Each year at Christmas time, I bake several different kinds of cookies, which I immediately place in the freezer until Christmas Eve. On that day, I make up plates of cookies and distribute them to friends and neighbors.
The day before my son came home from college, I texted him a picture of his favorite Christmas cookies. (Please ignore the fact that one is missing from the cookie sheet. It accidentally slipped from the spatula into my mouth when I was freeing them from the pan. Quality control is imperative, you know).
“Yum!” he texted in reply.
When he arrived home the next day, we sat down to dinner, and when we were done eating, he looked around the kitchen. “Where are the Christmas cookies?” he asked.
“That picture was from last year,” I lied, realizing I shouldn’t have let him know his favorite cookies were in the house. In my head, I could picture nearly empty containers of cookies on Christmas Eve….
“Oh!” he exclaimed in deflated response. “I was looking forward to those….”
And then I felt bad for telling him I didn’t have any. What kind of mother was I, sending him a picture of his favorite cookies and then telling him they weren’t in the house? I was caught between a lie and the possibility that my cookies would disappear before Christmas Eve.
I took a deep breath to calm myself. “They’re down in the freezer,” the words escaped me in a very small, quiet voice.
I sat back and watched as he ate a cookie. Then another. And another. Finally, I spoke up. “You have to put the cookies back in the freezer now.” And he did. Of course, I haven’t checked the contents of the containers since that night about a week ago now, so I am only assuming he hasn’t had more since.
But having my cookie connoisseur home with me has its advantages, as well. Last night, I made a new type of cookie for my Christmas plates. When they came out of the oven, I cut one in half and tried it. It was good. I brought the other half into the living room for C, who was the only one still awake. He thought it was good.
Of course, half a cookie isn’t a good indication of whether or not a recipe is actually tasty. A little while later, C came into the kitchen and asked if he could have one of the cookies fresh from the oven. I nodded and steered him to the baking sheet that had been cooling the longest.
I was at the sink cleaning up the dishes. I pretended not to notice when he polished off his first full cookie and took another, but secretly, I knew these cookies were a success. Score one for the new recipe!