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A Cookie Party for the Ages

Judy Strutt's gathering is about much more than cookies

Today, in a corner of Uncasville, a group of women will get together to exchange Christmas cookies.

Mothers and daughters, cousins and aunts, they will come to Judy Strutt's house today, bearing cookies, as they and their mothers before them have for 40 years now.

Truly, today marks the 41st anniversary of the event, but Strutt's mother died last year, and the party was put on hold for the first time ever.

The party started with 12 girls, Strutt says, who brought 12 dozen cookies each. There have been as many as 23 bakers, and as few as five. This year, she expects 11 bakers - and others, who aren't baking, will come just for the fun.

Traditionally, each person brings as many dozen cookies as there are bakers. Each baker bakes one kind of cookie, and brings each dozen on a plate. Then, everyone exchanges cookies, so each person leaves with plates of everyone else's cookies.

"So all your baking is done in one day," Strutt says.

She used to police the efforts of the bakers, making sure that no cookies were duplicated, but now she doesnt.

"We're getting older," she says. "We used to be fussier."

Strutt says that peanut butter blossoms - peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's kiss in the middle - are the most popular, followed by Swedish tea cakes. (For a fun and different recipe for Swedish tea cakes, click here.)

The women are mostly related, but Strutt's best friend from high school is part of the gathering. By now, all the mothers of the women involved in the party have died. Some of the members have passed, as well. One cousin, who lives in New Jersey, can't come this year because she's having a bad reaction to chemo. Time indeed passes.

The party starts at 4 and ends at 11, Strutt says. "We reminisce, we tell jokes, we play games.

"We know that we're going to see each other at least once a year."

Denise December 11, 2011 at 01:41 PM
Very heart warming and inspiring! An inspiration to keep friendship, family and fun alive, when life can become so busy! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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