpet spot-remover, vacuums, brooms and many hands washing tables, dishes and anything that got in the way of the icing monsters is rapidly cleaned up. The tears of laughter make the whole occasion worth the temporary mess. So what if that spots in the corner never seem to come all the way out. I find myself smiling throughout the year when I realize what laughter ensued causing that small mishap.
They grow up too quickly and the few years that we only had some teenagers sitting around with cookies and icing, it was still fun, but we all missed having some little hands involved in our favorite holiday dish. I have noticed as the years go by that some of the creations absolutely astound me and that I am blessed with an artistic bunch.
In the end, our favorite family Christmas dish isn’t our ‘favorite’ because of how it tastes. It’s our ‘favorite’ because the recipe includes lots of love and warm Christmas memories.