Always Grateful for our Cookie-Making Tradition

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

 Thankful for our Cookie-Making Tradition

We have a long-standing cookie-making tradition at Thanksgiving. It’s been going on for decades, and I have shared it before. After all, it’s a tradition!

 

In 2022 both daughters and their families were with us for Thanksgiving, and this year was supposed to be a repeat. Alas, that did not happen. We heard Wednesday night our younger daughter’s older daughter was quite sick and had a fever, and the younger one was not well either, so they would not be joining us.

 

Early Thanksgiving morning we learned our daughter had to take our granddaughter to the ER around 6 am since she still had a fever but was also quite dizzy. The xray did not show pneumonia, fortunately, and the IV helped with the dizziness fairly quickly. The ultimate diagnosis was RSV but with some antibiotics she is feeling much better now! But it certainly was not a fun Thanksgiving for them. I'm very thankful some good friends of theirs in the area shared food with them!

 

So instead of shopping on Black Friday it was our cookie-making day with 2 of the 4 grandkids. We saved about 1/3 of the dough and sent it back to our other daughter in LA via our older daughter today in a care package, so they could make their own cookies. Of course we included some holiday leftovers, too!

 

Making Honey Lebkuchen has been a tradition on the maternal side of my wife’s family for generations, and we started our own tradition when my wife and I first started dating. We make the cookies at Thanksgiving and depending on the size, and varying shapes with grandkids involved, there are usually about 15 dozen.

 

I’d guess we’ve made well over 8000 cookies in our time together, not including other cookies we make for the holidays. And I’ve certainly consumed many hundreds over the years!

 

A big part of the fun of making these cookies, in addition to eating them and being with family, is sharing with others.

 

It’s quite a process from start to finish. I always fix the batter a day or two before cookie making day - that takes a couple of hours. While much of the recipe is pretty easy, it gets laborious when you have to stir in 12 or so cups of flour into the honey, brown and granulated sugar, and butter mixture. I’ve even broken 2 wooden spoons over the years.

The honey, sugar, butter mixture cooking 

 

Honey, sugar, butter mixture ready for the flour 

 

Once the dough is rolled out (my wife does this) it’s traditionally cut into diamond shapes. But when grandkids are around some of the tradition flies out the window, with the holiday cookie cutter shapes being popular. Each cookie gets 1 blanched almond before baking (some grandkid creations have more than 1). Cookies are coated with a glaze of powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract once baked and still warm.

 

We keep the Lebkuchen in canisters for a few weeks to season and soften with a piece of bread. The cardamom, citron, and honey lend a special flavor over time, but no one waits long before testing them out. While it’s nice to have some for Christmas Day and later, they don’t always last that long between us eating them and sharing with others.

 

We have a few other holiday traditions but this is one I particularly like due to family involvement. And I enjoy creating something to share with family and friends. On a few occasions we’ve had friends over to make them (it’s a lot of work for just 2 people!). I can’t imagine the holidays without this family tradition every year. I hope it continues for a long time, and perhaps our kids will take it on themselves as we did years ago.

 

I’m always grateful for this special tradition and the joy of having family around during the Thanksgiving holiday. Once again it was a special moment again this year.

 

This is my 3rd entry for the November Gratitude Challenge. Thank you, Debe Maxwell, CRS, for hosting and for this fun opportunity to share what we are thankful for.

Posted by

Jeff Dowler, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist / Realtor®


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Comments (33)

Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Endre Barath, Jr. 

Yes it was a disappointment, especially for my daughter and family. But we will all likely get together on Christmas Day in LA. Hopefully no one will be sick!

Jeff

Nov 26, 2023 10:25 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC  It was a wonderful holiday and the cookies turned out well. It's such a fun time every year.

I enjoy reading about other people's traditions, don't you?

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

 Jeff

Nov 26, 2023 10:29 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Ha ha Brian England 

Being a taste tester is a good role to have, isn't it?

Jeff

Nov 26, 2023 10:31 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

So true Kat Palmiotti 

It's a fun tradition and I cannot imagine the holidays without making the Lebkuchen. Our daughters grew up making them with us and now their kids look forward to it every year, too.

Jeff

Nov 26, 2023 10:38 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you for the kind words, Michael Jacobs  It was certainly not the Thanksgiving they were expecting.

It's a wonderful and tasty tradition that we enjoy every year...hopefully for a long time to come.

Jeff

Nov 26, 2023 02:00 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Jeff Dowler, CRS glad to know about this great family delicious cookie making tradition on Thanksgiving.

Nov 26, 2023 02:08 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jeff Dowler, CRS - What a wondeful tradition to share with us.  I bet those cookies are really good.  Having involvement from the family is what makes this so special.  

Nov 27, 2023 11:08 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Wayne Martin 

Not everyone likes to bake but perhaps your wife's hope will be realized. Seems to me our older granddaughter started helping with the cookies at a young age.

Jeff

Nov 27, 2023 01:13 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks for stopping by,  George Souto 

Perhaps you should start your own holiday cookie tradition!

Jeff

 

Nov 27, 2023 01:39 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker 

I've never had Lebkuchen with chocolate - sounds pretty good to me. Nothing like having good sources for foods you like.

Jeff

Nov 27, 2023 02:17 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you John Pusa 

It's a fun and tasty tradition we enjoy every year.

Jeff

Nov 27, 2023 02:18 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you  Sheri Sperry - MCNE®  We enjoy it every year and the kids are able to do more, like rolling out the dough, as they have gotten older. 

It really was a shame the whole family could not participate this year but there's next year!

Jeff

Nov 27, 2023 02:20 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler, CRS - What a nice bitter sweet Thanksgiving Day! I can empathize with you and your wife to learn both daughters and family members had to cancel out on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And then to learn your grandchild was rushed to the ER. That put a lump in my throat just reading it. I can only imagine how you and your wife felt. I hope she is recovering and soon you'll all be together again. Isn't it wonderful Christmas follows giving enough time in between to get well?

What a sweet tradition about baking cookies. I liked how how you shared your story and showed pictures too! You sure have made an enormous amount over the years. Truly, a labor of love! Good for you for having a plan and following through, without giving up on the family tradition! 

The beauty of it all is, in body, mind, and soul, you and your family are always connected and supportive of one another. I wish you all good health, happiness, and most of all continous togetherness. 

Nov 28, 2023 05:02 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Thank you for such a kind and thoughtful comment.

It was disappointing to not have the whole family as we had all planned but life doesn't always go the way we want, does it?!

All is well, thankfully, and my granddaughter seems back to normal. We will hope for good health over Christmas so we can spend that day together up in LA.

Jeff

Nov 28, 2023 09:16 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Cookie making is a fun process, though laborious in getting the dough formed. Glad your granddaughter is feeling better and you all managed to still do your traditional treats, Jeff!

Nov 28, 2023 04:07 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I am not a cookie maker but Chef Dolores provides some wonderful cookies. We usually have a supply in the freezer.

Nov 29, 2023 10:46 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you so much Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!  We were all very concerned about our granddaughter and so pleased she has recuperated quickly.

Yep, this dough is a challenge to stir but it is a labor of love. We so enjoy this annual family tradition at Thanksgiving, even when not everyone can be in one place at the same time.

Jeff

Nov 29, 2023 11:31 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Roy Kelley 

I bet there are plenty of people who do not bake cookies, but probably love to eat them. I'm not surprise Chef Dolores is a baker, too!

Jeff

Nov 29, 2023 12:01 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The RIGHT CHARLOTTE REALTOR!

Hi Jeff! I remember your German cookie tradition and love that you do it as a family! In my house, it's me, myself & I doing the baking! LOL

I'm so sorry to hear about your granddaughter. I do hope she's doing okay now. RSV is serious and so scary for children and seniors alike. One of my best friends (she's 55) had it in the fall and she was down for 3 solid weeks - quite ill. Did I say it's a scary illness?! 

Thank you for sharing your amazing cookies with us - one day, I will find some of those and try one to get a sampling of how yours taste!

Dec 01, 2023 06:20 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Debe Maxwell, CRS  Sounds like baking is another talent, and love, or yours!

We really enjoy making these cookies and having it part of the family tradition every year.

Jeff

Dec 02, 2023 10:14 AM