Tall Drink of Nerd: Delayed Cookiefication
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
Christmas cookies, that’s just sugar and flour and frosting to some people. To me Christmas cookies are more sentiment than sugar. Every year, while I was growing up, we’d gather in a ritual of rolling chilly dough onto a flour dusted kitchen table, sprinkling sugar on the 2 dimensional holiday characters and sneaking so many bites of uncooked dough that I got a tummy ache. No, I never learned my lesson.
Every year after I moved away from home, I would either have cookie-making parties or bake a big batch for co-workers. Even then, I would sneak bits of dough and yup, good ole tummy ache. At the very least, 5 or 6 cookies would arrive in the mail from Mom. She’d send them with presents from home when we can’t make it in person. This year, the cookies did not arrive.
These cookies are conjured from a recipe out of an ancient issue of Farm Journal magazine that Mom keeps tucked away in a cupboard corner of her kitchen. There is a secret ingredient in these cookies that makes them more magical than any other pastry. One taste and that slightly bitter bite of nutmeg pops open my personal Way Back Machine and suddenly I am 8 years old again. I become the yellow haired girl, singing along to Alvin and the Chipmunks with my sisters and falling asleep on Christmas Eve with sugarplums in my head and blinking tree lights dancing on my bedroom wall.
I didn’t make any cookies in 2009 because I’m avoiding wheat. We were headed home for my family’s Christmas celebration, so I figured I could have 1 or 2 cookies over the weekend without too much pain. Unfortunately, as we were waiting in the airport to board our flight home, Mom called to tell me there was a HUGE blizzard and all the roads crossing the 150 miles from DIA to her house were dangerous and probably closing. Instead of getting to DIA, and being stuck there for a few days, we chose to just not get on the plane. Christmas was postponed. I was bummed.
As my Mom is a caring mother, she decided that if Amy couldn’t come to the cookies, the cookies would come to Amy. On January 4th, Mom put a package of presents, including the much-needed cookies in the mail. On January 9th, I looked out my apartment door to see an empty hallway. No packages. On January 11th, Mom went to the post office to see if they could tell her where the package was. Since she didn’t attach a tracking number, they told her it was just lost. Every time I’d come up the elevator I would think “Cookies?!?” only to find an empty hallway. Everyday I would wake up and look at my husband and say “Cookies today?!?” only to be greeted with an empty hallway. I thought, after the crap storm that was 2009, couldn’t a girl at least get her Christmas presents and a friggin Christmas cookie?
Then on January 12th, I felt like an ass worrying about cookies when Haiti crumbled, so I only said “Cookies?!?” to make my husband laugh. We both knew the cookies weren’t coming.
So I scheduled a flight home, not for cookies but to see Mom. I hadn’t been home since Dad’s funeral and everything seemed to align for a January visit. Colorado weather was calm, my vertigo was subsiding and my job search hadn’t provided any fruit. As a special treat, my sister was going to come visit from her home in Kansas, and she had 4 cookies left from Christmas!
Then sis called from the road, it was 8pm and she had a 5-hour drive ahead of her and a screw stuck in her newly flat tire. Sis was staying home. 3 strikes on the cookies, I swear there was a gypsy curse on my cookie jones. Fortunately, Sis was still determined to visit and drove out yesterday morning. I was happy to see her and the little plastic baggie of chocolate sprinkled happiness that she had with her.
Being home was wonderful. Most importantly, I got to see my sisters, hang out with my nieces and nurse my mother through her first head cold of the past 3 years. Also, I finally got my cookies.