My last memory of my grandmother was in 1982, at age 90 suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was as if my mother, brother, sister-in-law and I were not visible. She was smitten with her two great-grandsons. She was cooing with delight in holding and kissing the seven-month-old baby and chatting with his three-year-old brother. Only my young nephews could bring such great joy that Christmas Day.

Liz was born in Scotland, the daughter of a shale miner. At age 14 after completing eighth grade, she was sent away to work as a domestic to help support the family. She was a baby nurse, what today we refer to as a nanny. She missed her siblings back home but enjoyed the babies and children in her charge. She traveled to England and Ireland with the family learning about the proper things in life. She immigrated to the United States in 1920 but always retained her accent along with pride in her Scottish heritage. She soon married and raised four children. During the Depression of the 1930’s she scrubbed floors while my grandfather drove a taxicab in New York City. On occasion when there was extra food she would give it to other families in the apartment building. When her daughters outgrew their clothing she would give them to the family down the hall with nine daughters.

Sometime during the 1940’s she became employed as a factory assembly line worker for a well-known cosmetic company retiring about age 80. With porcelain skin and youthful looks her employer assumed she was retiring at 65. She never drove a car and commuted on city buses, subway and pounded the pavements of New York City to get to and from work. When she came to visit she brought soaps, lotions and powders in the famous turquoise packaging. She had 19 grandchildren and never missed a first communion, confirmation or graduation. She was a strong-willed, independent lady and persevered during the tough times. She enjoyed her Manhattans, loved to laugh and adored her sons-in-law. I believe her example as a hard-working, strong woman had an integral influence on her daughters and granddaughters. I’m proud to be her granddaughter and regret never asking her about her life in Scotland, immigration and the roaring 20’s.

Liz’ two young great-grandsons are now husbands and fathers with their own babies and toddlers. When I hold their babies, I cannot help but think of my grandmother, her love of children, her pride in family and the smiles of delight they brought her that day.

My First Communion with my Grandmother, cousin and little brother  (1963)

These Man in the Moon Cookies were made for a friend’s new son, Jack’s little brother … Luke. I decided to go bold with these cookies using stencils and airbrushing instead of the usual pastels associated with baby cookies.

Man in the Moon Cookies
Man in the Moon Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Sage Green with AmeriColor Avocado and AmeriColor Leaf Green 
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
AmeriColor Lemon Yellow and Sky Blue Airbrush Colors
AmeriColor Green Sheen Airbrush Color
Harlequin Stencil
Airbrush Kit or Wilton Color Mist

Outline cookie with #2 tip in green icing.

Flood cookie with green icing. Let dry overnight.

Place stencil on the cookie.

Using an airbrush, spray color onto the cookie. Gently lift stencil.

Let dry 45 minutes.



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  1. Your grandmother sounds like a lovely lady, hardworker and family oriented. She would have been very delighted with your cookie decorating skills. I love the moons, you are very good with airbrushing!

    1. Ah, thank you Paula! I'm still trying to figure out the airbrushing. I guess like anything else, it takes practice. Thanks again!


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