Tuesday, December 24, 2013

He loved cookie dough.

If Leif were here, he'd be eating this. He loved cookie dough, particularly this kind of cookie dough, for Norwegian Berliner Kranse. This is our family's favorite cookie and a Christmas tradition. I grew up with it, and so did my mother and her mother, and her grandmother. It's an old and strange recipe that uses both raw and hardboiled egg yolks pressed through a sieve, and it's wonderful. Leif and his brother used to tell me I should just put the bowl of cookie dough on the table and let them eat it instead of dinner.

I always loved making cookies with my boys. These were especially good for kids to help make the dough because you have to work the flour in with your hands. What kid doesn't like squishing his hands in flour, sugar and butter? We had a good time making the dough and eating it, forming and baking the sugar covered rings. I practically had to guard the cookies to make sure we still had some for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The tradition was to bake them on the 23rd.

So, I baked them today, but it was only fun through nostalgia for all those Christmases past. When my boys grew up, they no longer wanted to help, but they still liked to eat the dough and the cookies. Later my grandchildren helped make them.

This is the first time in a long time we haven't had either of our sons or our grandchildren with us for Christmas, and it seems too quiet and not really festive. Christmas is meant to be shared. My heart goes out to all those who are alone and lonely on Christmas and New Years.

I have Peter and my mother to spend our traditional Christmas Eve with, and on Christmas Day we will be joined by Leif's best friend and a friend of mine and her sister. I'm glad we will have the company and I hope they'll enjoy the cookies, but it won't be the same as it was when I was looking forward to Leif driving up to our door and Peter Anthony flying in.

This is our sixth Christmas without Leif. It still isn't right. I still miss him. I still want him to come home for Christmas, and I still get tears in my eyes when I hear the song, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." How I wish he were! He could eat all the cookie dough he wanted!

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