The damn Greek cookies are koulrakia...a very simple butter twist cookie that is sometimes made with orange juice, anise, or whiskey.
I'm thinking that the whiskey part is what I'm doing wrong every year, since by the time I finish making the damn Greek cookies I am in desperate need of a drink.
It always starts out with the best intentions. I gather my ingredients, measure them carefully, and start mixing.
Here is where I should probably explain the part about my mom laughing and laughing. First of all, my mom was a very funny person, and she took delight in silly things. For example, she would probably think it hilarious that a 49 year old semi-accomplished baker like me throws a fit every year when she reads the recipe instructions....and they say "Get the dough so it isn't sticky and then roll the cookies like pencils and twist them."
That's it. No order of addition of ingredients. No oven temperature or helpful tips. Just a crazyass sentence that was probably the exact way my mom was told to make the damn Greek cookies, so that's how she wrote it down.
This year, I found another random piece of notebook paper in my recipe box written in Mom's handwriting, and lo and behold....it almost looks like it could be more information: "Mix the butter and sugar and eggs together and then dump in the rest of the flavorings. Put the baking soda into the orange juice...it will foam up. Use a big box of Swan's Down Cake Flour."
Holy crap on a cracker, I really should have bought that whiskey.
Now before you tell me that I could just Google a proper recipe for koulrakia, or I could go to the Greek Orthodox Church here in Hoosierville and ask one if the nice Greek ladies to take pity on me and teach me how to make the damn Greek cookies....I've got one word for you.
My mom loved these damn Greek cookies and evey year that I go through this I think of her and how much she loved the holidays. I laugh and laugh and wonder how I manage to get flour on the ceiling. Every. Single. Year. And when it's all over, I make a cup of coffee, give Stewey a bit of a damn Greek cookie, and I wish my mom a Merry Christmas wherever she is.
Tomorrow we're making Dad's favorite....the damn Italian cookies...cuccidati. Stay tuned!