03. November 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

It’s that time of year.

“Election Season?”

Well, yeah, but that’s not what I’m talking about…

“Autumn? Leaves falling? Raking? I didn’t know there were leaves to rake in Nebraska…”

Yes, that too…but keep with me here…


“So soon?”

In the Vollmer house, yes. Actually, this year is going to be extra early because I’ll be in Florida for most of December for some Air Force training.

But I typically do the cookie thing a little early anyway…

In 1997, I spent Christmas in Tuzla, Bosnia. It was surreal, the amount of kindness that gets showered upon servicemembers from all over the country! We had stacks of care packages taller than me in one corner of our weather office, filled with sweets, treats and books/magazines! And the “any servicemember” mail we received was so touching. Wasn’t I cute back then? I guess I was about 24 years old.

Note: This picture was part of a media photo shoot, a story was written up for the base paper about me and the work I was doing on the base.  One of those “in case there’s nothing better to report” kinds of things, but I don’t think it ever ran.  The hard copy print of this picture is one of the first digital photo printouts I’d ever seen, incidentally.

I’ve tried to send cookies to deployed folks every Christmas season since.

So this is the 11th year, and even after 9/11, when the military shut down “any servicemember” mail, I’ve known people in the hostile file zones every year…with a definitive address to send cookies.

That being said, I want to get the cookies sent out by the US Postal Service deadlines. One of the recipients this year is in an “093” zip code (within Iraq) so I need to get them mailed by December 4th.

I’ve typically done the cookies over Thanksgiving weekend, giving me the last week of November to get them mailed out. But this year Thanksgiving is late — so I expect to do the baking the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.

I have a repertoire of cookies that have proven reliable for shipment to the Balkans and the Middle East over the years, from biscotti to oatmeal cookies with Hershey kisses inside.

I will make a full recipe of Neiman Marcus cookies. Honestly, I don’t care whether the legend is true or not, the cookies are fantastic and a big hit no matter where they’re sent. I make them nice and small so they don’t fall apart in transit.

For the past couple years, I’ve attempted to get the boys involved…last year Jake wanted to break all the eggs, and then they both enjoy rolling the oatmeal cookies in the colored sugars. Hopefully this year they can do a little more, like measuring flour and adding ingredients to the bowl.

I’ll go ingredient shopping next weekend – I even joined Costco today, in part because of the outstanding deals on bulk sugar, flour and eggs.

I’ll keep you posted with pictures later this month!