Memories of a Lifetime

Friday, October 30, 2009

In which we make cookies

Yesterday I found my mother's sugar cookie recipe. I sat down and read it, looking for some hint of my mother in the words she had written on a piece of pink notepaper for me. We had probably been sitting at one kitchen table or another somewhere, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes -- maybe playing yahtzee -- when I asked her for it. She probably jotted it down from memory -- she really did remember a lot of different things.

The memories came flooding back to me as I read it. "Roll out dough, cut and decorate." How many great days do I remember rolling out dough, cutting and decorating? At Christmastime, the windows in the kitchen would fog up with the heat of the oven baking cookies, while outside it was cold. Christmas music would be playing in the background, and the three of us kids would be decorating cookies. We didn't use icing, it was all colored sugar, red hots, little gold and silver balls and those little sprinkly things.

My brother always made green santas and red Christmas trees. My sister always got to help cut out the cookies, and I loved carefully placing those little sprinkly things on the Christmas trees to simulate lights and ornaments.

On Valentine's day there'd be heart- and diamond-shaped cookies, baked for us while we were in school. She had a set of metal cookie cutters for each of the 4 suits of cards that she used then. Sometimes we'd come home and they'd just be there for no reason (she once told me she baked cookies for us every week and maybe she did, I don't remember).

Today I'll be making Halloween cookies for a party tomorrow night. I will roll, cut and decorate and I know that somewhere, Mom will be very happy.