I managed to bake two batches of cookies last week. Two! I’m very proud.
I carved out an evening from the schedule and invited a friend over and we got to work right away. My two kinds of cookies (peanut butter blossoms and spritz cookies — tree shaped this time) are better than last year’s one (peanut butter blossoms, what can I say? I like chocolate and peanut butter), but a far cry from the six or seven varieties I made the first Christmas we were married.
That year I was working part time and in school. I had more time around the holidays, and I was missing my family like crazy. So I did what I would have done at home — baked every family favorite cookie.
It took a while for me to realize that even with giving a bunch of them away and freezing more, there was no way 2 of us (1 who doesn’t even like cookies) would eat dozens and dozens of sweet treats.
It got me to wondering, why did we make so many different kinds in my family? Ironically, none were traditional cut-out sugar cookies or gingerbread men.
That’s where the memory comes in. Baking. With my mom. At Christmas.
I don’t know how she did it (really, the older I get the more it amazes me), but every year at Christmas she would set aside a special time to bake with each. one. of. us.
We could each pick our favorite kind of cookie and in our one-on-one time with Mom, we would bake.
As much as I loved my brothers, I also loved being creative at my own pace. No one pushing me to work faster, no one trying to influence my choices and decisions, no compromising to appease others. My choice every year were candy cane cookies, made with red and white dough, rolled into little snakes and twisted into candy cane shapes, then topped with crushed up candy canes.
I think back on it and wonder how on earth my mother had the patience to help me make those tedious cookies.
And she did it three more times with my brothers, making their favorites. And then she would make a few more kinds that she and my dad loved. So. many. cookies.
And wonderful memories.