Wesel się pan powstał! Have some molasses cookies
My cousin left me a voicemail saying she wanted to talk with me "about something" and would "appreciate it" if I would call her back. This would normally be something of concern. But the cheeriness in her voice suggested she had good news to share.
I called her back. She asked if I was sitting. She proceeded to tell me that she had recently been reading our late grandmother's recipe book. I could hear her smile as she described some of the hand-written recipes, or "tested receipts," as our grandma called them, this Catholic mother-of-10 concocted in her Wisconsin farm kitchen.
One recipe in particular was not written in the book, but on the back of a card, which is posted here. I asked one of my former pupils, who is fluent in Polish, what it means. She said, "Rejoice, the Lord has Risen!" However, if you type it into Google Translate, you are given the translation,"You're wedded!" I'll leave it to you to massage that one on your own.
Anyway, on the other side of this card was a recipe my cousin knew would be of interest to me: My grandmother's once-was-lost-but-now-is-found molasses cookie recipe I spent countless hours and molasses jars unsuccessfully attempting to replicate.
These weren't just attempts to make a nice cookie. They were attempts to make her cookie. With each failure, I coveted the missing recipe and my memories of making these cookies with her all-the-more. I long-ago began seeing this side project as a sort of spiritual exercise, serving batches of molasses cookies to loved ones undergoing challenges or projects that are worthwhile, but are discouraging because they're moving as slow as ... well, you know.
My cousin sent me the recipe. I'll be giving it a go during Christmas cookie baking later this month.
Meanwhile, my cousin posted on Facebook that she was going through this recipe book and wanted to know if anyone was interested in having a copy. Considering the positive feedback she received, my cousin's trip to the printer for a quote appears to be a wise move. My only request will be that this recipe is included. And maybe a confusing, "Rejoice, the Lord has risen; you're wedded" in the margins.