Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Icing on the Cookie

I baked cookies today. Thick sugar cookies with real butter and sugary icing. I cut them star-shaped and frosted them after they cooled.

My mom never enjoyed baking. She likes to cook, and cleaning makes her so happy that she practically belts out show tunes as she defrosts the refrigerator and scrubs those little cruddy places between the baseboards and the floors. But baking was never her cup of sugar. I have a couple of aunts and a cousin, however, who love to bake. They won 4-H rosettes and two of them actually MAJORED in Home Economics in college. I usually spent a week or so of my childhood summers with each of their families, and bathed myself in Betty Crocker cookbooks and toffee bar recipes and flour measuring techniques (sift? dip/level/pour?). They taught me that all I must do to create something lovely and tasty was follow directions. And I've always been a champion at that. Mom, incidentally, was always supportive of my creative endeavors and cheerfully ate even the most dubious concoctions (a green-and-brown birthday cake?).

When my friends came to my house on the weekends, baking cookies was the fallback entertainment, when we were tired of Strawberry Shortcake or (later) Friday Night Videos. In high school, my friend and I tried decorating cakes and opened a (mostly theoretical) birthday cake delivery business. When I moved into my first apartment in college, I immediately baked my boyfriend a scratch-recipe, 6-layer birthday cake.

When we moved into our new place last month, I heaved a great sigh of relief when I saw that the oven worked fine. I set about finding celsius-to-fahrenheit temperature conversion charts and locating a cookie sheet that fit inside the smaller-than-American baking space, and purchasing a hand mixer (Kitchen Aid, how I long for thee, stay true to me in the storage unit until I return). I hunted down vanilla flavoring and stocked up on powdered sugar. Then I dug out my cookie cutters, shipped thousands of miles on a truck and a boat and a train, and went to work.

I've christened my kitchen now. It's starting to fee a little like home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I miss eating your baked connoctions! Hurry home! Can't wait to see you! Kerri