Sunday, 25 November 2012

This Book Belongs To ...


I have been making entries in Our Cookie Journal
for nearly 20 years.

We all have recipes for special foods that evoke memories of bygone kitchens and baking sessions with beloved family members. For me, Christmas would not be Christmas without cookies. My sister and I have always baked them and we became better and more experienced every year. A lot of the credit for our success has to go to the blank journal that she gave me years ago. She suggested that we keep notes on what we baked, particularly what we liked, what we learned, and what new recipes that we discovered.
Even though Christmas cookies have been a big part of many families’ traditions, it was nothing like it is today. You couldn’t Google recipes; there wasn’t a dedicated aisle in Target filled with baking supplies and equipment; and people didn’t have cookie swaps. 
Recipes were handed down from grandmothers and friends, and I still cherish my tattered copies (which I have now transferred to Evernote!). And I still break out Our Cookie Journal before I start my bake-a-thon every November (yes, I start extra early!).
I wrote both our names — Kevin Baker and Lisa Carr — on the front endpaper and the date was Dec. 18, 1993. We kept it going year after year, with me writing the bulk of it and her writing a bit of it. Some years were extra busy with jobs and children, and I would scribble notes on bits of paper and transfer them to the diary in quieter moments. Sometimes I wasn’t as diligent and we had to rely on our memories to create bare-bones entries, just so we never skipped a year (journaling — we never skipped baking).
At first, we relied on the traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on the back of the yellow Nestlé Chocolate Chip package; Grandma’s Criss-Cross Cookies; Sugar Cookies from The Joy of Cooking; and recipes we found in magazines.
As the years passed, we kept track of our favorites, noted our occasional failures, and made suggestions for the next year. Eventually, I started adding a photo or two (pre-digital, of course). And since it was a journal, it included more than recipes and photos. It became a treasured history of our family and I can’t start the holiday season without it.
Last year, I decided to make a digital copy of the journal on my computer (just to preserve it) and reckoned I might as well share it as a blog too at ourcookiejournal.blogspot.co.uk. 
Since this year marks the diary’s 20th anniversary, I’ve decided to publish it as an ebook — mostly for friends and family. But I’m hoping that other bakers will be inspired to keep their own treasured memories in a similar format to enjoy, share and pass along.
I hope you enjoy Our Cookie Journal and that your Christmases are always filled with cookies and the joy they bring!




31 comments:

  1. Great idea! My mother is from Germany. We did large crocks of cookies at Christmas. They were a huge amount of work and wonderful to eat. They can make the Christmas season special.

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    1. I have German roots, as well - must be where we get it! It can be hard work but, as you say, it makes Christmas special. And the old saying about more hands making light work is certainly true here. They also make the memories more special. Thanks!

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  2. Wonderful idea, sounds like a tradition to be handed down now.

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    1. I think you're onto a winner there, Laurel. My 12-year-old helps and I'd love to pass it down to him or one of my sister's girls. Thanks so much for commenting. :) 🍪

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  3. What a wonderful idea! I don't cook, but I still treasure the collection of recipes my grandmother hand wrote and handed down to my mother, who passed along to me.

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    1. That's awesome! I am visiting relatives next month and hope to take some photos of my grandma's recipes. You're very lucky to have those! Why don't you cook? :)

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    1. Thanks, Sunish! It's been a labor of love. :)

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  5. awesome, keep that journal running :)

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Alexandre! :)

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  6. I like cookies! Whenever you come to Switzerland or to Italy, please let me know in advance and remember to have some of your favourites in the pocket. Lovely your blog, I like it.
    Cheers
    Armin

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    1. Thanks, Armin! I will certainly let you know when I am arriving with cookies! Thanks for your comments. :)

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    2. Arriving with cookies is fabulous idea ;-)
      cheers and enjoy the x-mas season.
      I bet, you will be busy!

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    3. I started this weekend, Armin! It's fabulous fun though. And they are delicious, I must say. :) Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

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  7. Great idea and great blog! Will be popping by regularly for my vicarious cookie experience :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Luca! I was on holiday in the states so have been away from my blog but it will begin heating up over the next few months - gearing up for Christmas! YAY! :)

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this very useful Blog, Kevin...

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    1. MY pleasure, Ramesh! Thanks for popping by and commenting. :)

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  10. Wonderful idea Kevin, look forward to seeing you roll out onto the pages for yummy treats....

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  11. Thanks very kindly, Joan! Probably go digital first! :)

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  12. #granniegram shared this gr8 blog here http://www.scoop.it/t/free-hugz-sharing-of-inspiration-and-miracles/p/4011508202/2013/11/23/our-cookie-journal-this-book-belongs-to

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    1. How very kind of you to share my blog, MaryHelen. Thanks!! :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting! :)

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  14. Thank You I love cookies and so does my ferret CookieMonster

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