Monday, December 14, 2009

Baking Marathon

Rings coated with dough, flour on my shoes and bits of dough in my hair - all these things signify a baking marathon. I never notice the condition of my clothing while I'm busy because it will only depress me. I expect to get messy that's what bakers do. Upon first glance visitors to our door wonder about my mental state, clearly I am a mess. They always seem to arrive when I'm the messiest.

Every year I tell myself I'll begin making cookie dough early on - have it ready to go when I have time to bake them. Somehow this excellent plan is never implemented. As usual it's mid-December and I've just begun the cookies. How does the time pass so quickly? Rather than ponder the space time continuum I have jumped into the cookie making process. So that means I play catch up by getting a long day of dough making in. It's a great jump start but it feels like a marathon. Our variety of cookies has to be vast - it's tradition. Keith loves the cookie plate and one filled with assorted cookies is his favorite part of the feasting. Through the course of our marriage we have merged the various family cookie traditions. Doing so has provided us with a delightful cookie arrangement. Last year's list was similar to 2007. We have some old world (Eastern European) cookies and some others that have been absorbed over the years. Usually we add a new one to the list that has not been made in the past. By finding a new cookie to mix with our stand-bys we maintain tradition and try something different. The standard American favorites are easy to make, think Betty Crocker. It's those old European cookies that take up my time. The dough is rich and delicate requiring a light touch. I may grumble at the moment my hands fail to remember to be gentle but on Christmas Eve tasting those cookies bring back so many memories.

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