Fall abruptly ended here last weekend with the arrival of 5 inches of snow. As excited as I am for winter, I’m not quite ready for this beautiful season to end. After missing out on fall for the last 3 years, I want it to last forever! So even if the weather won’t cooperate with my wishes, my baking and the smells coming from the oven can.
I’ve been thinking about making pumpkin cookies since the leaves barely started changing colors, (maybe this little announcement had something to do with that) but didn’t get around to making them until this past week. As soon as I took my first bite of these, I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you!
It’s December which means it’s Christmas cookie season! In the past, every Christmas vacation at home meant spending countless hours in the kitchen with my mom, sister and friends baking dozens of different kinds of cookies to send out as gifts. I have so many fun memories from doing this that baking cookies has become one of my favorite things about this time of year. Even though I will be spending Christmas in Oki again this year, baking cookies makes me feel a little closer to home and always puts me in the Christmas spirit. It must be the magical combination of mouth watering smells coming from the oven and Christmas music playing in the background. Since I’m already starting to feel nostalgic about Christmases at home (the sunny, 70 degree weather sure isn’t helping), Christmas cookie baking has begun in our house, which means I get to start sharing some of my favorite recipes, both old and new, with all of you!
One of the things that has been hardest for me to adjust to while living in Okinawa is the inability to get ingredients when I need them. In America, I could go to a grocery store and expect to find everything on my list. If the store didn’t have what I needed, although an inconvenience, I could stop at a different store to get it. In Okinawa, this is not always the case. The on-base grocery store, called a commissary, carries most American products that you could want, but not many specialty ingredients. Sometimes, I can find the items at off-base grocery stores, but due to cultural differences with food and the fact that we are 5,000 miles away from America, this is not always the case. The commissary, and every on-base store, commonly runs out of things (the running joke is that they will never have something in stock when you actually need it) so it is common to see Facebook posts asking where people have found certain ingredients off-base.