CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- We must have started our Christmas Eve buffet tradition more than 30 years ago.
My late husband, Bob, who couldn't even fry an egg, suddenly developed a desire to be a cookie baker. He dearly loved Christmas, mainly because he liked being with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He had a couple of specialties he baked already. A great cheesecake, a wonderful coffeecake and his puff pastries with pepperoni. He wanted to make all his cookies in large quantities, so he bought an industrial-size electric mixer. He probably thought I had enough to do with shopping and cleaning, and it was a great help to me.
Lace cookies were one of our favorites. There were oatmeal cookies, potato chip cookies, and the ones with a Hershey's Kiss in the center.
This year, several children will bring more cookies. Earlier, Lisa froze four double batches of cookie batter, and we baked them on Friday. Debbie made a double batch of the lace cookies, and Steve will bring a double recipe of broccoli bread.
A couple of days ago, I baked the single-recipe ones -- seven layer, Christmas wreaths, West Virginia brownies, tea-time tassies, eggnog cookies and butter almond. Daughters Lynne and Lisa helped with these.
Many of our family -- from children to grandchildren and great-grandchildren -- will be here for the celebration. Usually no more than two or three will miss it, and regretfully.