Monday, June 20, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Cookie monsters

I come from a long line of great cookie makers. Well, I don't know about further back, but my Grandma always had baked treats in the pantry (her antique hobnail milk glass cookie jar proudly sits on my kitchen counter), and my mother firmly believes there is no cookie like a home-baked cookie.

I baked a fair bit when I was first married -- cookies, coffee cakes, muffins. Peak baking time for me used to be pre-Christmas:  I would go into a frenzy of activity, mixing up one kind of cookie dough after another, every evening for several days in a row, refrigerating it, and then baking one pan after another on Remembrance Day, which was a day off work for me.  I'd whip up mini-loaves of fruitcake (which people actually liked! -- perhaps because I'd soak the fruit in brandy for several days first, lol), sometimes cranberry orange bread, and two or three or even four kinds of Christmas cookies.

But November-December was our busiest time of year at work, and what should have been something fun became just one more item to cram into the schedule. The house would be full of excess calories that we didn't need for weeks afterward, even after I hauled containers full of sweets to work, to BIL's house, and even home to Mom & Dad's. And after the loss of my little girl (due to join our family in November 1998), I found my heart just wasn't in it. My mom & I still baked cookies together whenever she came to visit -- but she hasn't been here in a while. And so I have barely touched my flour sifter or electric hand mixer or cookie sheets in recent years. Dh suggested my collection of baking pans was a prime candidate to send to the thrift store when we were downsizing our stuff in preparation for the big move to a condo. I recoiled in horror. (Men -- duh...)

Maybe that was the spark.  Saturday, he went out with BIL & the nephews. And I pulled out my baking pans and mixing bowls and the electric hand mixer, and went to work. And texted him that there were cookies in the oven. I don't know if BIL & the nephews had originally planned to come in when they brought him back home later, but the four of them walked through the door of our condo unit a few hours later.

"Wow, it smells amazing in here," Younger Nephew said. I positively beamed as I watched them help themselves to one oatmeal chocolate chip cookie after another, still warm from the oven.

(Hillary Clinton's recipe, from the infamous 1992 election bake-off, lol -- whatever you might think of her politics, it's a great chocolate chip cookie recipe!)(She won that contest.) ;)

I may have had my reservations about moving here, but if you'd asked me what my ideal picture of living here would be, it would have been this: having my two tall, handsome nephews drop by to visit and eat freshly baked cookies from Aunt Lori's kitchen. :)  They totally made my day. :)  I only wish I could have done it sooner, when they were little. (Hopefully I will have the chance for a do-over with some great-nieces and nephews in the years to come... ;)  )

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here     


  1. That's lovely. I can almost smell the cookies from here. I'm looking toward to having a hungry young visitor here in a few weeks - a good excuse for baking. (I also baked on the weekend, and shared with the in-laws.)

  2. I had a great aunt on my dad's side who did not have children (for reasons no one ever discussed), and her house was so fun and welcoming for me as a child. Special treats, friendly pets, exotic plants grown indoors, and a guest room with a feather mattress on the bed. I spent the night with her a few times but I always loved visiting. She was one of a few women in my extended family who did not have kids and who showed me (even after her husband passed away, because I never knew him) that there are lots of ways to have a full, happy life. I know now that in all likelihood, she had more than her share of grief, and guven what I know now, I suspect not having children was a circumstance that wasn't her choice. But I loved her and she was as special to me as my nana.

  3. Homemade cookies should be marketed as the cure for what ails ya (or, about as close to a cure as you can get). Glad to hear you're reclaiming your baking mojo. Your cookies look delish!

  4. My mom must be a long-lost relative of yours! She too agrees that there is no cookie like a home-made one! My paternal grandmother is also a baker, although she mostly only makes pies and this great, simple coffee cake that is an old favorite to our area, called an apie (pronounced A pea) cake. I have her recipe handwritten and she taught me how to make it as a young girl. Somehow baking always makes a home attractive. :)

    1. You know, I've never actually made pastry or baked a pie myself! (With the exception of lemon meringue, made from a frozen pie shell & filling mix.)(I did make the meringue.) Next challenge, I suppose...! My grandmother adored pie, especially apple, and would eat it for breakfast. We (my mother & I) once baked four apple pies & stuck candles in them for her birthday. ;)

  5. Those look amazing!

    Grief resulted in me putting aside activities that I treasured. Baking, knitting and even singing. Part of healing has been me embracing these again.

    I'm glad you've picked up the flour sifter. May your nephews visit more and bring their families along too.

  6. Cookies look delicious! I am glad your nephews can enjoy them. And I am glad you have opportunity to spend some time with the nephews.

  7. Those cookies look amazing!

    I'm not much of a baker because it requires to much precision, and I come from a long line of females on my maternal side that struggle to boil water. But I do enjoy finding good bakeries to buy treats at. :)

  8. Years down the road, too large to move, they will quietly moan, "Aunt Lori, you were our undoing!" :-)

    I am a cookie baker. Josh takes them to work to get them out of the house. I just like making them. Or baking in general. It tends to happen at least 3 or 4 times per week since I have to make bread and the breakfast muffins. I think I do it for the smell!

  9. I'm not a big cookie eater, but boy, I can practically smell those cookies! Mmmm. For the life of me, I haven't made a decent cookie yet. I'm more of a Betty Crocker baker these days!