Friday, December 21, 2007

C is for Cookie, and it’s good enough for…THEM!

By Karrie McAllister

At any given Christmas function, you will find me and my mouth full of sweet teeth lingering with a large cup of coffee right next to the dessert table. Easter has it’s chocolate, Thanksgiving has it’s pies, and that’s all well and good. But those holidays have nothing on Christmas and all of the joyous cookies that come along with it.
Yes, from cutouts to those little nutty ones you have to stick your thumb in to make a well for the jelly, I love them all. Even the peanut butter cookies with the chocolate kiss so delicately pushed into the center, which I really don’t like, I’ll eat anyway. Why? Because it’s Christmas and I love sugar and getting fat doesn’t count before January 2nd.
However, with cookie in hand, there is one line that will stop me in my tracks and lock up my throat like I’ve eaten a McNugget shaped like a chicken head:
“My kids made those cookies!”
I’m all for kids in the kitchen. My kids have multiple aprons and cookbooks designed for little people with no concept of measurement. They can scoop and dump and are slowly mastering the art of stirring without flinging ingredients around the room. They can even make us scrambled eggs all by herself.
The operative word there is us. They make things for us, so if there’s an eggshell or a stray booger, we really don’t mind that much. They are our children. I’ve dealt with enough of their bodily functions to make mucus low on my priority list; being of our own flesh and blood, their flesh and blood isn’t all that gross.
But so help me, if I found another kid’s booger in a cookie, I’d, er, toss my cookies. If you’re thinking “there’s no way a kid would drop a booger in a bowl of cookie batter,” you obviously have no children. Boogers are an essential part of being a child, and realizing that your body can make little green blobs that you can remove and examine is very, very cool when you’re little.
I know this because I have raised two toddlers.
So I am quite positive that cooking of any sort with children must involve nose waste. If it’s not dropping right out of their noses, it is definitely embedded in their nails, ready to cling on to a chocolate chip at first chance.
But I do love to bake with my kids. They are entirely too cute in their miniature aprons with their miniature spoons to let them sit idly by, twiddling their booger-laden thumbs.
And although we are thorough hand washers, we are kind and generous during the holiday season and choose to share love, and not boogers, with our Christmas guests. For that reason, I have devised a simple plan to mark the cookies made by the loving hands of a preschooler.
I let them decorate their own cookies.
As I mentioned before, there is no concept of measurement. There is also no concept of how much is too much when it comes to things like sprinkles and frosting and those little decorative beads that look like bee-bees. While they are going to town drowning the cut-out trees and snowmen with enough sugar decor to send us all straight to the dentist, I am delicately practicing my confectionary creativity. Beautiful cookies, all guaranteed to be booger-free.
At this point you’re probably wondering what we do with all of those carefully globulated treats. Fret not, because that’s the next part of my cunning plan. We wrap them up, put them in a cute little tin, tie on a ribbon and adhere a tag that says:
“To Grandma and Grandpa. From your loving Grandchildren”
The grandparents are thrilled to have a homemade and tasty gift, and seeing as my kids are in their biological line, they are family boogers and nothing bad comes from a spare snot or two.
Voila! Crisis averted, and everyone at the cookie table is happy.
I just hope there are some left over, so I can gorge myself before January 2nd rolls around.

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