Monday, December 19, 2011

A Quiet Blog

...means a quiet life. I'm focusing on taking care of myself and getting ready to spend the holidays with my family.  We have many holiday traditions, but those on the top of my boys' list revolve around food.  One of the most labor intensive, but really special are the peppernuts (also called papenate or pfefferneusse). It wouldn't be Christmas without them. It's one of our family's Mennonite food traditions.
They've also become a giving tradition for my husband.  We give everyone he works with a little bag filled with Christmas cheer.
My husband works with a LOT of folks so baking peppernuts is a week long activity involving about 20 cups of flour and thousands of these little dime sized cookies.
Star anise gives peppernuts their unique flavor.
In addition to the cookie jar, my boys like to have their own peppernut stash, so these houses will be stuffed full and go under the tree for each of them.
I have managed to make a few gifts, though I didn't get to everything I wanted to make.  I finished these infinity scarves made from a couple of my precious liberty fabrics, a Kokka fabric and some coordinating shot cottons.
I'm hoping that after Christmas I'll be feeling more like myself again, and let me tell you when that happens, I'll be quilting with a vengeance!
Have a wonderful holiday!

37 comments:

Suzanne said...

Those cookies are a memory of my childhood too. It is good to share the love in that way. Wishing you happy times with your family.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Those biscuits look lovely! Have a wonderful Christmas!

Carolyn S. said...

My family just finished one of our Christmas traditions, which is having a cookie bake where friends come armed with their favorite recipes and we create mayhem in the kitchen which results in everyone having a variety of cookies to gift their friends and co-workers. Our favorite of the cookies is a recipe for an almond cookie with cloves, decorated with a candied cherry or citron, passed down from my grandmother.
Thanks for sharing, and hope you have a wonderful time with your family.

Brenda said...

yummmm, peppernuts. we make them to give away at our house. Merry Christmas.

Toni said...

I love peppernuts! Luckily, my brother and sister thought they looked like dog food so I didn't have to share too much. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and are feeling fabulous with the new year!

**nicke... said...

what a fun tradition!

abcgirl said...

How did I not know you had Mennonite connections too? My mother-in-law just told the story of how she gave peppernuts to their church friends the first year they moved out east (they'd lived in Kansas for forever before that) and everyone thought she'd given them little baggies of dogfood! Good thing they smell so nice...

sybil said...

Love the infinity scarves! Are they neck or head scarves? I've challenged myself to make chemo scarves/caps this year and am on the lookout for patterns - is this your own design or commercially available?

Thanks (and the cookies look fab!).

Heidi said...

You have no idea how excited I was when I saw peppernuts. I LOVE them. My mom and sister and I worked hard one day last week and made 6 batches. They are a christmas staple at our house too!!

Sara said...

My dad adores those as well---we need to get some cuz I don't think I could duplicate them:)

Where did you get the adorable little houses?

silversmith said...

yeah!!! another person who bakes hundreds of those little yummy pfefferneusse too!! they're my son's favorite and he helps me roll them into little balls the last few years.

Living in the Bay said...

Christmas blessings to you, Jacquie. Take some time for yourself to reconnect with your spirit. You are such a gift to us.

Kristen said...

Pfefferneusse is something my german grandmother use to make at Christmas time when I was little. Thanks for reminding me of the memory. Maybe I'll have a go with them this week. Have a beautiful quiet time.

Anonymous said...

Ok, forgive my ignorance, but what are peppernuts? Are they cookies, biscuits, hard, soft? What ingredients go in to them? I will conduct a google search for clues. Are they German? I've been reading the comments and most people seem to know about them. I haven't a clue!

Brigitte Heitland said...

We have this tradition of pfeffernüsse in Germany too, and there are many receipes for Christmas cookies. German houswifes put their whole ambition in this bakery. They start in November and do Vannillekipferl, Zimtsterne, Mürbteigplätzchen, Kokosmakronen, Sandtaler, Pfeffernüsse and many others. My mother packs an assortment of her treasures for every of her children and send it to us. This is what advent makes wonderful.

The Calico Cat said...

pfefferneusse I remember them from my years in Germany (though they were coated in powdered sugar) the only thing I like better - leibecuchen (I know that has to be spelled wrong... I usually pronounce it wrong too.)

Esch House Quilts said...

I didn't grow up with this tradition, but my closest friend is a pfeffernusse pfiend! I hope you are feeling better and you and your family have the happiest of holidays!

PS I love those gingerbread house boxes.

em's scrapbag said...

The gingerbread house boxes full of your yummy cookies are sure to be a hit with your boys. The festive bags are sure to delight your hubby's friends. The scraves are lovely. Hope your feeling back to your self soon. Enjoy your quiet Christmas!

Sharon said...

Jacquie, Have a wonderful Christmas with your family! Hope you're feeling better soon.

Tamie said...

I love your scarves. They are beautiful. Here's for a restful, joyous Christmas for you and your family.

Katherine said...

How amazing! I've been making peppernuts as well. My sons look forward to them all year long and I love giving them as gifts (despite my sons protests that I shouldn't be giving away so many of THEIR peppernuts. lol)

Happy Holidays to you and your family Jacqui!

mg said...

OH, they are gooood. I live in Abilene, KS and can get them from Newton/Goessel area. Can you post the recipe you use? or email to me. i havent found one online that i think that is the traditional one. thanks, marcus gann

Arita said...

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for sharing all your great quilting in 2011 and looking forward to 2012.

Connie said...

Healthy, happy holidays to you!

lindsey said...

I have never heard of those but they look delicious. I love those houses to store them in too. Don't think I have ever seen those in the UK. The scarves are beautiful, I love Liberty and have quite a stash myself....I make trips into the store in London to wander around and look at their lovely designs. Have a blessed Christmas!

silversmith said...

i had to come back for a second comment... i just found out that i'm going to be moments away from tallgrass prairie on friday. my father-in-law's "new" cabin is somewhere in the emporia/council grove area and we'll be lunching in council grove. i wish you were still in kansas so i could meet up with you (although you now live where i was born...)!

merry christmas to you and your family.

Betsy said...

I'm glad you are having a good holiday season. We miss you in KC! Nice scarves by the way!

sewkatiedid said...

You're so awesome. I saw those scarfs when I checked out how you were doing and L-O-V-E-D them and guess what I am wearing now!

xo

Verna G said...

LOve the peppernuts! I didn't make any this year. Also love your scarves. Do they have atwist in the fabric when you sew them?

Anonymous said...

Your posting about Peppernuts was my first encounter for these and than at Christmas my daughter had some that was given to her...delious. Would love your recipe you used...looked online and there is so many variations of this recipe....could you post yours?
I love all your fabric creations and enjoy your blog. Mary Kay

Mama Spark said...

I love to bake at Christmas too and I guess we all have our favorites don't we? I sure hope you are on the mend and feeling like your old self soon!! I miss you!

MelanieO said...

Hope you had a wonderful holiday with family, Jacquie! We'll be here when you come back :)

Miri said...

Wishing you a Happy and healthy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Peppernuts? I must google this, because I have never heard of them. (I'm from California) I've heard of the traditional "mexican wedding cookies" made with chopped pecans during Christmas, but not peppernuts. Would you consider posting your recipe. Hate to sound ignorant, but I don't know anything about Mennonite food traditions & none of my friends on the West Coast do either. Thanks for considering this and enlightening those of us from different backgrounds, religions & traditions. I truly learn much from the quilting blogging world!

ScrappyStuff said...

OMG! i've been looking for someone to make me Peppernuts! ... or teach me ... mine turn out like rocks!
I miss them, my Aunt Anna made the best! ... happy belated holidays!

Petri (1953) said...

Peppernuts for Christmas? That's funny!
In Dutch tradition we eate them at St Nicolaas (or Sinterklaas), on his birthday on the 5th of december (and the weeks before). We call them pepernoten and St Nicolaas assistants (Black Peters or Zwarte Piet) TROW the peppertnuts to the children, as you can see on the website of a real Dutch Peppernut-factory!
Link; http://www.pepernotenfabriek.nl/oorsprong_pepernoten.html

Anonymous said...

I'm flipping through your blog for the first time and I see peppernuts!! My hubby's family make them every Christmas and now we make them every Christmas. YUM!! In answer to the couple above, yes, they're cookies, they're hard, but we often soak them in our coffee and eat them that way, though I've been known to eat them straight up! YUM!!