Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hannah Bergen Heirlooms

Growing up, every year I made the Christmas cookies with my Grandma and Papa. Grandma and I would make the pecan-based Italian wedding cookies, rolling them in confectioner's sugar twice, once hot right out of the oven, and again when cooled for a perfect, creamy, sweet finish. We'd make the spicy ginger cookies we called "Leah's cookies", although I never knew (and still don't know) exactly who Leah was. We made classic peanut butter blossoms, heating them up in the microwave for just a few seconds the next day to make the kiss melty all over again. Finally, after Grandma and I were finished, Papa and I would make a double-batch of the Italian biscotti, anise-flavored, twice-baked, and draped in a sweet anise-flavored glaze.

By the end of our baking day, our feet would ache, but we would have stocked all my Grandma's cookie tins to the very brim. It is a wonderful memory.
I've been thinking about these kinds of memories a lot lately, especially now that my Grandma has gotten older and we've all begun worrying more about her health. Which is why every time I see my antique nut grinder in my cupboard, the same one Grandma and I used over and over on our Christmas cookie baking days, I smile. Because this little nut grinder represents so many memories.

So you can imagine how much I love Hannah Bergen's Heirloom Kit. I think the idea of the kit is so beautiful. As the company puts it, the kit "holds everything you will need to record and save your family heirloom stories." This includes gorgeous heirloom tags that you can write the memories of your heirloom items on, Italian cotton ribbon to tie your tag to your most important heirlooms, and other items to inspire you to take your precious items and add your memories and stories.

I love the idea of asking Grandma to write (in her beautiful cursive handwriting!) a story of our baking together and attaching it to my nut grinder.
I can also imagine doing this with Zach's grandfather's pocketwatch, the cufflinks Zach wore at our wedding, and other important and meaningful items in our family. Part of the gift of this heirloom kit is, I think, in simply reminding us that items do have importance and meaning, and it is worthwhile to memorialize the stories that go along with them.

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