Party Food

Dear Liza,

For our Halloween party, we wanted some sweets, of course. Sugar cookies, using Auntie Bridgett’s mom’s recipe, are easy to make and good to frost. I have learned how to make and use royal icing, and Grandpa Nelson gave me a nice set of decorating supplies. Auntie Bridgett’s steady hands are helpful, too.

We created tombstones and vampire dentures using a walnut shortbread. It’s not too sweet, and the cookies have a nice ’stony’ look.

But we needed food that wasn’t sweet, as well. Our eyeballs were made from stacked slices of sausage, cheese, and olives. You eat them by stabbing them with a toothpick! Very satisfying.

I also tried ”finger sandwiches” that were supposed to look like… fingers. They were filled with cream cheese, dill weed, and cucumber slices. The only problem is, to make them structurally sound, they need to be very fat fingers! Anyway, they were fun and tasty.

There were also regular deviled eggs, which weren’t very photogenic, but were delicious.

All this food, along with friends, wine, and lots if conversation, made for a good evening.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Donna’s Cookies

Dear Liza,

Auntie Bridgett’s momma Donna makes really good sugar cookies. I mean, REALLY good. And this year, with no travel, we had to make our own!

Sloppy, but accurate!

Fortunately, Donna gave us HER recipe, so we are just fine. We creamed the butter, eggs, and vanilla together, then sifted in the flour, baking powder and a dash of salt, mixed it up and put it in the fridge. While it chilled I hunted for cookies cutters. We don’t have many, since I passed most of them onto Auntie Katie long ago. But we had enough to make it work.

I made some to be left plain, because Grandpa Nelson prefers the cookies just by themselves, and some to make pretty to share with neighbors. I even changed from my usual buttercream and tried royal icing, a new (to me) type of cookie icing that dries smooth and shiny.

Work in progress

When the icing was fresh, it was very runny and hard to control, but after it sat in the fridge (in an airtight container) for a while, it worked much better.

I used the piping bag and Auntie Bridgett used her skill with a butter knife, and together we made some pretty cookies.

Now they just need to dry overnight (covered and protected from curious kittens!) and they will be ready to pass along. Baking is something I do to make me happy, and something I can share with others. It takes the love I have inside and allows me hand it out on little plates.

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Grandma Judy