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Cooking Corner


December 24, 2011
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier


Christmas seems to bring out the best in people. It brings upon us a certain peaceful feeling that most of us don't experience the rest of the year. Everything leading up to Christmas, for me, could be quite hectic. Most of us scramble around trying to find that perfect gift, although this year I did do some shopping on the Internet. I have reached the stage in life that I can just take so much of the mall. I remember the days when a couple of friends would go out to the mall just a few nights before Christmas. The men would sit close to Santa Claus and watch the kids, while the other wife and I would look for bargains. Every store would be crowed with hectic people. Those were the good old days when shopping a few days before Christmas could be called an extreme sport. The best place to people watch I found out were at the jewelry stores. This was really a fun night and ending up with us going out to eat in a nice club, or restaurant.

We had Christmas Eve with Virgil's family and Santa Claus always came with lots of gifts. There was always an extravagant duck dinner with all the trimmings. We all brought something and everything was mouth watering. Grandma made pop-corn balls to pass out at the end of the night. Now that I'm the grandmother I still like to pass out pop-corn balls.

My family always celebrated on Christmas Day so there never were any conflicts. However, I lost my family when I was married only a few years, or they were far away, so we were able to establish our own traditions. The kids had their presents from Santa on Christmas Eve, but opened most of their gifts on Christmas morning. There were many a night before Christmas when my husband and I stayed up late remembering where we had hid the gifts and wrapping them. Sometimes they were even hidden in the barn. Speaking of the barn one of the most memorable happened when I said, "Daddy, has something to show us in the barn." We got dressed and then their dad came out of the barn leading a Shetland pony. Remembering all these Christmas pasts are very cherished memories.

I often wonder what future holidays will bring. I can only hope the future will bring many more special memories.

About this time in our holiday baking we need something easy to bake.


1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup butter

(not margarine), softened

4 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon almond


1 can cherry pie filling

Gradually add sugar to softened butter, add eggs one at a time. Add other ingredients-except pie filling. Spread in a well greased jelly roll pan. Mark off 20 -14 squares. Spoon filling into each square. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. When cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

"May your Christmas be filled with love and joy."



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