We all have recipes for special foods that evoke memories of bygone kitchens and baking sessions with beloved family members. I kept track of our Christmas sessions for the past 20 years and I'm sharing it here. I also sprinkle in other cookie-related content and my current cookie obsession along the way.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
The Best Christmas Ever
We decided to hit Wal-Mart before baking. I bought two new non-stick cookie sheets, a rubber spatula, two gigantic tins (one for each of us to store cookies in), and five new stockings for the Carr girls (including the new baby!). I also bought new plastic measuring spoons (that don't make a nerve-rattling scraping noise) and two huge, red mixing bowls.
I could never forget you, Alice.
Last night, I managed to remember everything I was supposed to buy at Kroger but I went to Lisa's without my pecans! I bought three one-pound bags from Alice Colombo (a food columnist at work) and paid the same amount for three cups' worth at the grocery store! Alice is lovely. She started hosting a help-line for cooks on Thursdays and I disguised my voice and called her.
"Hi, there," I said. "My husband brought home some kidneys and I was wondering if you could tell me how to prepare them."
She proceeded to explain a few different ways I could cook them, when I interrupted her and innocently asked, "Aren't you supposed to just boil the piss out of 'em?"
"Kevin!" she blurted! And we both laughed. She's a good sport.
Back to our baking: We had just spooned the dough onto the trays and managed to get one tray-full into the oven when Dad called. He said he needed me to go with him to the doctor's office. Mom went too. He'd been experiencing pain in his bones and when I moved back home last month, he slipped and fell in the rain and hurt his hip. So, he'd gone to see the doctor because he was still in a lot of pain.
The doctor told us he had multiple myeloma. Then she told us that meant he had bone marrow cancer. I didn't want to cry for Dad's sake but I couldn't help it. I didn't sob uncontrollably or anything, but the tears just squeezed out on their own accord. Wiping them briskly away, I told Dad not to worry because they're making all kinds of advances in cancer research these days. He's going to be fine. The doctor said she would refer him to an oncologist right away. As we left, I gave Dad a big hug and told him and Mom I was going to Lisa's house to let her know.
Dad opening a present last Christmas.
Lisa had enlisted Michelle to help her crank out the rest of the Nestle's Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. We wound up with 10 dozen cookies and 10,000 tears as I told her that our dear ol' Dad had cancer. Now I could sob uncontrollably. Lisa did the same and we held each other, consoled each other and tried to think positively. I had just told her earlier that day when we were happily shopping and making holiday plans that this would be the best Christmas ever.