The Christmas Cookie Club

Friday, December 4, 2009

Welcome to another installment A Book a Day: Christmas Edition. Today I decided to figure out how to make wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free Christmas cookies, and since there are no books about people making allergy-free Christmas cookies (the publishing world really needs to get on that one) I had to settle for a book about people making regular Christmas cookies (okay fine Ms. Author, if that's how you want to play it, being all normal and everything.) But, before we get to a discussion of today's book, it's time to take another trip back to my childhood.

Ahh, is there anything better than being squeaky clean, straight from your bath, wearing pajamas that color-coordinate with your brothers and posing in front of the Christmas tree? It's just a shame that my Mother couldn't have found some way to color-coordinate us to the carpet. And oh what beautiful carpet it was. As you can see from the color of the carpet in question, the Wetzel family embraced the early 80s and gave it a nice warm hug.

Today's book, "Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories."

Shallow Christmasy thoughts:

  • If the book description has left you undecided as to whether you would want to read today's book, I'm going to tell you the first sentence, because you can tell so much about a book by the first sentence. Here goes, "I am the head cookie bitch and this is my party." If you are still undecided then I will tell you that today's book was better than the typical Chick-lit book (and apologies for using that expression because I do know how annoying it is - I just can't think of what else to call it) but it wasn't wonderful. It was worth reading once, but not something I would read a second time.

  • If you are squeamish I would strongly advise you skip pages 37-39 when one of the characters dies a gruesome death. I don't feel I'm giving anything away since the death is mentioned in the first couple of pages of the book. I'm not sure why authors feel the need to share ever brutal detail of really unpleasant deaths, but I really wish they would stop. I don't enjoy reading what I expect to be a fairly pleasant book and then run across passages that made me shudder. But, since I like to arrogantly think of myself as your literary tour guide I just thought of it as taking one for the team.

  • In between the chapters there were sections that told the history behind some of the ingredients used in Christmas cookies (wheat, nuts, etc.) and I learned a few fun facts to share with you. 1. Wheat is believed to have been cultivated in Turkey about ten thousand years ago. - But it wasn't until 1998 that it became the bane of a certain bloggers existence, and a source of amusement to her sister who insists she have her picture taken next to signs that say "Eat more wheat." 2. Cinnamon is a natural anti-bacterial. - So the next time you're eating a cinnamon roll you can tell yourself, "I'm doing this for my health." 3. It takes 2 to 3 gallons of milk to form a pound of butter. - Okay, now we're kind of veering out of "Fun Facts" territory and headed into "Stuff I Learned in Third Grade But Have Completely Forgotten Because There Are So Many Facts About TV Lodged in My Brain That There's No Room For Anything Else" territory.