Grandma Cheryl and WOW Grandchildren.
Just the thought of homemade cookies invokes that visceral, comforting thought of home, sweet home, do they not? Whether you came home like ‘The Beaver’ to a warm plate of cookies after school,
or you pop refrigerated, ready-made dough into the oven late at night,
fresh cookies just make a person feel warm and cozy . . . with milk, don’t forget the milk!
Let’s muse . . .
When I was growing up, my mom was a cookie-making machine at Christmas time. She made chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter (sometimes with Hershey kisses), and snow ball cookies — keeping it simple kept the gift budget manageable. My brother and I helped mom make cookies every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas music played, card tables created extra work space in the kitchen, bowls and spoons piled high, and ingredients flowed over. Mom probably only spent about $50 a year on cookie ingredients, but the time she spent with us making batch after batch of cookies was priceless. One of her biggest cookie-making triumphs was finding a store called Cheryl’s Cookies. She talked them into selling her empty cookie tins, so HER cookies could be sent out in tins bearing the correct spelling of HER name. I still have those tins twenty-five years later!
Everyone loved mom’s delicious holiday cookies. Her not-so-secret ingredients were, of course, time and love.
As I approach the first anniversary of my mom’s death, I find my fondest memories with Mom are the simple ones: baking cookies, spending the day playing board games in our pajamas, building forts in the living room, and having a house full of friends over for potlucks. These kinds of memories with my own mom growing up have helped me keep in mind the memories I want to weave for my own five children.
Bake a Batch of Cookies Day and Frugal Day fall on the same day, so I decided to add some memories to my children’s memory chest for the price of cookie ingredients. We made a batch of cookies together and played board games in our jammies. There were giggles and grins as we tumbled together —creating what I will hope will be lasting childhood memories.
Celebrating Frugal Day together as a family reminded me of what a good time we could have together without spending a fortune. As the holiday season quickly approaches, I’m focusing my energy on celebrating simply and mindfully, keeping in mind that time spent together is the most valuable gift of all.
A few years ago, we started a tradition called the 12 days of baking (December 12 – 24) Each family member chooses a candy, cookie, bread, or pie recipe for us to make together. Each night, we make a batch or two of the chosen recipe and package them as gifts for loved ones.
My children are so proud when we make the recipe they have chosen. The gleam in their eyes is very familiar . . . it’s the same gleam I had in my eyes when I baked cookies next to my mom.
Cheryl’s Cookies is opening a location in my home town, and I’m pretty sure my mom’s smile is going to light up heaven when I buy a tin or two for our holiday baking this year.
Muse with us! Share your cookie memories.. . Odd Love Company.