I've mentioned this before, but in case you missed it...
So my Great-Aunt Barbara was known for her cookies. Every year for Christmas she would come and bring a giant box of various kinds of cookies she had baked. There were 20 or so different kinds of cookies in stacks of about 5. And they were gooooood.
It's one of my favorite Christmas memories. My Aunt Barbara and her cookies. And then in 2000 she was diagnosed with brain cancer, and then cervical cancer, and then...well you know the drill. And she fought hard. She was on chemo for 6 years. She passed away right before I gave birth to Hayden. Needless to say, she wasn't up to the task of making cookies during those fighting years.
I once had an idea to put together a family cookbook and her eyes lit up when I told her. I'm ashamed to say I never got around to doing it.
So after she passed, my grandmother was going through her things. She asked me if there was anything I wanted. I immediately thought of her recipes. Her cookies. So I asked for "copies" of them, since I figured they were valuable treasures of her memory. To my surprise, my grandmother said, "I'll just send you the originals". Wow.
But the box of books and cards and clippings didn't clue me into how she put together these magical Christmas cookie boxes. I didn't know which cookies and I didn't know the names for the cookies I remembered - and my memory was getting fuzzier every year. By this point, it had already been at least 7 years since I'd had her cookies. I found what I thought was one of them - even blogged about it - but it didn't turn out like I had remembered.
And then, today...
I had taken down all my cookbooks from the top of the fridge so the Lowe's guy could measure our kitchen for the future remodel (yes I know I haven't mentioned it, I will later). So tonight, while I was waiting for my tea to heat up I thought I'd peruse one of the cookbooks about candies and cookies. It was old and looked like it was stuffed with clippings. And what do I find...her handwritten list of all the cookies she had prepared each year from 1994-99. The names of each cookie and how many she made of each. Each year she made over a thousand cookies for Christmas. On each paper was her written out calculation of how many cookies she needed and who they went to. And in another section of clippings were all the recipes listed on those papers.
I had found it. Her cookie list. It was like finding a little piece of her tucked away. And it made my day.