As you might recall, I took a food writing class last April. It was conducted online and via conference call as we students lived all across the US. Four of us really clicked and subsequently formed a writing group. We still submit work to each other on a regular basis and phone in for "class" twice a month. These women, one each in NM, MA and LA, are truly exceptional people; no doubt kismet brought us together. And I am grateful for it and for them! We write about many different aspects of food and in many different ways. Lili runs Delightful Palate, a business, website and blog based on her delightful artisanal condiments. Lili has a voice, wit and spunk that I adore. Catherine recently started an honest, soul-searching blog, Eating Art Work, and is a wonderful artist. She interweaves her writing and drawings and runs an Etsy store. Her kitchen towels are fabulous- I love the cantaloupe and grapefruit especially! Laura is an ace gardener, an incredibly adept researcher (seriously, you should see what she comes up with regarding the history and evolution of the food in question), has a sly humor and a real way with words. I am terrifically fond of these women, happy to call them friends, and hopeful I'll meet them in person at some point. For now I have their unique voices, the many works they've shared and a sense of connection that's significant.
We each recently received from Laura a beautiful box of carefully packed, heart-shaped bizcochitos (or biscochitos). In pure Laura form, these cookies not only represent the traditional New Mexican Christmas cookie but also arrived with a letter including the history of their origin, the ways in which they've changed over time and variations in shape and ingredients. She noted that purists believe lard trumps butter in these treats, a stance with which she agrees, but for good measure she made some of each. And, she rendered her OWN LARD from a heritage hog she and her husband bought a half of. I love and admire every single bit of this story.
These bite-sized cookies are addicting, and I've had to put them out of reach of the boys to ensure some stash remains for me. They're cinnamon-sugary and anisey, and just all-around delicious. I asked L for the recipe, and she sent it along with all of her notes. So my kinda gal!
I'm gonna go eat one (or maybe four) now, and as I pop it into my mouth, savoring the rich, flaky, perfectly spiced crumb, I'll send a toast to Laura, Lili and Catherine, women who add much to my life! Cheers, WWW!