I’m blessed to have oodles of oft-used and much loved heritage recipes and cookbooks from the ladies in my family who came before me. But I’m not the only Lisa who does. I’ve invited my good friend Lisa Alzo to visit with you here on the Genealogy Gems blog.
Lisa is the author of Baba’s Kitchen and a well known genealogy lecturer.
She’s has also presented genealogy sessions at the Genealogy Gems booth at national genealogy conferences.
In today’s post, Lisa Alzo is generously sharing one of her mouthwatering holiday heritage recipes, and, most importantly, the loving genealogical story behind it.
Reflecting on Family Traditions
“I’ve been thinking a lot about family traditions lately. Perhaps it’s because I have been spending the majority of this year sorting and organizing family treasures, or maybe it is the approaching holiday season that makes me feel sentimental about food, family, and special times.
Each December, one of my favorite traditions is baking Christmas cut-out cookies, using this recipe that my dad’s sister Betty (“Auntie B” as I called her) passed down to me. I have many fond memories of baking these cookies with another “Auntie”—my father’s other sister (Sister Camilla) when she came home for the holidays to Pittsburgh from the convent where she lived in Texas.
To be honest, my mom would do most of the hard work of preparing the dough and rolling it out into large ovals on the wood cutting board dusted with flour. Auntie and I were in charge of the frosting and decorating, which in my opinion, was the best part. After all, Santa needed a big plate of these cookies when he dropped by.
The recipe has always been a favorite in our family because it is not just a plain sugar cookie, but has a hint of almond that provides extra special flavor.
For me, the holiday season is not complete until I make these cookies. So, every year I play holiday music, make the dough, use the Santa-in-his-cap cookie cutter (I still have the original), and sprinkle the red crystallized sugar on top of the powdered sugar icing on the freshly baked cookies. Inevitably, my mind always wanders back to the wonderful Christmas memories my aunts created with me.
Traditions are a part of our family history. This tradition stayed with me so much that I included the recipe for Auntie B’s Cookies in my book, Baba’s Kitchen: Slovak & Rusyn Family Recipes & Traditions. I’m pleased to share it with Genealogy Gems readers.”
– Lisa A. Alzo
Thank you, Lisa! I’m definitely going to whip up a batch of these and I’m sure I can entice Davy and Joey to do the sugar sprinkling! Happy baking and Merry Christmas.
More Holiday Heritage Recipes Inspiration
Cooking Up More Family History
Check out my fun retro recipe video called Cooking with the Toastite below. It features my conversation with the author of From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes Gena Philibert Ortega. I interviewed her in the free Genealogy Gems podcast episodes #137 and #138.