friday feast: the birthday bear (+lemon-glazed tea cookies)

Guess who had a birthday this week?

Yes, the 6″ tan teddy bear who frequents this blog turned 26 on Wednesday. Back in September 1988, he winked at me from a booth at the Fall Teddy Bear Show in Timonium, Maryland.

He promised to be good so I brought him home. Mr. Cornelius turned out to be an avid reader and a good baker but has quite the knack for mischief. You may have noticed that he loves to have his picture taken (he’s not happy unless he has at least one blog close-up every week). I must say he keeps me very busy answering all his fan mail. 🙂

Just for Poetry Friday, he selected three favorite poems from Bears∙Bears∙Bears: A Treasury of Stories, Songs and Poems About Bears compiled by Mary Pope Osborne (Parachute Press, 1990). He had fun finding just the right vintage photos to go with them.

And just to make sure you don’t go hungry, he’s whipped up a batch of Lemon-Glazed Tea Cookies from Winnie-the-Pooh’s Cookie Book. Wrap your lips around a few while you enjoy the poems. 🙂

*   *   *

by Marchette Chute

A teddy bear is a faithful friend.
You can pick him up at either end.
His fur is the color of breakfast toast,
And he’s always there when you need him most.

*   *   *

photo by Sarolta Ban

by Ogden Nash

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear’s big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I’ll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.

*   *   *

The real Christopher Robin and Pooh

by A. A. Milne

If I were a bear,

And a big bear too,

I shouldn’t much care

If it froze or snew;

I shouldn’t much mind

If it snowed or friz —

I’d be all fur-lined

With a coat like his!


For I’d have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
and brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
I’d have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
And brown fur mittens on my big brown paws.
With a big brown furry-down up to my head,
I’d sleep all the winter in a big fur bed.

*   *   *


In case you haven’t seen this sweet little book, it contains almost 50 cookie recipes grouped into sections like “Anytime Cookies,” “Honey-Pot Cookies,” and “Holiday Cookies and Icings.”

Mr. Cornelius found Lemon-Glazed Tea Cookies under “Cookies for Company,” remarking that YOU are his favorite company. 🙂

He earnestly squeezed lemons, measured milk, beat butter and sugar, cracked an egg, even sifted flour, baking powder, and baking soda without making too much of a mess. His favorite part was applying the lemon juice/sugar glaze because he got to use a special brush.

If you like buttery cakey cookies with a fresh lemon flavor, these are for you. Mind you don’t eat too many or you’ll get stuck in the doorway when you visit Rabbit.


makes 3 dozen


  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Stir 2 teaspoons of milk into lemon juice. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg, lemon juice-milk mixture, and remaining milk, and mix well.

In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda together, and slowly add to butter mixture. Stir in lemon zest.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. Edges should be lightly brown.

Mix lemon juice and sugar for glaze. Allow cookies to cool, then brush with lemon-sugar glaze mixture.

~ Adapted from Winnie-the-Pooh’s Cookie Book, inspired by A.A. Milne, with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard (Dutton, 1996).

*   *   *

poetryfriday180The lovely and talented Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting the Roundup at The Poem Farm. Take her some tea and cookies and enjoy the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week. Do keep an eye out, in case a little bear winks at you. 😉

“Now that I’m 26, I’ve got some big shoes to fill.”
“Better take some cookies for the road.”

*   *   *

wkendcookingiconThis post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts (recipes, book reviews, photos, musings, etc.). Bon Appetit!




Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

61 thoughts on “friday feast: the birthday bear (+lemon-glazed tea cookies)

  1. Happy Birthday, Cornelius! The girl dancing with her bear and the poem that follows it — what a perfect match-up! 🙂 (I own that cookbook, btw.)


  2. Happy birthday, sweet Cornelius! And Jama, honestly, you are an unbelievable spirit of joy. Have you ever thought about putting these Cornelius photos together into a book? I want to reach in here and squeeze you both. Happy Poetry Friday…thank you for the cookies!


  3. Happy Birthday Mr. Cornelius. Lovely poems, especially the Ogden Nash, nashurally. And Oooh that BIG BEAR little girl photo works so well with it.


  4. Happy Birthday! You are a very photogenic bear! I refuse to choose among the poems. I love them all. Okay, I confess I love Isabel especially. I give a picture book version of that poem to everyone!


    1. Thanks for saying I’m photogenic, Ms. Steinglass :). Not to brag, but I think so too.

      I must look for the PB version of the Isabel poem!


  5. Cornelius, the poems you chose made me very happy! I love the photo of the real Christopher Robin, and the Lemon Tea Cookies sound so yummy, I’ll have to make some real soon! Happy, happy, birthday!


  6. Oh, I don’t think Cornelius could get any cuter! His selection of poems were perfect – I adore the twist ol’ Isabel pulled on the bear. Ogden Nash is one of my most favoritest poets. Happy Birthday, Cornelius! You don’t look a day over brand new! = )


  7. Happy birthday, Mr. Cornelius! One of our favorite bear books is a version of “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” that came with a cassette (my kids are nearly grown!) of Jerry Garcia singing the song.


  8. Thanks, Jama.

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Cornelious Bear
    I hope all of your friends are there
    to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY
    and to thank you for the cookies
    you’re giving away. YUM!


  9. Happy Returns of the Day, Cornelius! It doesn’t get any better than celebrating with Winnie-the-Pooh lemon cookies & Marchette Chute words. Jama, so glad you went to that Teddy Bear Show! Thanks for a sumptuous celebration!


    1. I used to go every year — it was a nice chance to meet all kinds of cool teddy bear artists. It was tough making decisions on what to purchase, though.


  10. Jama,only you can cook up such a delightful blog celebration! Congratulations to Mr. Cornelius and to both of you on a long friendship. My bear Bruno is now 67. I’ll read him these delicious bear poems -maybe not Ogden Nash’s!


    1. 67? Wow! Bruno must be very special and well loved. 🙂

      I was happy to meet Mr. Cornelius as well as many other bears mostly in the 80’s. I didn’t have a teddy bear as a child, but they seemed to have found me in adulthood.


  11. The stars danced the day you were born, Mr. Cornelius. I think those lemon cookies would be worth getting stuck in Rabbit’s doorway. xoxo


  12. Happy birthday to Mr. Cornelius! I’m always happy to see his bright face. And how did he know that lemon is one of my very favorite flavors? I’m sure that he’s packing up those cookies to send to me.


  13. Happy Birthday Mr. C! It’s the big 2″-6″ 😉 Keep up with all the mischi… ER… I mean: Keep up with all the good work! And stay OUT of mischief! *dang it, that Rattigan lady was within ear-shot!* 😉


    1. Mischief is my middle name (and it’s probably yours, too). I promise to stay out of mischief if you promise to stop eating cookies. 😀

      Your partner in crime,
      Mr. Cornelius


  14. Happy Birthday, Mr. Cornelius!! I admire your taste in both poems and cookies. Hope you didn’t get a tummy ache from eating too many of those lemony ones that look to be about half your size!


    1. Thanks, Katherine! It’s definitely a cute little cookbook — it has more recipes than you would think for its small size.

      Mr. Cornelius sends hugs :).


  15. I’d love to send you a very special birthday present Mr. Cornelius. Do you know how to wrap a hug?


  16. Oh my goodness these pictures are absolutely adorable! And I love that you’ve included some of the older photos in with your own. Plus lemon. Mouthwatering!!


  17. Oh Mr. Cornelius, forgive me for arriving so late to your party! You picked out some wonderful photos and poems. I especially liked that first photo since it looks like the little girl and her bear friend are dancing together. But it was the Milne poem that was most special to me. When my husband and I were on our honeymoon, we stayed at a farmhouse B&B in the Orkney isles, north of Scotland. The owners of that B&B had a daughter who memorized that poem for school and recited it for us with the most delightful Scottish accent! I’ll never forget it… and I’ll try not to forget your birthday next year either. ❤


    1. Oh, Ms. Michelle! What a wonderful story about the little girl reciting the Milne poem! What a beautiful place for a honeymoon, too :). No need to ask for forgiveness. We bears believe in unconditional love and forever friendship. I’m so glad you are my friend. 🙂



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