Today I made these snickerdoodles and a new era was begun.
When I was a little girl, I used to bake cookies with my mom. Standing on a chair so I could reach the counter, I watched in fascination as she creamed the butter and eggs into the mixing bowl, then gradually beat in the flour. I was allowed to help, if I was very, very careful. Breathlessly, I waited for permission to lick the coveted beaters, but honestly, I loved this as a special time for us girls to do something alone together. As much as my three brothers loved to eat cookies, they didn't care to help bake them, so I savored - then and now - theae rare opportunities to be one-on-one with my mom.
Then along came my own four little girls, and cookie-baking jumped to warp speed. As the master chef, I was willing to relax my standards and give each of my apprentices a full share of participation in the process.
Just encision the chaos of ingredients flying toward the bowl from all directions, measuring cups and spoons being passed back and forth, eager little bodies straining to get a turn to lick the spatula.
Imagine four excited voices pleading to be assigned another job, clarifying instructions, and appraising the others' efforts.
Picture forty little fingers cracking eggs, measuring spices, and sneaking toward the chocolate chips.
Yes, chaos was a fact of life in those early days but I cherish the memories and wouldn't have had it any other way.
* * * * *
Of course, those particular cookie-baking seasons of my life are over. I no longer need a chair to see I to the mixing bowl, and my daughters can each turn out a batch of cookies just like that, without a lick of help from me.
Today, much to my surprise, a new season of cookie-baking began in my life. I'm here In Michigan, visiting with my mom, who suffers from Alzheimer's. While she still prepares her own meals, cooking has become a tedious chore for her and I'm afraid her baking days are probably over.
But this morning, she asked me to do her a favor. "Sure," I said, "What do you need?"
"Would you like to bake me some cookies?"
Of course, II did. After lunch, I whipped up a batch of anickerdoodles. Then we sat down at the table and each ate two, while they wre still warm from the oven.
And this day will be a precious memory too.