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Have you heard of the Pittsburgh Cookie Table? It is usually at weddings, but let's get real...we do them for EVERY event! Weddings, funerals and wakes, graduation parties, showers, and parties/holidays.

If you aren't from Pittsburgh, I am sure you are asking yourself, "what IS a cookie table?"

You may find this weird, but, I have never been to a wedding that didn't have a cookie table. And until well into my adult years, I didn't know that not everyone has cookie tables at their weddings! What??? No cookies? What do you snack on at the reception? The answer was always "we only have a wedding cake." But that's not served till folks are ready to go home. Yes, I was baffled and perplexed to learn this. We look forward to the cookie table!!

For many generations, the cookie table has been a staple at weddings throughout Western Pennsylvania. To those who are not from Pittsburgh, the idea of having a cookie table at a wedding may be baffling. However, “The Cookie Table” is a time honored tradition. And we take it VERY seriously!

Rooted deep in the history of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio lies the tradition of the wedding cookie table. To these folks, a wedding without a Cookie Table is like having a wedding without the Bride and Groom – pointless! I'm not even joking! We look forward to getting to the reception hall for the cookies!

The Wedding Cookie Table has strong ethnic and religious ties, linked mainly to European immigrants of Catholic descent – particularly present in industrial areas that housed Italians, Greeks, and other Europeans.

It is believed to have started during the Great Depression when many families could not afford a wedding cake, instead substituting homemade cookies. Traditionally the bride’s immediate family, including mother, grandmothers, aunt, cousins and closest friends spent many months before the wedding baking delicious cookies from scratch. I have yet to see a store bought cookie on a wedding cookie table. It's not that we are too snobbish for packaged cookies, it's more that cookie tables are created by folks who love to bake.

Nowadays the baking is done by both sides of the family. Every cookie made with love and with hopes that the married couple will share in as many happy years as there are dozens of cookies at the wedding. (and there are always many many dozens of cookies!)

This tradition has long been practiced by the various cultures which have migrated to Pittsburgh over the decades, including the Italian, German, Irish, Slovak, and other Eastern European cultures. At the traditional Pittsburgh Cookie Table you will see various types of cookies, but the most common ones are Pizzelle, Shortbread cookies, biscotti, Buckeyes, Lady Locks (I feel like you HAVE to have these at the wedding cookie table), and chocolate chips just to name a few.

This tradition is important and continues on because it is a labor of love for the newly married couple. I have yet to meet someone who was annoyed that they "had" to bake cookies for a wedding. Friends and relatives usually jump at the chance to bake, some without even being asked. And it always ends up being amazing.

Remember, in Pittsburgh, people don’t wonder, “How was the wedding?” They ask, “How were the cookies?”

The first three photos are from our family cookie tables (a graduation picnic, a 50th Anniversary party, and a 25th Anniversary party). The second set of three photos are from the Facebook page The Wedding Cookie Table Community (credit to them).

And there you have it. The Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table! I bet you want a cookie now, huh?

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I know it's been forever since you've seen a new book from me. I'm bummed about that too.

Things got weird during the pandemic. I was used to a house all to myself all day long. Long stretches of silence that I would sit and write. But suddenly everyone was home. And half the time everyone is still home.

I have a few stories on my mind that I want to write. Sitting down to do it will be the hard part. Over the last 6 months I have been working on me and trying to get healthy (lose weight). It's a lot of work to go from sitting for 8-10 hours a day, to meal planning, cooking, (now) adding in movement and exercise, and adding using my Lymphedema pump for an hour a day (I might as well nap while I do that, because you can't sit up enough to type).

The last month I have been trying to put me first, and my getting healthy journey. Well, that leaves no time to sitting and writing.

I need a better plan! I will start trying to plan my day out so I can get these words to paper. I need to! I want to.

Speaking of words. I know you are all probably anxious for the next Renegades book, and believe me, I feel like a piece of garbage that I haven't given that to you yet. But that story just isn't coming to me. The characters have been off doing who knows what instead of talking to me, and it's frustrating. So, I am going to let that go for the moment. The book will be written. The series will continue. I am just finally letting myself take the break from it. I had been forcing a story that wasn't there for the last year, and I just need to allow myself to back off. Let it come naturally. When it's ready to.

In the meantime, I am going to work on one or two other stories I keep thinking about. I at least know one of them will be a standalone. The hardest part will be trying to sit and do it, after a month of telling myself that I need to get up and move...

So, I apologize that Delay of Game won't be out any time soon.

But stick around so you don't miss the announcement when it's finally time.

And I hope to get something new to you in 2024! Stay Tuned...

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Just a quick update on our kitty Fleury.

I finally chose to put him on a daily medicine. He is eating it in a small amount of his food, I call it his "second breakfast" and he loves his second breakfast now! Unfortunately so does Buddy Cat! (Buddy doesn't need second breakfast, but you can't give one and not the other)

But the good news is he is doing better. Of course we don't know if it's the meds or he just hasn't had an episode since. Either way, it's all good.

One more vet trip to check bloodwork with being on the new med, and hopefully there won't be any issues with that. It literally took me 4 months to find a med this cat would take!

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