food and the home: creating traditions


Where would we be without our traditions?

Traditions ground us to something meaningful and real that we can expect time and time again.

Food and traditions are as synonymous as sugar cookies and icing.  As hot chocolate and cuddling around the fire.  As pumpkin pie and family holidays.


I'm so intrigued with the relationship of food and family traditions.  So many of my memories of childhood are surrounded by food and family, together.


We leave tomorrow for a special family tradition: going to the Outer Banks.  I climbed this Hatteras lighthouse when I was a little girl.  Bobby did so when he was a little boy, although we had never met and lived 300 miles away from each other.  We climbed it together on our honeymoon.  Our children are beginning to be tall enough to climb it with us and look out over the Atlantic Ocean.  And so the tradition continues.  This might be Johanna's year...

We've been holding onto a special lighthouse cookie cutter we happened upon earlier this year.  It has sat in the cabinet, waiting for this exact moment.



And so yesterday Little Miss Hatteras cookie cutter was busy cutting and cutting lots of mini lighthouses.  The girls didn't seem to care that the frosting (I made up) wasn't beautiful and, in fact, neither was the final product.  All they know is they are taking their special lighthouse cookies from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.  They know we've arrived, figuratively, at the beach.



Just today, after scrambling to finish the cookies to turn around and make dinner, I slowed down enough to think for a moment: each year these cookies will be something different.

What will each year bring?

How will our lighthouse cookies reflect who me and my children have become?

More intricate with the girls' ages?  More sparkly as they become little women?


The cookie cutter will grow more worn and rusted with each year we meet at the counter for this tradition, is what I thought.  It sort of broke my heart thinking of my girls growing up before my eyes, right here at this very counter, making little lighthouse cookies together...


Thank heaven for tradition, that grounds me to hold on to what is right in front of me.




the sleepy time gal