A Baking We Will Go: This is Why We End Up With 75 Dozen Cookies


A Baking We Will Go: This is Why We End Up With 75 Dozen Cookies

When my mother was in her prime, she loved to cook and bake and fuss over all the holidays but Christmas was her favorite. In order to get the baking done in a reasonable amount of time and still have everything fresh for the holiday, she would begin making all her various cookie doughs on a Saturday morning in early to mid-November. She would have already decided what she wanted to make and how much and then start gathering and shopping for the ingredients. Many pounds of flour, sugar, butter, and whatever else - vanilla, salt, eggs, milk, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, baking chocolate – dark and milk, sprinkles, colored sugar, coconut, and nuts: walnuts, pecans, and peanuts. We had two neighbor ladies that would come over to assist and together they would spend the morning mixing, talking, forming rolls of dough or balls of dough, talking, mixing, sifting, measuring, cracking eggs, blending, talking, doing dishes, wrapping, and talking. Both of our freezers would be full, as would theirs. Note I left out the most crucial part of the process: baking. They would bake the weekend before the holiday. This was not the weekend to bake. This would be the weekend for all the final preparations for the food and goodies. It was considered the calm before the chaos. Menus would have been set but this was the final cut. They would sit around the kitchen table and decide who was bringing what for which meal and when things actually had to be done. The cookie storage tins had to be washed and lined with wax paper or foil. The decisions as to what goodie went into what container was made based on volume of recipe. How many dozen cookies, mix-ups of fudge, and what about those great popcorn balls – yeah – 10 poppers of corn should do it? Because all of this was mostly done out of my earshot or when I was away for the weekend, I really only experienced this late in the last years they did it. I merely got to see the results – more cookies than I could imagine, fudge, popcorn balls, cake, and pies. We were not a family to let a sweet recipe pass us by for the holidays. And by New Year’s Day it was all to be gone. And it was.

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