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a sense of history

March 5, 2009

I’m making sugar cookies right now for Erik (shhh) and it got me to thinking.  I’m using Mom’s sugar cookie recipe, and some of Grandma’s dishes.  Then again, I suppose it’s not Mom’s recipe, but at the very least Grandma’s.  Maybe it belongs to a great grandmother, or further back.  I don’t know, though maybe I’ll call Grandma tomorrow and ask her.  What I do know is that these cookies are just about the best thing since sliced bread.  I also know half a dozen tricks for getting cookies baked faster, how to sour milk, and how to read one of Mom’s recipe’s (cookies get a list of ingredients and a temperature and it’s up to the chef to fill in the blanks).  I know how to make a simple frosting without ever looking at directions, and several different ways to tell when baked goods are done.
I don’t know how to make fancy cookies.  I don’t know how to make foreign food, or how to cook very healthy (the midwest version of spice is, afterall, butter and salt).  What I do know is how food brings people together.  I know how much fun it can be to frost a giant batch of sugar cookies with a group of people, any people.  I’ve spent two years running baking cookies with Rebecca’s Southern Baptist younger sisters.  For two years in undergrad I frosted cookies with my house, including two Jews and an atheist.  Growing up frosting cookies with my brothers we heard stories about Mom’s adventures frosting cookies with her siblings, and how Uncle Dave would play head of quality control and eat the ‘broken’ ones.
I’d like to pass this on to a daughter some day.  She doesn’t need to be an amazing chef (I’m certainly no Graham Kerr), just someone with an appreciation for how preparing food, either for someone or with someone, can bring people together.  She needs to know that this has been a part of our family for generations.

It’s funny.  For years now I’ve pictured how my sons will look and act.  Before today, the only thought I’ve ever given a daughter is that I want her to have my cousin’s hair.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    March 5, 2009 5:55 pm

    you forgot garlic in the midwesterner spice list.
    also, Don’t necesarily leave your boys out of cookies or cooking. It’s the most valueable thing I ever learned from my mother and aunts.

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