Monday, December 20, 2010

Why I knit Christmas presents

Dear Margaret,

I am reminded again that you are the one who bakes Christmas cookies. Every few years I succumb to the fantasy of delivering plates of cookies, heaped high with fudge, delicate gingerbread snowflakes, rich buttery rugelach, dense nutty caramel bars, wrapped in tastefully decorated cellophane and topped with a bow and a card with a picture of a dog in a Santa hat on it.

This year I admit that I was more than a little swayed by your enthusiasm and stream of photos and texts about the process. The final blow to my resistance was dealt by the wonderful staff at the vet's office, all of whom know Stella by name and give her hugs and treats. Yes, I thought, these are people worth baking for!

So I threw myself into the weekend bake-a-thon.

Wednesday and Thursday - obsess about what to make, comb through cookbooks, wonder if the molasses cookies I used to make are still a good recipe and did I really like a cookie made with Crisco? Consult with you. Make lists of contenders and strike cookies off it. Make master shopping list.

Friday - shop

Friday evening - make molasses cookie dough

Saturday - make chocolate chunker cookie dough. Congratulate myself on how well it is going, and the care I am taking with measuring and following directions, knowing that the cookies are destined to bring happiness to others. Think smug thoughts about my own worth and how the people at the vet's office will really love me now.

Sunday morning - Make Linzer dough. Decide that it really doesn't take all day to bake up 3 enormous batches of cookies including one that has to be rolled out and cut and a batch of turtle bars. Really going skiing is the best thing I could do. Better to start the bake-a-thon with a good dose of fresh air. Congratulate self on being so organized and skilled that I can go skiing in the midst of a bake-a-thon.

Sunday afternoon - Begin baking molasses cookies. Feel tired after skiing. Have a cookie. Still tired. Have another cookie. Realize that chocolate chunker dough is very hard and not coming to room temperature. Get chisel out of basement and chisel chocolate dough into cookie forms and bake. Still tired. Have another cookie, or two.

Sunday evening - roll out linzer dough, cut out shapes, mutilate shapes, rechill dough, repeat.Eat some dough. Not bad, considering that it has 1 cup of cornstarch in it. I think this is why you test drive the recipes.

Sunday night - make a batch of Turtle Bars. Wonder why honestly I didn't just give the vet's office a batch of Turtle Bars in the first place and call it done?

Late Sunday night/early Monday morning - sift powdered sugar over linzer cookies and floor. Cut the Turtles into bars. Eat crumbs. Arrange all on plates, top with aforementioned cellophane. Have a cookie.

Monday morning - start to wonder if anyone even likes cookies. I mean, don't we all get too many sweets over the holidays, and just end up putting most of them in the compost? And isn't half the Seattle population gluten free nowadays? Maybe some one at the vet's will poke Stella extra hard with a big needle because they feel slighted that I didn't include any gluten free ones.

 Monday afternoon - deliver cookies to the vet's office with a urine sample (pee and cookies, anyone?) and go have a mammogram for respite. Then come home and do dishes.

Hope your bake-a-thon solidified your role as The One Who Bakes Christmas Cookies, love, Elise

P. S. Look what I got from my neighbor - cookies!

1 comment:

wyatteal said...

I imagine the people at the vet's office loved the cookies, even more than they would have loved a dozen socks.