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Thanksgiving cookies

These lemon ginger sugar cookies will be perfect for your favorite Thanksgiving cookie cutter.

By The Gourmand Mom / November 24, 2010

Decorated Thanksgiving cookies like these lemon ginger sugar cookies will give your table a festive splash.

The Gourmand Mom

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For as long as I know, it’s been my Grammy’s tradition to prepare the entire feast, from the antipasto platter to the baked pasta dish to the turkey with all its fixings, right down to the dessert buffet. It’s her holiday. But, recently, my Grammy had surgery on her hand which has made normal day-to-day tasks a challenge. So, a couple weeks ago, I called my Grammy and offered her some Thanksgiving help. I offered to make the stuffing or the mashed potatoes or the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, or veggies. Whatever she needed, I’d make it all. But, my offer was politely refused. She’d already made her plans.

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After a bit of insisting and offering to bring every dish I could think of, my Grammy finally had a request. How about you make the turkey cutout cookies, she said. They are a tradition and I’m not sure my hand is up to rolling out the dough. I paused. It was a long pause. And then I reluctantly agreed. How could I say no?

But the truth is that I loath making cutout cookies. Yes, my feelings about cutout cookies are that strong. I derive no joy from the process of flouring and rolling and cutting and baking, repeating this process again and again until all of the dough is used. Don’t get me wrong… I love baking. And cookies are no exception. But cutout cookies do nothing for me. I find the labor involved to be tedious and the result surprisingly underwhelming.

The decorating process provides no more satisfaction to me than the baking. In another life, I’d probably relish in the decorating, give my crafty side free reign to play and enjoy creating intricate designs with royal icing. But my current circumstances, constantly flocked by two busy little boys, makes tending to the details of decorating a challenge. Most activities are a rush against the clock, racing between naps, tantrums, short attention spans and doctor’s appointments. Time for attention to detail is not currently a part of my life. But that’s a tiny price to pay for the great joys of my little family.

Making cutout cookies was not exactly on the top of the list of ways I would have liked to help. But, how could I say no to this one simple request? And so I agreed. I love cooking with the kids and this task was right up their alley, so we turned it into a family affair. They were more than happy to help with the mixing, rolling, and cutting. We started with a basic recipe for sugar cookies from Martha Stewart and jazzed it up with a bit of lemon and ginger. My little quality control experts certainly approved.

Just as Christmas isn’t really about the gifts, Thanksgiving is not truly about the food. It’s a joy to be able to contribute a small, traditional part of our Thanksgiving feast. But, the day isn’t about turkey cookies, stuffing, or pies. It’s about family, friends, and love. It’s about good health, a warm house, and the ability to spend the day with loved ones. It’s about the love which exponentially multiplies as our family grows. We have so much to be thankful for.

And so tomorrow, as I sit down with my loved ones, to stuff myself with Thanksgiving goodies, I will pause for a moment and raise my glass of sparking grape juice in thanks for all of my blessings; for my loving husband, precious children, and the new life growing inside me; for a comfortable home with a big, full fridge, our over-sized yellow lab, and the most comfortable bed I can imagine; for my siblings and sibling-in-laws, my friends, and all of my family; for my collection of reliable cookware and the ability to use it; and for chocolate, cheese, and spicy food. For all of these things and more, I am infinitely thankful.

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