Greek cookies | Mezzelune grece

butter, 1 cup
confectionary sugar, 2 cups
egg, one
anise extract, 2 tablesppons
almond extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons
flour, 5 cups

1. Mix butter, sugar, egg, and extracts.
2. Add two cups of flour.
3. Blend for 1 1/2 minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed.
4. Stir in remaining flour (3 cups).
5. Knead until smooth.
6. Shape into crescents.
7. Bake at 350˚F for 15 to 20 minutes. (Cookies won’t brown on top.)
8. Sprinkle with confectionary sugar while hot.

the story
Random memories of Christmas decorating...

Christmastime with my grandmother Ida at her house, c. 1970s.
For most of my childhood, we had pretty silk, lace and velvet stockings that hung by the fireplace, strictly for decoration, and five or six stockings apiece (some of which look to have been purchased around the same time as the ones here) that would appear on Christmas morning, full to bursting and laid out on the sofa.

My sister next to our Christmas tree, c. 1987.

We usually had (and still have) a large (ten-plus foot) Christmas tree that we cut down ourselves. With white lights only (colored lights were deemed tacky), the tree's color scheme only changed a few times in twenty-five years. It started out red and white, then dusty blue and mauve, and finally, most recently shades of blue and white. The white snowflake ornaments were crocheted by my grandmother; I have a few that have survived on my own tree.

My sister (left) and I (right) on Christmas morning, c. 1988. 
Upstairs, usually between our bedrooms, we were allowed to have a smaller tree (this one was looking a little Charlie Brown-esque) with lights and ornaments in every color imaginable. Sometime in late elementary school or junior high, we each bought a small artificial tree for our rooms that we decorated with ornaments we have collected for ourselves. I favored white lights, lavender ribbons and lots of glass, crystal and sparkles; my sister stuck with the rainbow colors.

My first living Christmas tree! Colorado, December 2011.

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