Our friend Marianna in Berlin sent us a wonderful box of Lebkuchen, the German favorite Christmas pastry. Lebkuchen is ginger flavored, and each large cake-like piece is baked on top of a thin wafer -- so it's not a simple cookie, and not the same as American gingerbread either.
My culinary book club met last night (it's sponsored by & meets at a local bookstore). We were reading Stand Facing the Stove, which is about the authors of the Joy of Cooking. Since the German-American author Irma Rombauer's best recipes are for cookies, many in a German tradition, I shared some Lebkuchen with the group. They were very enthusiastic -- we don't normally have refreshments.
Our book discussion was very interesting -- especially about the history of cooking and cookbooks that's covered in the book. The Joy of Cooking was published at a moment when much about American kitchens and home cooking was changing, so the history is very important. All eight book club members enjoyed reading the book, though they agreed with me that it could have used some editing in spots. I wrote up my thoughts about it here.