Today’s Recipe and Location: My Favorite Christmas Cookies
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
Pages: 318 - 320 Copyright: 2013 Harper Collins OR
The holidays are past, and I am still struggling to lose the extra pounds gained, so these cookies are not going to be made this year.
The base of these holiday treats is a sugar cookie. I personally love sugar cookies, and can’t think of putting them in my cupboards while I am thinking about staying in my calorie limit. What I think is really cool about these cookies is that prior to baking you paint on a colorful egg wash glaze. After the cookies have cooled, frosting is piped on as an outline. They are really different than other holiday cookies that I have eaten in the past. I bet we could try these on Easter and use the same recipe and process. Yep – that’s the plan.
This is a musical month for me. I learned about the 80th anniversary of The King and I earlier, and now I heard that 2015 is also the 60th anniversary of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I loved this movie as a kid. It had great singing and dancing and a lot of humor. Jane Powell was perfect in the lead as was Howard Keel. I loved finding out that Julie Newman was also in the musical cast. She would go on to play Catwoman in the Batman TV show.
After finishing college and getting my teaching degree, I needed to find a job. Of course, I wanted to work in the area where I grew up. I had completed my student teaching in St. Charles at Munhall School.
I applied for a job in the Fox Valley cities of St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and West Aurora. My first interview was for a 5th grade in St. Charles with Bob Graham, who at the time was the principal of Wasco Elementary. The interview went well. My next interview was in West Aurora at Freeman Elementary. Their position was a 5/6 part-time position. I was nervous, as there was a panel of three in the interview. They were wonderful. The principal asked to speak privately with the others, as I waited outside the room. He came back out, and told me that I should not take this position. He said that I should have a full time position and he wanted to send me immediately to Greenman Elementary where they had a fourth grade position that was full-time. I was overwhelmed by this compliment. I drove the mile to Greenman, and was interviewed by the principal Doug Zolper. The interview went well, and he said that he wanted to hire me, but that the Admin. Office would call and offer me the job. I left on top of the world.
This all occurred on a Friday. I called my mentor, Charlie Bell, and asked him what I should do. He told me that St. Charles was waiting on the numbers, and wouldn’t know until Tuesday. He said that if West Aurora called that I should take the sure thing. He said if that happened, he would hire me when he became a principal in St. Charles.
Within minutes of hanging up with Charlie, the call came from West Aurora. They offered me a fourth grade position at Greenman, and I accepted the position.
I worked for the West Aurora School District for five years. It was the smartest thing I ever did. Growing up in middle class, white St. Charles was not the real world. Working with such diverse children was a blessing and a true learning experience for me. I loved the students and staff of Greenman.
Charlie Bell kept his word, and when he was given the principalship of Munhall Elementary, he called and told me to quit my job, because he had a fifth grade for me in St. Charles.
I am so grateful to Charlie for giving me my start in education.