There was a time about 20 years ago, when we lived in a log house in the woods, that my Mom had some fun, crafty and very sweet friends-many of which she still is friends with today. When these ladies came over with their kids, my sister and I would run off with them, to play legos, watch ‘The Man from Snowy River’ and adventure in the woods.
Inside, my Mom and her girlfriends would quilt, do ’30 Meal’ days and can all sorts of yummy things. These friends of hers were some of my favorite people. They were kind, fun, feminine and at the same time, totally capable of chopping firewood or driving up a long snowy driveway like a boss. And let’s not forget their kids. When one of the boys sat down at the piano and started playing the theme from “The Snowman”, at 11 years old, I was sure I’d marry him. I didn’t, but I have all the love in the world for those people. We did life together and we didn’t know it, but we were making some incredible memories.I love how these ladies set an example for us. Not that we need to can and quilt (that’s definitely not for everyone!), but we need to hang out with our friends, and we need to do fun things while our kids play. It’s not selfish. It’s healthy. It shows our kids the value of friendship.
A few days ago, I went over to my sister’s house and drank coffee with my favorite people, while my Mom pulled out a recipe one of those ladies gave her many years ago.
With her 6 grandkids running wild, we laughed and created the most amazing smelling dough for cinnamon ornaments. For me, smell is about 75% of the experience. If it smells good, I’m in! The fragrance of this dough screams “Christmas”, and it takes only about 5 minutes to put together. If there was ever a time to break out an old recipe card and teach the new generation, December is it. Or if you don’t have an old recipe, try this one and then write it down on a pretty piece of paper. Put it away with your Christmas decorations when the season is over and then bring it out year after year. Allow some cinnamon to settle on it or some dirty finger prints. Let it get a little worn and just like your memories, let it have a little mess. Take the time this month to do all the things that fill you so full of joy- that without a doubt, you know there’s nothing else you should be doing. When I watch my mom roll out dough in front of my kids and teach them the same things she taught me, I know that this is what I want my life to be filled with. The other things can wait, but moments like these, they are not guaranteed so, we must grab them while we can. After you make your ornaments, they’ll sit out on wire racks for a few days to harden. Enjoy their smell and enjoy your December.
- 1 cup cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup apple sauce
- 2 tbsp white glue
- In medium bowl, combine cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
- Add apple sauce and glue, stirring to combine.
- Work dough with hands 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and thoroughly mixed.
- Divide into 4 portions.
- Roll out into 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut dough with cookie cutters.
- Using straw or tooth pick, make a hole in top of each ornament.
- Place ornaments on wire racks and allow to dry at room temperature for several days.
- Thread ribbon through hole and remember, as good as they smell- do not eat!