Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very souls.
A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.
My Mom always filled the house with love and cookies at Christmas. Not just a plate of cookies, mind you. But dozens and dozens of 10 different kinds of cookies. Italian Fig Cookies. Mexican Wedding Cakes. Peanut Butter Blossoms. Cutouts. Leuberkiens. Hello Dollies. Rum Balls.
Each recipe was doubled or tripled to make 10 or 12 dozen at least. Baking began after Thanksgiving and was complete by her birthday on December 12. Everyday brought another treat, and we'd get some samples. But most of the cookies went in our cookies closet, which was really the closet by the front door that had no heat. It stored all the cookies perfectly, at around 45 degrees. We'd sneak out a take a handful whenever we could, but especially when my parents napped after dinner. Mom didn't want all the Christmas cookies to be gone before company came, so she'd make a hold over cookies for us:
12 dozen Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies.
These cookies were open season and we could eat all we wanted. If she was lucky, we would chow threw them and leave the Christmas cookies alone.
So as a grown-up (okay, not really, I just pretend) I continue on with this tradition. I force myself to cut back to around 6 kinds, at about 10 dozen each. I have to try and just live with what I can crunch out in a weekend.
This year, my friend the Queen asked if we could do a cookie day together. I don't have any sisters, so this was a special treat to me. I always wanted someone to bake with again. I did it a few times with friends in my 20's (B.C.--before children) and it was a blast. So I looked forward to a cookie day at the Palace (the queen's nest).
So, the questions started. Want me to pick up supplies and you just give me some money? Sure. Okay, what kinds will be make?. Well, whatever. What do you mean, whatever? Well, I'm not really a cookie person. I only make one kind. So, whatever you make is fine.
This should have been my clue "I'm not really a cookie person." (<--major foreshadowing).
So I stopped at 2 different stores, and bought 4 bags of stuff. Then I asked if she had a stand-up mixer? No, just a hand mixer. Hand? Forget it. I am not breaking my hand. So I loaded up the 40 pund Kitchenaid. Then I went to look for my cookie tubs. I couldn't find them anywhere. Oh well, let's just go.
Arrived at the Queens'. Brought in the ton of stuff. And started. Mixed the dough for the pastry with nut filling Croatian cookies. This dough needs to set, so I had to make it first. As I started to mix and pour, the Queen is getting antsy. I don't know why. I am putting stuff away as I go. I am washing as I go. I am only in the one area. I know she's and anal retentive neat kitchen freak, so I am trying to guess what I am doing that is driving her up a wall. She's trying to be what too nice and not tell me, but I can tell by the 2 smokes in 15 minutes that I am driving her absolutely nuts.
Finally I asked. What. What do you mean what? What am I doing that bothers you? The dishwasher. What about the dishwasher? I am not using it right now. Well, you are getting flour all over it and all over the counter. Well, of course I am. It's a dough. I have to mix it, and then I have to knead it on the counter. Well, there's flour in the crevices of the dishwasher. Oh, sorry. Move out of the way. I have to put tinfoil over it or you will drive me nuts. Ok.
So the dishwasher got a bib. And the queen spent the day washing up after me. Now, I know I have to wash as I go and I did. But the Queen takes the cleaning while baking to an extreme. I mean, you do have to use things to bake with. And as I put cookies in the oven, and waited for them to come out, she would wash up the bowl and mixing cups I just used. Okay, not a problem. Cookies would come out, and I would use the metal spatula to take one pan off the sheet to cool, while sheet 2 was still in the over for a couple more minutes. I would take the hot cookies off, and move some cool cookies to a container to make room. Then, I would go get the next cookie sheet.
And the spatula would be gone. Missing. No where to be seen.
Did you take the spatula again? Yes. Did you wash the spatula again. Yes, it was gross. But I was still using it. I know, just get a new one out. But I don't want a new one each time, I just want to keep using the same one. But the Queen would keep taking it. And then the oven mits. I would set them on the counter, waiting for the next batch, and she would put them away. And so on, and so on.
Baking with a clean freak is hard. It's just a lot more work to keep getting the stuff out. Again and again. And then she picked on some of my cookies. Well, my family won't like these. Ouch. But we did manage to make her husband's Aunt Marge's cookies. Can't quite get the shape or texture, but they tasted excellent. So the King was pleased. And now he yells when I am on the phone "Come over and bake some cookies. No scratch that. Come over with cookies. No scratch that. Come and LEAVE some cookies. "
It's so nice to be loved.
And for Christmas, please send the Queen some tinfoil for her dishwasher. And some more dish soap. I am pretty sure I used it up when I was there. Or, just to be fun, spill some flour on her floor!
The Atomic Bomb made less noise then the Queen when you get flour on her flour.
But I love her anyway.