America is a land steeped in tradition. Some of it is from our ancestors that traveled here from foreign lands to make a new life and brought the heritage of their country with them. Today every family has their own set of traditions that pass from generation to generation but sometimes become a little muted along the way. Sometimes they include vacations, holidays, birthdays, graduations or just favorite events. Even the best of traditions often come to an end, and as we get older that seems to be a difficult choice. So how do we make new traditions and how do we decide when the time is right?
This was a special time for me as I hosted the day for over 20 years and loved every minute of it. I started the preparations by having all the carpets cleaned while the dogs went to the groomers to get pretty and fresh. Tablecloths were washed and pressed. My best china, stemware, and flatware were brought out of storage and cleaned to sparkle. Shopping entailed a two day process as I planned for dinner adding wine and appetizers. I did all my own baking complete with Pumpkin and Apple Pie and my famous Turkey cut-out sugar cookies. Everyone went home with a bag of cookies or tray of leftovers at the end of the day. When the entire event was over, I was exhausted but exhilarated by all the fun and sharing. I would collapse into bed with another Thanksgiving over for another year.
Traditions unfortunately eventually come to an end and I now am a guest for that special day as the cooking is done by someone else. It was difficult for me to let it go but I knew it was time. The family was getting too large and I was getting too old.
One tradition I kept was the baking of Turkey Cookies with my grandchildren. This year Clarissa and I baked the cookies to take over to my brother’s house for dinner. That task was made simpler by the fact that Clarissa is ten years old instead of six. The recipe is attached so enjoy if you wish.
Turkey Sugar Cookies
1 ½ C Shortening (Crisco Recommended)
1 ½ C Granulated Sugar
Cream Shortening & Sugar then add:
2 eggs, ½ C milk , 1 Tsp Vanilla
Stir in Dry Ingredients: 4 Cups Flour, ½ Tsp Salt, 1 Tsp Soda, 1 Tsp Baking Power
Chill dough before rolling out to about 1/8 inch thickness (do not roll too thin)
And cut with cookie cutter shaped like a turkey (Mine are from Tupperware)
Bake at 375 until puffy and very slightly brown on bottom. Cookies will be soft when taken from the sheet but will firm up in minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE
Frosting: 2 sticks butter, ½ bag powered sugar, 1 – 2 tsp vanilla to taste and moisten with half and half. Cream together and whip with beater to remove all lumps.
Tip: Add a few tablespoons of Crisco shortening to frosting to take away the sweet sugar taste. This also helps the frosting stay moist.
Divide frosting into bowls and make colors of toast, orange, red and yellow to decorate the turkey. Kids have great fun with this and the cookies are the hit of Thanksgiving. (at least at my house)
Wishing all of you a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones while thanking God we live in a country where we can worship freely and enjoy the blessings he has bestowed upon us.
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