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Cooky memories: Why moms hate flour
I get these wild hairs. I will suddenly decide that I must compel
my children to relive some fond memory from my past. I get these wild
hairs about twice a year. I spend the rest of the year convalescing.
My latest craze is to recreate cookies I made as a kid. Not just any
cookies but stained glass cookies. Don't ask me why I remember these cookies.
My sainted mother never baked a cookie in her life. She had her mother for that.
But I swear that at one time in my distant childhood I made these
cookies, and I am determined to make them with my little darlings.
To make stained glass cookies, first you must make gingerbread dough.
So off I go to make gingerbread dough. Only the first recipe I start has
you cooking the ingredients on the stove. Forget that, there has to be an
easier way. So I flip through another recipe book and start making a different
gingerbread recipe. In the meantime, the little darlings are discovering the
laws of centrifugal force by turning on the electric beaters into a bowl
of molasses and eggs. My kitchen is now covered in a coating of gunk that
hardens to near cement. My, am I having fun.
I am going to make these cookies if it kills us all. Onward we forge
until the very end when as I beat the dough, I realize that it is way too thin
for cookie dough oh yes, you guessed it. I now have ginger
bread dough. Well, when you have lemons,
you make lemonade; and when you have cake dough, you make cake I
toss the dough in a pan and into the oven as my children laugh convulsively
on the counter. Nothing worse than a smart-alecky six-year-old asking
"are you sure you have the right recipe now, mom?"
I need to digress here. Whoever decided that cooking with kids was
a fun and enjoyable experience? Norman Rockwell? Well, let me
tell you something. He was a painter, not a mom. Cooking with kids is one
big disaster after another. Kind of like the Titanic only without
But, I am nothing if not relentless in the face of failure. Once I
secured the correct recipe, the fun began. Again. First the kids have to fight
over who gets to pour ingredients into the bowl nothing like two kids
fighting over a full cup of molasses to really get a mom's attention. I
respond in just the same way my mother did, "CUT IT OUT NOW OR I
WILL BREAK BOTH YOUR LEGS!" Just warms you all over, doesn't it?
We proceed on down the list until we get to the really cool part.
Flour. Kids love flour. It is soft and powdery. Just touch it and it floats. Flour is
cool. Moms hate flour. Flour is soft and powdery and it sticks to everything
it touches. The kitchen and both kids are so covered in flour it looks like a
National Geographic special on Antarctica with our black dog imitating
a polar bear.
The second phase of stained glass cookies is the glass part. You make
the glass out of hard candy you buy in bulk. The little darlings sort it by
color, peel the wrapper and pound it into submission with a hammer. I am
sure when I am old and gray (I know, I am gray now), I will look back at
where they smashed the tile in my kitchen with fond memories; but right
about now I am consumed with rage. But, I promised myself that me and my
kids were going to have a beautiful experience making these stupid cookies,
and doggoned if I am stopping now!
All that is left is to roll out the dough into "snakes," wrap them
into circles, fill the hole with candy, and bake. Only the little darlings
don't want to do that. They want to stick their grubby little fists into the
candy and lick it off their fingers. Then they take the dough and mash it into a
ball and stuff bits of candy all over it.
My last illusion of dainty little stained glass cookies is gone. I
wave the white flag, a flour choked dish cloth, and give in. I bake the little
darlings' creations. I pulled them out of the oven and they were, well I have
to admit it, pretty. The candy had melted into a glaze over the gingerbread.
An even bigger bonus is that they taste great. Kind of like a cookie with
candy icing. Hey, these are kind of cool maybe we could make these again
next weekend? Hey, kids what do you think?
Kate Russell lives between Carnation and Duvall. You can reach
her at Katemo1@msn.com