I am quite certain that my husband did not marry me for my cooking skills. Sure, out of necessity for my family, my ability to make meals has improved but it is not one of my favorite household chores. I have come to dread the planning, the shopping, and time consuming preparation, not to mention the clean-up.
It always seems like a lot of work for little to no appreciation. Like a dear friend once said, “It took me an hour and a half to make a thirty minute Rachael Ray meal and about thirty seconds for my kids to decide that they didn’t want to eat it.”
But there is one exception. I love to bake Christmas cookies! There is something about that tradition that brings me back to being with my Mom and our precious time together.
I have fond memories of how she taught me to measure the ingredients and mix together family recipes. I think of her patience as I attempted to mix the dough on my own and our laughter that filled the warm kitchen as the flour shot out from the bowl when I mixed too fast.
Each year there were several different kinds that we made and seemed to dirty every bowl, spoon, and baking pan. Baking the cookies would take hours but after they had cooled, the decorating (my favorite part) would begin.
Together, my Mom and I would laugh, sing Christmas songs and chat as we carefully frosted the cookies and placed delicate sprinkles on each one. Over several days, we would make the dough, bake the cookies, and finally frost them before putting them on display on our holiday plates.
Even as a child, I realized the amount of work that was involved. Cleaning up the white powder-covered countertops and washing all the dirty dishes seemed to take the same amount of time as making the cookies. But somehow, once we had plates of colorfully decorated sugar goodness, it was all worth it.
It was a tradition that I never grew tired of. During my college days, always as I traveled home for the Christmas holidays, I couldn’t wait to make cookies with my Mom. I continued to enjoy this part of the holiday through the years, especially when I became a parent.