"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Old Family Things

Father Christmas holds court in the dining room.
Piggy Cookies
 Do you have Christmas decorations which have been passed down to you?

I don't, but my Father Christmas statue looks heirloom-like, isn't he elegant?  I bought him at a home discount store, he was happy to be rescued from that place I'm sure.

I do have an old family recipe for festive cookies that I'm going to share and listen, this is a big deal, it took me ten years to get this recipe!
I must warn you they are addictive.


Piggy Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup + 2 Tbsp white sugar
4 eggs
mix all well
then add:
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
6 Tbsp orange rind ( I use about 3 as I get tired of grating)
the grated rinds of 2 lemons (try to use organic citrus for the peels!)
4 to 5 cups of all-purpose flour

Mix the flour in (I do this by hand) until you get a dough that can be rolled easily, I end up using close to 5 cups of flour after adding extra flour to the rolling surface.
Roll out and cut into shapes, pigs are traditional but I use bells, angels and Christmas trees.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, then 350 for another 10 minutes.  Okay, these are the instructions but they didn't work for me, mine were done in 10 minutes (but I should add I have a fast convection oven.)

Make an easy icing:  mix the juice of your grated lemons with icing sugar until you have the consistency you like, add a drop of food coloring and drizzle over the cooled cookies.

If you'd like to store them for a week or so add an apple to your cookie tin, this will keep the Piggy Cookies fresh.  


Today I'm tucking in, baking more cookies and maybe a big pot of soup.  I'm feeling slightly poorly from a hideous dental visit yesterday afternoon and coziness is in order.
Hence my outfit of the day:
Kathy, Tabs WMM and Sulky Kitten this one's for you.
Those are UGG-like boots right there, my tall shearling boots in brown from La Canadienne.  I'm wearing them with Goldsign jeans, a Brora cashmere dress in navy and a navy wool shawl, also from Brora.
I hope your day is lovely and that you don't have to go to the dentist.
xoDani

72 comments:

  1. My goodness - 10 years? Who was holding out on you?

    The cookies look so good. I'll be sure to make a batch this season. Interesting tip about the apple too!

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    1. Merry Wife, it was my in-laws holding out on me! The apple tip comes from my husband's Aunt, it works.

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    2. Ah, the in-laws...10 years isn't so bad then. :)

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    3. Hilarious-- were they waiting to see if the marriage took??

      My highschool BF's Italian grandma once denied me a recipe for delicious butter cookies; "for P___'s wife". Geez, we were 15! ( And no, he is not Mr Lane)

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    4. Hilarious-- were they waiting to see if the marriage took??

      My highschool BF's Italian grandma once denied me a recipe for delicious butter cookies; "for P___'s wife". Geez, we were 15! ( And no, he is not Mr Lane)

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    5. Hilarious-- were they waiting to see if the marriage took??

      My highschool BF's Italian grandma once denied me a recipe for delicious butter cookies; "for P___'s wife". Geez, we were 15! ( And no, he is not Mr Lane)

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    6. Hilarious-- were they waiting to see if the marriage took??

      My highschool BF's Italian grandma once denied me a recipe for delicious butter cookies; "for P___'s wife". Geez, we were 15! ( And no, he is not Mr Lane)

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    7. Lane I didn't want to say it out loud but I think so!
      I am not one for guarding family secrets of any kind!

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  2. That's dressed up for us at home, we are looking at you as if you're a Russian princess! I don't have any old ornaments I wish I did, my mum clears out all the time and isn't sentimental and I have but 4 mercury glass baubles from Sweden - my Christmas box was a giant disappointment, I think it's time that I started adding to it each year.
    The piggy cookies sound wonderful, I tempted to try making eggnog on Saturday but I'm worried that I might just drink the lot, though knowing me I'll end up cooking the egg and repulse myself.

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    1. Tabs I've never tried making eggnog, I forgot that you hate eggs and yes you will be repulsed if you end up cooking it in. I need to look at a recipe, do you have it with bourbon or rum?
      Old ornaments are so beautiful, I like the European glass ones. I buy a few more every year mostly because I can't help myself. Russian princess! Oh No!

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    2. Don't they sell eggnog at the grocery store? Sounds revolting to make it. I tried a Starbuck's eggnog latte after all the hub bub about it, but didn't like it at all - too sweet. It needs bourbon.

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    3. And my mother is like Tabitha's ~ threw out my entire childhood.

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    4. I find all of those Starbucks drinks way too sweet, I loathe Starbucks truth be told, it makes me grumptastic that place!
      Bourbon, making note of that, I can't believe I don't have any.

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    5. Don't like Starbucks either - only went for the famous eggnog latte. Everything is too sweet, and their coffee is very acidic and bitter.

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    6. Not here, eggnog is pretty rare here. I've only had the non alcoholic version so far.
      I buy Starbucks coffee and make it in my cafetiere at home, they have about 6 to chose from, I like my coffee weak!

      Kathy - yours too? What were they thinking? Did they steal us from gypsies?

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    7. Posted my slight variation on Martha's eggnog recipe (less sugar) over at Tabs a couple of days ago. It is rich, but much better than the storebought stuff. And it's with bourbon, of course. TABS, if you mix in a bit of the warm liquid into the beaten room-temp eggs first and keep the hob very low (even if it takes an extra 10 minutes to get spoon-coat) it won't split or scramble. Promise!

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    8. Now I have to go look up that recipe! I have one but it is so thick it is almost like meringue!

      Love the piggy cookies "now bring me some piggy cookies..."

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    9. Get Fresh - ok I'm making it on Saturday, will report back, no doubt on an 8lb weight gain before Monday.

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    10. OK, Dani you have encouraged me a bit. Going to J.Crew today to get some decent looking flannel PJ bottoms and long sleeved tee shirts, which I'll wear with a sweatshirt hoodie. And Uggs. Will report back. Your blog is like a chat room for some of us.

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    11. Kathy; Thats my perfect outfit that you just described. I love flannel pj's and would live in them all day a la Nick Nolte if I could.
      Chat Room - yes I've been thinking of setting this up, it might be a headache who knows, what do we think? We'll call it The Salon, a place for over 40's to gather and witter.We can have different headers for subjects as well - am I insane?

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    12. I've been thinking the same thing! In the shower this morning actually. Yes, let's do it. Of course you're insane, but in a good way. Yes, Nick Nolte is my sartorial inspiration as well.

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    13. Kathy JCrew does a nice pj bottom it's true. Nick Nolte!!
      Now even I want to make eggnog, I might try it this weekend as well.

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    14. Tabs,
      The Martha Stewart eggnog is the best I've ever had and I don't even like eggnog.
      Dani go for it . This will become a tradition.

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    15. Marsha I bet my daughters would love it and with enough bourbon it might be a good nightcap!

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    16. Oh yes! That's just what we need for those weary anxious hours when we can't sleep but don't want to wear the floorboards out!

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    17. Sulky I am have been newly comforted in the wee hours knowing none of you are sleeping either! But I have long dreamed of the perfect nightcap..

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    18. I think eggnog is too cold to be the perfect nightcap. Something warming is better, like a hot buttered rum, or hot toddy (whatever that is.) I guess one can drink eggnog warm?

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  3. That's what I wear to go out to dinner! Not kidding. I used to have beautiful, vintage, mercury glass Christmas ornaments, but lost them in a divorce. Love your Santa and he does look like an heirloom.

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    1. Kathy hmph the dreaded Asset Split!! Do you have any of these Brora cashmere dresses? So so comfy, MrBP bought me this one last Christmas with the shawl.

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    2. I don't have one, and if I did, I would save it for special occasions. The minute I walk in the door, I have to take everything off and get into flannel PJs. Yeah, the asset split, dreadful.

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  4. Dani , A big thanks for the recipe ,looks yummy! Sorry to hear your feeling lousy.Rest and soup sounds like just the right cure.Hope your reno isnt to noisy or dusty and hopefully you will feel better tommorrow!!

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    1. Thanks Anon, my jaw is killing me, it gets better by the hour though. My reno is a bit noisy but it doesn't bother me at all, not even the dust, it's so exciting to get the work done and watch the progress.

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  5. Sorry about your unfortunate dental appointment. My husband had an emergency root canal a couple of weeks ago-it was awful. Some soothing soup is just the things. Thanks for the recipe. I've got to start the baking list-though it is still only November...the season is off to an early start.

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    1. Julie I'm such a baby, a root canal might finish me, your poor husband. I just had some fillings replaced and look at the big deal I'm making!

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  6. BAKE THAT Shiny piggy wiggies will be en route tomorrow.
    Do you cut the apple or leave it whole? Un-Martha must know. And, BTW, her ribbon is the pits, although I do like her tags from Staples.

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    1. "Un-Martha' !

      Oh dear we really mess up Dani's comment box don't we?

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    2. Well I think you look cute and I feel badly about your dental appointment - having one's mouth hurt is worse thing!

      I have scads - some really old ornaments from both sets on gransparents and stuff from my mum and dad - we are scots and we save all. If you need the 1968 version of Ker-Plunk, I can help you as well! Or the 1973 version of The Price is Right Game... Will take some good pictures when we put up the tree!

      BTW - I am giving the recipe to my son and his girlfriend. They bake incessantly. I think it is all the hormones - they all get baked in - its just like Chocolat in my house - no wonder I am gaining weight!!!

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    3. GF apples whole. Tabs comments are what make blogs interesting! I love it! I missed this thread while I was filing paperwork and paying bills, hmph.
      WMM get those kids baking for you! These cookies are delicious, my daughters loved them.

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  7. I am afraid of visits to the dentist too. Mine is very nice, and they do things to try and people to relax, like play TV shows or music, but it never works. I hope you feel better soon. The shearling boots look wonderfully cozy.

    Thank you very much for the cookie recipe - it looks delicious!!!

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    1. Louise it is just so uncomfortable and I have poor enamel but I've learned to be extra careful with my teeth, I am fanatical about brushing and flossing and I go quite often to the dentist. I have nightmares of my teeth falling out!
      It might be fun to make these with your kids!

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    2. Very common nightmare. Have it at least twice a year. Unfortunately, after sixty it's not a nightmare, but a reality. In my sad little town in the Fifties floridation was considered a communist plot.I feel your pain.

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  8. The recipe reads "do-able," I may actually try it. I've gotten very lazy where baking's concerned, but I do have a bunch of piggy cutters linking at me from the cupboard. Feel better.

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    1. Fred if you already have piggy cutters you are halfway there. I am quite lazy and I don't like fiddly things, these are easy, even the rolling, and the smell of them baking is worth the whole commotion.

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  9. Was just working on a blog post about old and treasured Christmas items and saw your post -- great minds and all! I have similar Santas as well, love them. Will have to try your lovely recipe!

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    1. M I can't wait to read your post. I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm really into Christmas stuff this year

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  10. Dani you post the best recipes, I love all the citrus in these cookies. I also love your cozy outfit, it's kind of Russian Cossack-chic!

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    1. Sue coming from you that is highest praise. I was reading your recipe for fondue mac 'n cheese this afternoon, you know you are a hero around here for your dinners and cookies!

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  11. I have 3 boxes of glass ornaments that my mother purchased in 1950 for her first Christmas as a new bride (at which time I was a tender and mild bun in the oven.) Although several have broken over 62 years, I still have the original boxes with the price tag- a whopping 25 cents for a dozen gorgeous decorations. I bought a charming new ornament this year from Corriander in downtown Guelph. It's a charming octopus and it cost $20. (I only allow one new fabulous ornament a year)

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    1. Li' Margie! That's a great shop! If you go again and you have the time send me an email, I'll take you to lunch I am not kidding. 1950 was a good year, well obviously, you were said bun! The fashions were amazing and I bet those ornaments are gorgeous.

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  13. I love that outfit, it is just the kind of comfort clothing that makes me happy. I have quite a lot of Christmas decorations that have been passed down to me. Santas and ornaments and all kinds of knick knacks. Fortunately, WMM has reminded me that More Is More so I'm not holding back and they're all coming out at once, except for not all the ornaments. I have some beautiful glass ornaments handed down to me, and it is a good thing I don't put them all on the tree at once because it fell over one year and I lost a handful of them :-( I love that Santa of yours and I would have thought it was an heirloom if you didn't tell me otherwise. Well he'll be an heirloom some day, anyway, and no one will ever know he came from the discount store. Oh and bad news, I have two dentist appointments looming. One for cleaning, next to replace at least 2 (maybe more) fillings. Hope your mouth is feeling better soon!

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    1. Cate I agree we are lucky to have our WMM to remind us that more is more. Your ornaments sound lovely. Yes sometime those Santa figures will be heirlooms I was thinking that!
      My appointment was for replacing fillings and it ended up being 5, good luck with yours and be sure to take the day off. I always think it will be no big deal and then it is!

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  14. So generous of you to share, Dani!! Thank you!I shall make them as soon as possible...but tonight I go to Sir Paul! Even if he can't sing any more and looks Botoxed and stretched...I'm sure it will be a blast!

    Am sending you best wishes for speedy recovery...I am a complete child when it comes to the dentist...although mine is an angel and I've been going to him for 20 years...

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    1. Rebecca!
      Have a great time with Sir Paul!!!

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  15. Hi Dani-I hope you feel better soon, an aching mouth is one of the worst pains. Your cookie recipe sounds so good, I do love the smell of cloves and cinnamon baking. Have you ever made a jam cake? It is a Christmas tradition in my family, its early origins in Kentucky and Tennessee in the mid 1800's. I have to wade in on the eggnog issue. For the last several Christmases, my brother has made eggnog when he has come to visit. It is horribly strong and contains both light and dark rums as well as bourbon. It has really turned me off even to the smell of regular eggnog. However this year, I am making a pre-emptive strike by mixing up a bit of Brandy Milk Punch, and putting a glass of it in his hand as he crosses the threshold. Evidently Brennan's Restaurant began serving it as a morning restorative to those valiant Mardi Gras celebrants when they dragged themselves in for a bit of breakfast. An equally excellent alternative is Southern Boiled Custard, another border state contribution to the culinary world. It is made sans alcohol, but can be added later at the imbiber's discretion. I am a sweet tooth junkie and these two definitely get the job done. I wish I had some made up right now-perhaps it would make that shamelessly self-congratulatory bit of slush about Gayle Spankmouse on JCA go down a bit easier-what DO those people see when they walk past a mirror?

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    1. Hi David, I went and read that little article, hmph is Gayle bringing down the mighty ship J Crew? Your brother's eggnog sounds like a hangover waiting to happen which is not cheery, I like your new strategy and I must look up this Brandy Milk Punch, it sounds like an elixir for many and maybe all ailments?
      Thank you I am much better this evening and even better I used my rest day to get the paperwork finished for the next couple of weeks. More time for baking piggy cookies, well we can only have them once a year!

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  16. About dental visits. I cracked a tooth and had to have a root canal about a month ago (in the process of getting the crown installed now). My experience with the root canal was fabulous (if such a thing can be even true). SO--if any of you need one, come down to Dallas--we have some excellent practitioners here.

    I do have some ornaments from my childhood and even better ones from my husband's family. They are from the 1940s, but so quaint and lovely.

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    1. Susan, I've always wanted to go to Dallas! And you have good dentists too! I must get there.
      How lucky to have those ornaments, I bet they're gorgeous.

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  17. Wishing you a speedy recovery from your dental visit. Take good care and rest.

    I love vintage Christmas decorations. I have some Shiny Brite ornaments and bubble lights from my grandparents, as well as a few other vintage tree ornaments and holiday decor items. Most of it is mid-century and older, some were heirlooms when my grandparents had them. I love the memories of my grandparents and childhood Christmases that they invoke each holiday season.

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    1. xoxo how lucky that you have those items from your grandparents, holiday objects have amazing qualities of memory recall.
      Thanks very much I am feeling much better, I took the day to stay in and get my paperwork out of the way in between some time in the kitchen, I'll be back to running around tomorrow I think!

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  18. Dani, I can only aspire to your level of sophistication! I want those boots! But even if I stole your beautiful wardrobe, I'd still look like a little ragamuffin.

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    1. Sulky I doubt it! I think you are a big presence like Elle McPherson but maybe not as tall. Hmm have you done an interview with Elle McPherson?

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    2. Bitch hasn't spoken to me since I asked her if she was running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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  19. How lovely of you to share the cookie recipe. I know how hard it can be to obtain a secret, treasured recipe. I'm looking forward to adding these to my holiday selection.

    I hope you feel better soon. I have nightmares that my teeth are falling out, too, despite meticulous dental care.

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    1. maryeb apparently it is a common anxiety dream, the whole teeth-falling-out-nightmare! Still it makes me even more careful of my teeth. It's like my dentist says "only floss the teeth you want to keep". No wonder I'm anxious about it!
      I hope you make these cookies they really are nice.

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  20. Do your in-laws know you are sharing the recipe? So much for their tightly guarded secret! Heehee!

    I have the tooth nightmares too--my molars tend to break off in little bits. I shy away from anything toffee-like, granola bars, raw carrots, even crusty bread! Still--5 fillings! Your jaws must have been so sore!

    I love the Russian Princess look!

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  21. Thank you for the recipe -- will definitely have to add to the Christmas Cookie list!

    You are the only one I can imagine wearing (1) a cashmere dress to stay home and bake; and (2) a white dress to clean the house (a post this past summer, right??).

    Hope your mouth is recovering. Yeesh. Who becomes a dentist anyway????

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  22. I don't have anything regarding XMas decoration that have been passed down. My family is not really a keeper which makes me quite sad. The only thing I "took" was fabulous table clothes coming from my grandmother that my Mum stored and never used because you need to get them to the try cleaner afterward...
    I do every year loads of Xmas cookies... I usually take a day off work to do them, this special day is a very busy one and I talked about it last year here: http://funkysteph.canalblog.com/archives/2011/12/13/22954525.html
    I own a similar scarf in purple, but no cashmere dress... I can only imagine how warm and comfy this should be!

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  23. Hi....I am a dental hygienist. I hope it was not the cleaning of your teeth that was so terrible. If it was there are alot of things we can do better theses days regarding your experience. The same goes for other dental work. You should tell your dental practionor about your dislikes and I would bet they could help or perhaps even switching to a new office where your concerns/dislikes are addressed might help. Carolyn

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