In appreciation of cookies


A cookie is a wonderful thing. And not just at this time of year.

Homemade cookies have to be one of life’s simple pleasures, made from basic ingredients that, when put together in just the right way, yield something that’s not only tasty but also somehow friendly. After all, who isn’t warmed by the smell of cookies baking in the oven? Or by sharing a few of them over coffee with a good neighbor?

I’m not sure how many cookies I’ve made in my life, but it could be that none were more fun than those I have in my cookie jar when my granddaughter is coming for a visit. Like a lot of young families, hers just doesn’t often have time to make and bake cookies at home, and that’s something I can do. Usually I send her home with her own little bag of cookies for the drive, too. I don’t know if she shares.

I learned to bake cookies at home by watching my mom and then had a chance to polish my technique during 4H demonstrations and entering in the county fair. Most of those cookies were of the drop variety–simple, quick, and ready to eat without a lot of delay.

In case you didn’t know, today is Cookie Day. Since 1987 it’s been celebrated on Dec. 4 each year. According to what I read, the folks who first commemorated the day were especially thinking of the standard, delicious, and all-American chocolate chip cookie. I say they had to be thinking that this is a good time to start baking Christmas cookies.

I agree that this is a likely time to get holiday baking underway, but I’ve not done any of that yet. I’ve discovered that one needs patience to make those pretty Christmas cookies that look lovely, and I’m finding that I’m not growing any more mellow and patient as I age. So I just stick with something simple and throw in some kringla I recently learned how to bake. That seems to keep everyone happy.

Besides, my family likes peanut blossom cookies much more than they enjoy making fancy cut-out Christmas cookies with me. As far as I can tell, no one has ever suffered too much from doing without these traditional Christmas treats at home, but maybe someday when my granddaughter is a little older I’ll give it a try with her.

Don’t get me wrong here. I like to eat most kinds of Christmas cookies, and I appreciate a plate of pretty decorated Christmas cookies as much as anyone does. Just not enough to make them myself.