Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Miracle—The Transformation into My Mother is Now Complete

In an effort to trick myself out of eating all our annual Christmas baking before it gets delivered to deserving family and friends, I decided to wait until the week before Christmas to start the process.  It’s a lot harder to eat 15 dozen cookies in 6 days, then in, say, 6 weeks.
Enlisting help in this endeavor from my daughter, Krista, should make the event fun and less frenzied.  She is artistic and loves to decorate, but in this kitchen, with this time constraint, we can’t put perfect smiles on every Santa Claus, now can we? 
 “Why don’t you make all the smiles, then go back and make all the eyes, and so on?” I suggested, adding up the seeming 10 minutes each cookie is taking.
“But I want to do it this way.”
The assembly line had come to a complete steam-hissing halt.
“Krista, we have 20 million cookies to make, can you hurry it up?”  Christmas clouds are darkening, laughing has ceased and I’m starting to feel like if something pure like an Angel or a Muppet entered my kitchen, it would fall dead from the “Cheer Vacuum.”
“O.k., Krista, you keep going, I’m going to make more.”
My husband, Fred, entered the kitchen and remarked that I should have started earlier.  All it took was ONE LOOK from me, and he hurried out covering his genitalia.

In the same time I made 2 batches of fudge, 2 trays of caramel bars and removed the ceremonial molten peanut brittle from the microwave, Krista had completed 25 Santa faces--and they were magnificent.
“O.K—we’ve got gingerbread to roll out and this time we decorate before they go in the oven.”
“I think I’m going to take a break.”
 “Christmas Cookie Elves don’t take breaks!!!” I blasted, “Especially while their mothers are pouring their heart and soul into making everything… (Face reddens for dramatic effect) PERFECT!!”
At this point, Heidi had left the building, replaced by the voice of her now deceased, always Christmas-Stressed Mother.  It had to be her; I haven’t heard the words “Christmas Cookie Elves” since 1972.
I have rapid flashbacks of those hard, metal Christmas decorations that break your teeth rolling all over the floor because they never stick in the dough.  I remember her taking my little hands firmly and telling me to make the dough balls NOT sausages. I’m reeling, remembering at age 7, when I accidentally broke a glass near the cookie making station and she had to start…all…over… again.  I really, seriously thought she was going to KILL me…but she did worse.  She cried.
As soon as I realized that Dolores had channeled me, I shook and came to my senses.
“I’m taking a break too,” I said, “LET’S EAT SOME!”
If you, on my cookie recipient list, don’t get your cookies this year…they were delicious.