Posted tagged ‘Sugar cookie’

“Christmas cookies without sprinkles are like raisins without wrinkles, and like sleigh bells without tinkles are Christmas cookies without sprinkles”

December 17, 2012

A rainy dark day again today, but it is a warm day which makes the rain more tolerable. I need to go out to do a few errands a bit later, but I have a short list. Yesterday I had no intention of doing much, but I did. It all started with a potholder. I pulled one out of the drawer and found it had been gnawed. I was grossed out by the idea of a rodent in my kitchen drawer so I pulled out everything, threw away the gnawed and washed the washable. I scrubbed the drawer. In it I found a cache of rice from a bag of rice I had foolishly left in a cabinet. That beastie had to have carried each kernel through two cabinets and up to that second drawer. A feat of sorts I suppose. The rice came from a long time back so I doubt the beastie is still around. My cat has not cabinet watched for a long while. Now I can boast the neatest of kitchen drawers.

It was always an event when my mother made her Christmas sugar cookies. She had silver cookie cutters made from heavy aluminum. I remember a Christmas tree, a bell, a reindeer, Santa carrying his sack and a star. My mother did all the making, all the rolling and all the baking. We got the best job, the decorating. When the cookies were ready for our artistic touches, my mother would put on the table bowls of different colored frosting and sprinkles. My mother let us decorate any way we wanted. The trees, of course, were always green, but we decorated them with sprinkles and colored jimmies (the kind you put on ice cream which I know some of you call sprinkles. Around here they were and are jimmies). The sprinkles looked like sugar and were green or red. I’d concentrate so hard trying to sprinkle the red to look like loops of tinsel on my tree then use the colored jimmies for lights. Santa, of course, had a red suit, a white beard and a white pom-pom on the end of his hat. My sisters’ cookies were always thick with frosting. They were the heaviest to lift. The finished cookies were put on racks until the frosting was dry, but we each got to pick one to eat. Every time, we picked one of our own.

I have the same cookies cutters. One was my mother’s and the rest I collected along the way as did my sister Moe. I put the cutters out in a basket every Christmas. They remind me of that messy kitchen table, the bowls of icing and how proud we all were of our beautifully decorated cookies.

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”

July 25, 2011

Today feels as if I’m living in a new world. It is cool and pleasant with no humidity. Last night I didn’t even need the air-conditioner in my bedroom. The next few days will be the same. I’m thinking I’ll be living on the deck for a while, and I suspect tonight’s outside shower might be just a bit chilly.

We had our movie on the deck last night instead of Saturday. Continuing with our Boston film festival, it was The Departed. What was fun, and I’m not referring in any way to that movie, was recognizing scenes from our Boston movie tour last fall. The best one was where Matt Damon, after a rugby match, was sitting on a bench in the Common looking at the state house. In real life, a statue would have been in the way. That’s movie magic.

I’ve written the start of this paragraph three times and deleted each one. I just wasn’t interested in what I had to say. Twice I got up and did something in between. I cleaned the coffee pot and on my second run I moved around a few things I hide behind the TV set. One of those things was a diffuser, and it got me thinking about smells. I have a few favorites. Cookies baking is one of them. I think of my mother and sugar cookies and Christmas. She made them every year, even when we were adults. They were as much a part of Christmas as were our stockings. Turkey roasting is another smell I love. I can see my mother standing hunched over the turkey bulging out of its pan. It always just fit without any spare space. I remember the baster and how she’d use it to suck up the juice then baste all of the turkey. She used to steal a bit of the stuffing, the crusty part at the end. Burning wood is another favorite smell. It reminds me of Ghana. The Ghanaians used wood charcoal for cooking, and I could smell it all over town when I walked. At night, especially, the smell was pervasive. Women sitting along the side of the road cooked and sold food. I was a frequent visitor to the fried plantain aunty, a polite address for older Ghanaian women. From my deck, I can smell barbecue. It makes me want to invite myself to dinner. My dad is the one I associate with that smell.

If I get forgetful in my old age, I hope a smell will trigger a forgotten memory, especially a memory about someone I dearly loved.