Ginger. Cloves. Cinnamon.
Flour dust. Sugar sprinkles. Butter smears.
Teaspoons. Tablespoons. Cups.
These are the technical tools of the baking season. The holidays. A time to unleash my inner baker and create deliciousness to share with friends, family, and my love, J.
Upon gobbling another orange-glazed cookie this past weekend, he looked at me and said, “You bake a good cookie.” Delivered with all of the seriousness normally reserved for more serious subjects, this warmed my heart. He has talked before about what a good cook his ex-wife was, and although I know he dislikes her immensely, his praise of her cooking stung just a touch. So weeks later, when he praised my cookies, I felt we had passed another threshold of sorts.
Twenty-two months and going strong. Our second holiday season together. More importantly, our second cookie-baking weekend.
J and I share cookie baking duties, dividing executive and sous chef responsibilities, moving around one another like two people who have known each other much longer than 22 months. This ease and comfort of being together, working together, talking and laughing together, continues to be evidence of the lasting nature of our relationship, or at least our confidence in this idea.
The harmony we feel as a couple is poured into the seven different kinds of cookies that we work together to create: Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Date Bars, Holiday Biscotti, Orange-Glazed, Walnut Balls, and Ginger Snaps (recipe listed in the “Recipes we love” section of this blog).
As we pack up and deliver boxes of these delectable treats for friends, co-workers, and family, the reviews start. “Love the little spice cookies!” “What’s the recipe for those date bars?” “Oh, that biscotti! Yum!”
These affirmations of the cookies resonate with me in a more personal way, simply because I know of the work, effort, and time we put into their creation. “Baked with love” is such a cliche, but in this case, it is a positive reminder that the energy we put into whatever we create will spill out into the world in equal measure, making it doubly nice when that energy is driven by compatibility, kindness, and love.
Happy Holidays to one and all!