Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘traditions

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

April 9, 2015 at 12:41 am

Christmas Traditions

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If someone were to ask me what my Christmas traditions were, up until last week I’d have probably said moping around on Christmas Day lamenting at how it wasn’t traditional.  Bah humbug!helpers

I always loved Christmases growing up in England, and spending the holidays in the heat of the southern hemisphere far away from family has always led to much homesickness.  But this year is different.  Maybe it is because we got to have a trip to England this year.  Maybe it is because we feel more settled here now, with me working, and the kids settled and happy in school.  Maybe because this is the year I decided we’d start our own tradition.

cookiesI have these cookies that I always make at this time of year.  I wouldn’t say they’re the best cookies in the whole entire world, but that is only because I let other people do that.  See, I’m humble!  When I make these, I’m reminded how we can never, ever let our kids near crack, booze, or anything else as addictive, but nearly as wholesome as my cookies.

The kids like to help with making them, almost as much as they like to help to eat them all afterwards.  But this year, after allotting a couple for each member of the family, and Santa his traditional portion, I decided the rest of the batch was going to go elsewhere.

You see, I’m not the only ones who doesn’t get to spend time with their family.  The guards at our consulate work year-round to keep us safe.  We don’t have Marine Security Guards here, so these guys are on duty constantly.  What’s more, they are the friendliest bunch of people on this planet, and always, always, make time for our kids and their quirks.  Because many of these guys’ families are in villages far from Johannesburg, working on Christmas Day means that they don’t get to spend time with their loved ones for the holidays.

So, new tradition- they get the cookies.  We wrapped them nicely, stuck the one nice photo of our family we’ve taken in years on them (which is also masquerading as a Christmas card), put Santa hats on the kids and drove to the Consulate to deliver our goodies.  It felt great- even better than my belly feels with those delicious cookies inside them.  So there you have it- new tradition.

Now, we have one more R & R trip during our tour to South Africa, and we plan on going to the UK for it.  So I won’t be able to deliver cookies on the day here, but I’m thinking that there’ll be a police station, or a hospital, maybe a homeless shelter where the cookies would be appreciated.  I have to do it- it is traditional!

So then I was thinking, because these cookies are too good not to share, what if I gave you the recipe*?  And maybe you’d also share them with someone who has to work, or who is protecting all of us day in, day out, with no holiday break.

So although I’m really not a food blogger, here is the recipe using US measurements:cubbychef

Makes about 3 dozen (ish).

3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
8 oz white chocolate chips (or whatever you want, and it doesn’t have to be precise at all).

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine flour, cocoa, soda and salt in medium mixing bowl
3. In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Beat in eggs one at a time
5. Blend in flour mix
6. Stir in choc chips / peppermint patties
7. Roll into balls then flatten onto baking sheet
8. Leave space between each cookiewrapped
9. Bake 8-10 mins until set
10. Cool 1 min
11. Transfer to racks with spatula

*Slight note here: this is my adaptation from an original recipe and I have no idea whose.  I found it in an old cookbook at my mother-in-law’s house before I was married.  I have adapted it a little over the years, and it is a very forgiving dough that works at different altitudes and lets your play around with different chocolate chips etc.

I hope you enjoy them, but I really hope you share them.  It turns out that is what Christmas is all about- no matter where you happen to spend it!

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree (at Hopeful Parents)

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This post was originally published at Hopeful parents.  You can find the link here.


Hopeful Parents

For Pudding’s first Christmas, I began a new tradition of collecting Christmas ornaments from the various places we visited.  Over the first couple of years of her life, we picked them up from Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and France.  I particularly like the handmade wooden ones from that part of the world, and we enjoyed traveling to the Christmas markets in search of new ones.

Like many other families, following Pudding’s ASD diagnosis, our lives were forever changed.  Instead of moving on to another country, we decided to remain in the US for a tour to learn all we could about the various therapies and supports she needs.  Now there is no budget for travel.  The only place we have been as a family in the last year and a half is to Florida to visit family.   I thought my ornament collection would dwindle to a halt, but I was wrong.

This year Pudding helped me to decorate the tree.  As placed each one on the tree, I told her the story of each one.  What I didn’t realize until then, was that I’d unwittingly started a second collection of ornaments.  I unwrapped a Bambi ornament, the nickname we’d given her before she was born.  Next came a “Where the Wild Things” ornament we’d bought back when she insisted upon hearing that story every night before bed.  Then last year, we’d got her a Sleeping Beauty ornament when that became her special interest.  One day over the summer at a craft fair I even found an ornament with Bashful.  All the special interests my girl has ever had our hanging proudly from our tree.  This year I’m going to have to find an ornament with Sesame Street’s Ernie for Pudding, and a train for her brother.

It occurred to me then that our Christmas tree is still telling our story, it is just a different journey now.  This weekend we had a party, and as an activity I helped the children make Christmas tree ornaments.  Even a year ago Pudding wouldn’t have had the fine motor skills or patience for such a task, but with a lot of help, she made her own ornament.  I’m going to hang it proudly on our Christmas Tree.

That ornament tells the best story of all.

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 19, 2010 at 8:04 am