Friday, December 24, 2010

Poet Laureate Cookies

 I thought maybe if I made cookies with Kaylee I would achieve the illusion that I was a Real Grandma. Like the "girls"of Victoria's Secret who got their wings for the TV runway show where they were all tarted up as angels, or the bell ringing in "It's a Wonderful World" which meant an angel got its wings,  I would be getting my Grandma creds.
    Now, I don't mean to use Kaylee as an ego trip or prop.  When I confessed that I didn't want to use her as a prop on Labor Day as Poet Laureate,  Matt said, "That's okay, mom,  when I go to a party I stay next to her.  I use her as a prop all the time."
    Well, hands scrubbed, helper stool at the ready, Kaylee in her apron and I in my Espanola Farmer's Market apron embarked on Cookie Day.  Like my dear sister-in-law Carol does with Lauren, my great niece, I would be a Real Grandma.  I had in mind gingerbread, sugar cookies, the ones with raspberry jam, and macaroons. It didn't occur to me to ask Carol for her recipes, which I'm sure are excellent.
    The rolling and cutting and decorating went well on batch #1.  Then Kayle got tired half way through the angels and teddy bears, the moons and stars and the big gingerbread boys.  She made herself a bed in the stairwell with every blanket and pillow she could find.  I moved on to a quick sugar sprinkle, a few raisins and red hot eyes, and baked the gingers.  Then I got the chilled sugar cookies and began on them.  This was cookie day, no resting for me. Kaylee rallied for more cookie pressing.  She wondered why there wasn't a Jesus cookie cutter which seemed a good question and gave me pause. Then Kaylee questioned the hand cookie cutter.  Then she said she knew why I had a hand.  Cause I was the..... what was I?  Our joke is that she says "Poet Gloriate" but with all the in excelsius deo, I didn't feel right about that.  So I said, "Laureate" and got the idea I would take these beauties to all my friends at the Santa Fe Arts Commission.  Hands indeed.
     Unfortunately I hadn't counted on anyone eating them.  Kaylee took one bite of a cunning gingerbread teddy bear, complete with chocolate chip eyes, a raisin nose, and sugary buttons and said it tasted weird. Maybe it was the molasses or the ginger or the cardboard hard tooth endangering texture.To the chickens it went.  Dreams of arriving at city offices with my rock hard cookies went up in smoke. But I had two no fail recipes left, surely I could pull it off.  Maybe with a little sugar glaze the others would pass.  Nobody wants to eat carbs anyhow.  Maybe I could say, these are just for the thought that surely must count and fashion a warning label, please don't eat.  These are cookies that will look the same in 2012, unless there is a recall.  I know for sure they did not select me for my baking prowess.  I am no Judyth Hill, my dear friend, who can bake.
      Kayle wanted to know if Jesus is still a baby.  This put the Jewish demi-grandma on the spot.  I say we celebrate the spirit of the baby Jesus, and than since he was God (I want to add, like you and I are with our divine consciousness) he is all things.  She glazes over a bit and I am rolling the thimble cookies, dolloping the raspberry jam, and baking.  They come out pretty good, more of a so-so that a complete disaster. Batch #3.
     Buoyed by this near success it is on to the macaroons. This is Laura Abrums' recipe, sure fire.  By now, Kaylee in into afternoon cartoons on PBS.  I am soldiering on towards dusk and listening for the peal of bells.  The macaroons seem decidely loose and indeed, after I bake them proceed, to fall completely apart.  It in unlike me to be so persistent.  I am a big giver-upper.  But I was so sure that batch #4 would do the trick.  My son comes and  I arrange a nice plate of these for him to take home.  Maybe no one will have the heart to tell me how they taste.  Maybe they will think, she's in her dotage, be kind.
   At about 2 AM I realize that I never put flour in batch #4.  I was so tired.  O Holy Night.