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minnesota thanksgiving


Is anyone behind? This time of year is so overwhelming to many of us….with shopping, cooking, working, trying to think of others, do something , cook something, be somewhere, pick someone up, take a meal to someone, wrap those gifts, BUY those gifts, get to work, fight the traffic, go online and shop,  show up for that appointment, clean up this house!, what’s for dinner even……it just goes on and on.

decorating tree 2015

BUT, every now and then, maybe if you have the time to jog or do the exercise bike, or when you are sitting in traffic, listening to a wonderful song, you have time to REMEMBER. And I guess at Christmas (or the Holidays, whatever is your preference), you are allowed to reminisce, right?

recipe book 1

What sparked it for me was running across an OLD recipe book that belonged to my mother’s Aunt Doris (so that would be my grandmother’s sister )….so these are recipes from the 40’s!  But you know what?!  I still make these cookies every year.  They are so thin and crispy and sugar-y.  And as I make them, I remember…..my mother and I making them together…  she  rolling them out, me sneaking some of the dough scraps to pop in my mouth….ummmmm, so good!  My job was to sprinkle the colored sugar on the cookies.  Looking back, it was a kinda lame job, but you know what……I came away from that all these years later, knowing how to make the cookies and having a wonderful  memory to savor.  So think about creating such a memory for those in your family by using the recipe that will follow in this blog.

Ok, look at this photo that was pasted in the back of the recipe book for spaghetti. We have had a recipe handed down, but not really written down (I thought) in our family that we have used for years, and I made spaghetti this way, because my mom made it that way, and I grew up making it.  Well, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew my mom had gotten it from an Italian man.   And when I found this old recipe book, I found the actual ORIGINAL recipe written in this man’s hand.  Here it is!!

 recipe book 2

So how does this tie in with MEMORIES? So, do you remember the first Walt Disney movie you ever saw?   I do!!  This does have a point in the whole story, I promise.   I really can’t remember which Disney story it was, but what I DO remember was the Fantasy Land Castle that is always shown and the music of “When You Wish Upon  A Star” and the feelings that I had of wonder and beauty and longing and wishing and dreaming and maybe even a little sadness.  You see, I was 6 years old and my dad had just told us we were moving to California with his job, and I think I probably didn’t want to move and I wished on that star that we wouldn’t go.  But even with the sadness, the beauty of that castle and the song was such a glorious experience that whenever I think of it, I am a little girl again.  Well, the wishing on the star didn’t work, because we did move to California, and to try to cheer us up, our parents promised we would have a pool in our California house.  You see, it was a temporary work assignment (it ended up being just 6 months, but you remember how long 6 months is when you are little).  We rented a guest house behind an Italian family’s house and yes, it had a pool.  That’s the #1 reason we rented it.  Looking back on it, how sweet of our parents to put up with a tiny, cramped guest house so that us kids could have that pool.  So the “big house” at the front had a wonderful Italian family, the Cardenellis and Mr. Cardenelli gave us his family recipe for spaghetti. And THAT’S THE STORY of the spaghetti recipe.  A little bit of my history and such fun to remember and find the recipe hidden away in this old cookbook.

So this busy holiday season, enjoy creating some memories, but don’t forget to slow down for a moment or two to pull up happy, funny, classic, epic…..you name it…..memories from YOUR past.

Merry Christmas!

Vail photo

   My favorite photo of the good doctor and me!