Today one of the girls told me that there had been some Christmas baking done already. It is a Christmas cookey.  I don’t think these will be hung on the tree. I know the woman who helps in the kitchen likes to make these cookeys better than fruit cake.  She has to beat the eggs in fruit cake for one half an hour.  I think that is a long time. Josh told me his mother uses a mixer to beat eggs and it doesn’t take long at all.  I don’t think we have that kind of a mixer.  Brent said he thought he could beat the eggs even faster than a mixer.  Josh really was laughing about that and rolled on the floor.  He made me laugh too.

I can see the big log that Father has chosen to burn on Christmas Eve. It is in the yard. It is bigger than all the rest. Christmas Eve is the night of the birth of Jesus. We listen to the story before bed and have lots of cake and cider to eat. There will be nuts to crack and games to play. My favorite game is “Hunt the Slipper.” I like “Hold fast and Let Go” also. The boys don’t like that game. Josh and Brent said it was a game for babies. I got mad and made them go away.

Hold Fast & Let Go:

Hold Fast & Let Go is a game of opposites. Four girls stand in a circle and each holds a corner of a handkerchief. A fifth girl calls out either “Hold Fast!” or “Let Go!”  The girls must do the opposite of what is being called. If they are told to “Let Go!” they must hang on to the handkerchief. “Hold Fast!” means to drop their corner. Any girl that confuses the calls is “out” and trades places with the caller.

Christmas Cookey:

To three pound of flour, sprinkle a tea cup of fine powdered coriander seed, rub in one pound of butter and one and a half pound sugar, dissolve one teaspoonful of pearlash (a rising agent) in a tea cup of milk, kneed all together well, roll three quarters of an inch think, and cut or stamp into shape and slice as you please, bake slowly fifteen or twenty minutes, tho’ hard and dry at first, if put in an earthen pot and dry cellar or damp room, they will be finest, softer and better when six months old.*

*American Cookery, 1802, Amelia Simmons

by Mary Beekman

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