Cookie Extravaganza

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

I came across this question, “What skills or lessons have you learned recently?” and I paused.  It’s been a long time in the school of life so it’s been a minute without a continuing education or something. And I realized that life teaches us plenty.  My holiday prep is pretty consistent.  I’ve learned a decent pattern over the years for how to get things done by a certain time and I threw in a bit more this year now that I could bring home baked gifts again.   I brought back the cookies!  I love baking cookies and sharing them.  I love the act of baking, the chaos, the science, the timing, the smell, the colors—all of it!  And my goodness, when a cookie turns out well—heaven!! 

So the monkey wrench this year was my work hours shifting back in September along with my husband’s job changing—so his hours changed as well.  It means I get home later, have less time with the family, and generally feel more alone because I have to go to sleep roughly 2.5 to 3 hours after I get home.  That’s a short window to spend time with the family, eat, unwind, or do whatever I need to.  Adding festivities to the mix was going to be a challenge.  So this year, I was determined to bring back the cookies not just for gifts but for the party we are hosting as well.  I planned out the cookies I wanted to bake and began the prep to bring them to life.  All the dough was made on the weekend ahead and then I could bake them bit by bit during the week, still have time to give them out as gifts, and be ready for the party on the weekend. 

Well, this is where the lesson starts.  It has been a few years since I did the cookies on that scale and I threw in two new cookies this year.  That meant that I didn’t know how they would behave in the fridge.  I’ve had to leave doughs in the fridge overnight before but not for longer than that.  With the schedule I had in place, I could only bake a few doughs a night so some would be in longer.  I had no choice but to be ok with it.  By the time I got to the last dough Wednesday night, things looked ok, but those were the new doughs.  I know common sense would have dictated that I do the new ones first, but these were the most complicated so I saved them for last because I would have more time the evening I was planning on making them.  Honestly, they started out fine…and then became a different work of art, so to speak.

Each night I worked on the cookies with my son who is old enough to help now and these are the lessons in a nutshell.  1. Time moves faster than you can imagine.  The last time I was able to do these cookies he was learning to talk.  Now he is able to help me and understands how to work the mixer.  Keep each moment close to your heart.  2.  The imperfect makes it perfect.  I love it when a cookie turns out really well—but it was so much more fun spreading the knowledge to my kid and witnessing him enjoy what I do.  Half the cookies look ridiculous but they taste amazing and there was so much fun in them.  3.  Our time is ours—use it how we see fit because it goes fast (see number 1).  Our lives are not meant to be divided between what we love and what we have to do.  Love what you do and if you don’t, go find it and put your time there.  4. You don’t need permission.  We have one life and it is meant to be glorious and bright and joyful and an experience we love.  Share it.  Share the love, the light, the laughter.  Don’t wait for things to be just right or for someone to give you the time to do what you want—we have to create that time.  5.  Do everything with love.  Allow it to be what it is and enjoy it while you have it.  6.  Sometimes what happens is better than what is planned.  The universe knows what you need so take it.  Don’t fight it.       

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