It's funny to think about the things that end up as traditions. I seriously doubt the Pilgrims put little marshmallows on top of their yams but a Thanksgiving table today hardly seems right without them, right? They flavor our memories, along with green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and the never ending argument about which is better -- cornbread dressing or breadcrumb stuffing. And at our house, no Thanksgiving would be complete without hand-shaped turkey cookies.
In fact, making and decorating sugar cookies spans all holidays around here. It started when my four year old daughter was 18 months old and a TV commercial for Pilsbury Christmas cookies caught her attention. She giggled, clapped and squealed at the display of multicolored treats ... then sobbed when the commercial ended. The next day we made a big batch of cookies with drippy globs of toddler-applied frosting. It was so much fun we made more cookies on New Years Eve, too. (Those candy sprinkles look a lot like confetti.) Valentine's Day sent us out to buy heart shaped cookie cutters. Easter? Of course, we had to have bunny cookies. There have been St. Patrick's Day clovers and Fourth of July flags and Halloween pumpkins. We even tried to make little worlds for Earth Day but they ended up looking more like paint splattered balls. Hey, the technique worked for Jackson Pollack! Maybe he decorated sugar cookies with his mom, too.
May you enjoy a Thanksgiving filled with traditions that comfort, amuse, enliven and inspire -- and by all means, feel free to add your own. This year my daughter decided that in addition to the gaggle of turkey cookies we should make a peacock. (It's the one on the lower left of the picture.) You know, I'll bet when those Pilgrims started cooking that first Thanksgiving someone probably said, "Here's an idea ... let's put marshmallows on the yams!"
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.