Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Geneabloggers Winter Cookbook- Chocolate Reindeer Cookies

These cookies are really easy to make and are very festive-looking.

Chocolate Reindeer Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine. softened

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup cocoa

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

72 small unsalted pretzels

72 candy-coated milk chocolate pieces

36 small red gumdrops

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer or medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.

Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

Divide into 6 equal portions. Wrap and chill for 3 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a circle 6″ in diameter. Using a knife, cut each circle into 6 wedges and place 2″ apart on cookie sheet.

To make antlers, on each triangle lightly press a pretzel into upper corners. Cut off about 1″ of bottom point, and cut into two small triangles. Place small triangles, tip side up, over antlers and press the bottom part into dough to make ears.

Press red gumball into bottom edge for nose, and chocolate pieces for eyes.

Bake in 375F oven for 7 -9 minutes or until edges are firm. do not over-bake. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 36 cookies.

The original recipe didn’t have the one step of cutting the bottom tip and making two ears and the pretzels fell off. With this modification, the pretzel antlers stay put and the reindeer looks more like a reindeer. I used melted white chocolate and mini-chips to make the eyes after the cookies were cooled when I made them.


Filed under: Geneablogger's Winter Cookbook 2009, Special Events, , , ,

Do The Spelling Rules Apply To Names?

I have often caught myself misspelling surnames because of the spelling rules I learned as a child. I was a good speller, always getting “A’s” in spelling, but since I’ve started doing genealogy research, I have found that some of the rules of spelling and pronunciation seem to have been broken.

This one rule: “I” before “E” except after “C” or when used as an “A” as in “neighbour” and “weigh” I have a real problem with. What is the correct pronunciation of “O’Neil”, is it an “E” sound or an “A” sound? I have never heard it pronounced the way that it is supposed to sound, according to the “rules”. “Freisman” is another example of rules being broken, you can tell by the misspellings in the censuses that it was an “e” sound, I’ve never ran into any that have spelled it with an “A” sound, only “E” sounds. Has anyone else ran into this with any of their surnames?

Filed under: Genealogy, ,

Geneablogger’s Winter 2009 Cookbook – Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

When we go to my sister’s house for our family get-together, there are some foods that are brought every year, one of the favourite desserts that my sister-in-law brings is a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll. She doesn’t make it, her mother makes it, and decorates it for her with Christmas picks. She bakes two because we have such a large family. We split up the leftovers at the end of the night for everyone to take home, but there hasn’t ever been any leftovers of this dessert. I have bugged my sister-in-law to get the recipe from her mother for years and finally I found one that tastes almost the same, my husband, says it tastes the same, but, everything always tastes better when someone else makes it.

My husband going for a piece of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll


3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional confectioners’ sugar, optional


Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed until thick and lemon-coloured. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin, beating on high until sugar is almost dissolved.
In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Unroll cake; spread filling evenly to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again. Cover and freeze until firm. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Yield: 10 servings.

Filed under: Geneablogger's Winter Cookbook 2009, Special Events, ,

Wordless Wednesday – Best Wishes and Hugs, Sheri

Filed under: Daily Genealogy Blogging Themes, Wordless Wednesday, ,

Off Topic – Sheri’s Fall

We were informed by Sheri Bush’s daughter on our group, Seeking Our Twigs, that she had a bad fall on Monday night and broke her arm and ankle. She underwent surgery yesterday on her arm and her ankle is in a cast. She is hoping to be home from the hospital today but won’t be able to do any blogging for a while. Sheri is the author of Twig Talk and the Jackson County Journal . Here’s an update from her daughter:

Hello Again folks .
Just talked to mom a little while ago she called .
She’s doing and feeling much better .
She’s tired of jello .LOL she’s said I’m ready for REAL food .
But the pain is better and she is still on pain meds which have apparently
worked they’re charm .
The Physical Therapist should be in the in the morning to talk to mom and see
how she is as far as getting up and everything .
She’s eager to get moving instead of laying in the hospital bed.LOL
So she’s ready to pack up and come home .
We are still in shock over the fall and the why that’s a puzzle .
I’ve told her of the well wishes she has recieved so far .
She greatly appreciates it .
and keep ’em comming either via group or email I’ll be view both I’ll print it
all out and let her view .
She got a kick out of the name I gave my self
Secretary Shani .

Talk again soon with another update.
Secretary Daughter Shani

If anyone wants to, you can email her or leave a comment on her blog. Our prayers are with you Sheri, hoping for a quick recovery.

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December 2nd – Our Christmas Beast Feast

This is my post for the Dec. 2nd Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories at Geneabloggers. I thought I would try my hand at poetry, for a change, in the style of Dr. Seuss. The topic for today is Holiday Foods. Did your family or ancestors serve traditional dishes for the holidays? Was there one dish that was unusual?

Our Christmas Beast Feast

When we all gather for our Christmas feast,
on the menu, we always find some sort of beast.

What is it this year, a bear or a moose,
or jerky made out of dried duck or goose?

Perhaps, some venison, sausage or roast,
It’s entirely up to the whim of our host.

We will eat anything put on our plate,
any beast he could shoot, we willingly ate.

We were not fussy, didn’t care how it looked,
the only thing we asked was that it was cooked.

Our host is a hunter, a good one at that,
he stalks his prey with the stealth of a cat.

Ducks that once lived, by skilled hands are in flight,
frozen in time, to the hunter’s delight.

Alas, in the living-room, stands by the chair,
a well-deserved trophy, a full-grown black bear.

I wonder, what family feast it supplied?
I’ll bet it was great, whether roasted or fried.

What will it be this year, I can hardly wait
to see what sort of beast ends up on my plate.

I don’t really care what beast it may be,
As long as I share it with my family.

Filed under: Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2009, Special Events, , , ,

December 2009
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