Thursday, December 22, 2011

Afternoons With My Grandmothers

Christmas Cookies With Ma
It's been a tradition for as long as I can remember that each year my sister and I bake Christmas Cookies with our grandmother, Ma.  When we were little, sprinkles would hide underneath Ma's cabinets until well after Easter, but over the years, we've become quite professional.  If you'd like to start a new tradition of your own, I'd definitely suggest cookie sugar baking!  They're simple, tasty, and fun!

Ingredients for Homemade Cookie Dough:
The Dough 
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 eggs 
Cream together the butter and sugar with your mixer.  Gradually add the four cups of flour.  Lastly add the two eggs.  Chill for eight hours.

After you've cut your dough into your favorite holiday shapes.  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350ºF and enjoy!

Cutting Out the Cookies 
The Three Girls Elbow Deep in Icing 
Our Finished Product 
An Afternoon In Albany 
This afternoon, we loaded into my grandmother's Cadillac and made the 2½ hour drive to Albany, Georgia.  My great grandmother, Billie Berkshire, lives in an adorable assisted living facility down there, and we wanted to visit her before all the Christmas Craziness sets in.  She's truly the cutest little old lady ever.  She still wears makeup, fancy jewelry, holiday sweaters, and gets her hair down ever week.   She showed us her bedroom and miniature decorated tree before we settled down and gave her gifts.  We'd brought her some of our delicious homemade cookies, and when she opened the tin she exclaimed with glee that they were too pretty to eat.  She was so thoughtful.  When she found out Becky and I were coming, she insisted that one of her friends stop by the local Christian bookstore and pick us out something too.  She's so thoughtful, giving us matching stuffed reindeer.

As for lunch, she'd reserved the private dining room...yes, it's quite swanky there!  She was a little bossy to the head chef, telling him that we wanted mashed potatoes instead of the roasted ones on the menu, but seeing as how she'll be 97 in January, he just said "yes man."  After our magnificent meal (complete with specially ordered apple pie and ice cream), she showed us off to all of her friends.  My little brother, Joseph, wheeled her around as she pointed out the bingo room, the library, the garden, and the decorated doors of all her friends.

One of her best friends, Louise, is 105.  I'm pretty sure the only reason why Grandma Berkshire hangs out with her is because compared to her she's quite young and spry.  That reminds me...One of our running jokes we have about Grandma Berkshire is her age.  She constantly lies about it.  Usually, she'll tell people she's only 92, instead of her actual age of 96.   Doesn't she understand that by the time she's reached her age there really isn't much of a difference?  But today, when we asked her, she surprisingly answered truthfully.

 I hated having to leave her, but we had a long drive ahead of us and had to make it back in time for dinner.  As we were leaving, she told my grandmother, Ma, that us visiting made her Christmas.  I don't think she realized, but seeing her made mine too.

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