Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Wisdom of Marmee

One of my favorite books is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and, consequently, on a cold, snowy day I love to return to the much-loved movie adaptation, in which Susan Sarandon plays the beloved character of Marmee. I have read the book countless times through the years and watch the movie at least once every winter. This winter as several things culminated in my life: a worldwide pandemic, my love for baking, a brand new convection oven, a lifelong love for literature, working remotely, continuing my education in the discipline of English/Literature, and my ever present affinity for Marmee (who is totally real to me), I was thrilled to discover there are cookbooks out there based on classic literature! 

These lovely little "Vanilla Butter Cookies With Mr. Bhaer's Chocolate Drops" are quick and easy to mix up and bake when you feel the need for some snug comfort, especially when the frosty winds are blowing outside. The first time I baked them was on New Year's Day 2021. After all the things each of us experienced individually, and globally, I felt like it was more important than ever to ring in this new year with something totally different. My entire family was so delighted with the buttery taste of these simple cookies and the perfect chocolate star center that I plan to make this my New Year's Day tradition from now on. I feel like there's a bit of Marmee telling me, "After 2020, out with the old and in with the new has a whole new meaning!". I always listen to my inner Marmee.

When you take these out of the oven and that fresh-baked aroma hits you, it will make you happy to be alive. You will want to bless everyone who crosses your path with a melt-in-your mouth, this year will be better, I am sure it has to be because Marmee says so, cookie. It's the chocolate star in the center. I really think it's the star that we hang our hopes on. Well, actually, it's the wisdom of Marmee. Although the character "Jo" is primarily based on Louisa May Alcott, I think of Marmee as the heart of her creator, who was an abolitionist and a feminist. If you have never read  Little Women or anything by or about this great lady, I highly recommend it. She was a strong, independent thinking woman in a time when it was not yet fashionable. 

                        "Don't shut yourself up in a bandbox because you are a woman. 
                              Educate yourself to take your part in the world's work." 
                                                                   - Marmee 
                                                               Little Women  
                                                           Louisa May Alcott