February Knots Up with Jersey, Cheese & Railroads


I should have known better. I know not to borrow trouble. Challenges find me quickly enough on their own. But, yesterday, I did it anyway.

Surely the line-up at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington yesterday morning, might have offered me a warning about the difficulty of mixing things up.

Even so, while His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President Obama, were taking secondary positions to NASCAR’s Darrell Waltrip (who was giving the keynote), I was obliviously asking for a strange-bedfellows problem of my own.

It started innocently — I swear — in just the few minutes right before our staff meeting.

“Nancy, what kind of cookies should I bake tomorrow?” I asked.

And stupidly, impatiently, ridiculously, I quickly added a follow-up. “Any idea what happened two hundred years ago?”

(If you didn’t read last week’s post, you may not know that I based my cookie selection on an obscure bicentennial.)

Nancy, as most nice people will assume, at least in the early stage of a conversation with a mostly-normal person, thought I was making sense.

Holy Moly! I can’t make every post be about interesting snippets of history. What the heck was I thinking?

But Nancy is nice, and she’s a librarian. Oh my, the trouble you’ll find in the library!

As you’d guess, shortly after the meeting, she sends a note to me to let me know that two hundred years ago, this week, two interesting things happened: The first commercial cheese factory was established, and New Jersey issued the first railroad charter in the United States.

Okey Dokey. No problem. (read: Yikes! and … Breathe!)

If “Jaws” can find words to create a bridge connecting himself, the President and His Holiness at breakfast yesterday, I ought to be able to step into this little cookie-connections challenge today.

Go get ’em Barb!

Luckily for me (and with due props to Google for finding it), there’s a lovely-sounding family-owned cheese factory on Railroad Avenue in Lebanon, New Jersey, that has a wonderful story you ought to read. It’s here: The Lebanon Cheese Company.

In the railroad-situated, New Jersey cheese-company’s honor, and in Nancy’s, today’s cookies are Italian Knot Cookies with cream cheese.

To make them prettier (and to help cover up the fact that I don’t know how to make knots out of cookie dough) these are iced with lemon glaze and sprinkled with the wintery jimmies that Cathy gave me, which seem a good fit with this week’s winter-doldrum-breaking C.O.W. Days.

Happy Friday.

Come and get ’em!

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