Thanksgiving in the United States officially welcomes the indulgent season of sugar and butter, fried and baked, cinnamon and nutmeg. This weekend a lone damaged package of unsalted butter sat on our local grocery shelf. It was on my list. Of course, along with all busy holiday treat makers, I had run out. Salted would have to do, I thought, after all, many a food show host have boasted of always using salted butter in their baking. I suppose I’ll try it. Red velvet birthday cupcakes with salted butter (yes, this week happens to include my soon to be 14 year old’s birthday).
Nothing says holidays like sweet treats sitting on the counter disappearing one by one. This morning, I have three cake pops, two butter cookies dipped in chocolate and one Oreo dipped in chocolate on the counter. This may be the last morning for that lot. Over the weekend, we made cake pops to accompany holiday greeting cards for our neighbors and friends.
I did not grow up celebrating Christmas. I have no nostalgia for the occasion. I am learning to celebrate along with my husband, step-daughters and friends. These cookies and cakes are a conscious effort to recognize and be a part of their joy. I’ve looked forward to baking and decorating cookies with my friend Kathy the past years. It is less about celebrating any particular holiday and more about celebrating our connections. Food allows this generosity of spirit, where a Muslim and Catholic can bake elephant shaped cookies together. I am so grateful for this food world.
When someone says “Merry Christmas” I am happy to respond with the same phrase and am not offended at the least by the understandable assumption in a Christian majority country. In return, I hope that my good wishes wrapped in the inclusive phrase “Happy Holidays” does not offend anyone. May the Starbucks controversy rest.
I am celebrating my most cherished connections through cakes and cookies in the coming days. Hope you are too.
Wishing you happy holiday eating surrounded by love,