Hello my Foodie Friends!
It is officially the holiday season. What better way to celebrate and get into the spirit than to share your baked treats with family and friends. Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit quite like making a mess in the kitchen with sugar, flour, and all of the sprinkles. Each year around this time, my mother would stock up on bags of flour and sugar to begin the process of making her treasured holiday cookies and goods. They were always a special treat in our family. Many of her recipes were handed down through generations before. Worn index cards have been handed down and shared with my siblings with recipes written in her perfect cursive, I am reminded of the winter days where we would watch her drop heavy balls of dough onto the floured counter in the kitchen and vigorously roll out the sticky batter until it was thin enough for cookie cutters. Santa’s, candy canes, Christmas trees, holiday bells, reindeers, snowmen, gingerbread men and women, and stars had to be carefully lifted from the thin layer of dough.
As my wife and I exchanged childhood memories of making cookies, Paula shared that one year as a teenager, she made 72 dozen cookies. My stories were a bit more adventurous (due to five siblings trying to share a kitchen and help make cookies). In an effort to keep each of us focused, my mother would give each of us a specific duty that ultimately created the end result of a cookie recipe. My sisters were given the task of gathering, measuring, and putting the ingredients into a bowl; my youngest brother would stand on a chair and help my mother mix the ingredients. I was the keeper of the rolling pin and had the responsibility of scooping the dough (based on what recipe we were making), while my other brother would select which cookie cutter we were going to use. The assignments did not always result in a well oiled machine. Usually, heated words over who gets to stand closest to the mixing bowl would end with powdered sugar poofing all over the floor. Power struggles would occur between each of us on who would crack the egg, who got to hold the rolling pin, and who would do the dough-scooping (just try to pry that cookie scoop out of my hands). By the time the first batch came out of the oven, my bothers and I would wander off to play, while my excited sisters stayed around to help sprinkle sugar on warm cookies. How my Mom put up with us, I’ll never know. However, the cookies were so good that five children would be very quiet in order to receive a child’s handful of warm cookies! One of my favorite movie lines is from the movie “The Matrix:” “Take a cookie. I promise, by the time you’re done eating it, you’ll feel right as rain.” Still a good remedy for most stressful situations. Thanks Mom!
This holiday season, use the secret weapon of cookies to win over your family. Stop in to see us at Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place, Saratoga Springs. We have a large assortment of cookie cutters and baking supplies to help with making everyone happy. Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
Take Care, John & Paula