Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Kitchen Is My Holy Heart. I Guess.

Instead of doing anything actually productive about Christmas such as sending cards or buying presents or wrapping presents, I've been baking cookies.
More and more cookies.
Which goes against every grain of my soul. I don't know anyone with the exception of possibly two people in my life who actually need any of the sugar and fat in cookies. Cookies are...well...just little sugar and fat bombs. That's all they are.
So yesterday I made pecan puffs and peanut butter blossoms and the day before that I made mint chocolate chip cookies and then there was last week's sugar-cookie fiesta wherein I rolled out and baked and decorated an acre of the little things. Trees, angels, gingerbread men and women, candy canes, stars.
I don't even know what I'm going to do with these cookies. I have a vague plan about giving them to friends and neighbors or, well, I don't know. This would be fine except that would mean I have to take them to people and taking cookies to people involves putting on a bra and putting the cookies on a plate with maybe a bow or something and, oh god. I might as well just go to the mall.

But. I have been fairly cheerful!

And today I have to go to town. No two ways around it. I am babysitting for the boys for a few hours this afternoon and there are a few things I must go to the mall for because there is nowhere else in town I can get these things and oh boy. I just can't wait.
Why do we DO this?
Mr. Moon is stressing out like nobody's business about the one gift he has to find and purchase which is for me and why can't I just tell him, "Oh honey, here, order me this..."?
I'll tell you why- I don't need or want anything.

It's been such a comfort in the kitchen. Creaming butter and sugar together, adding vanilla (and I'm almost out of my Mexican vanilla and dammit! I hate that), cracking the beautiful eggs my hens have been so lovingly giving me, measuring the flour, mixing it all up and rolling up little balls of fat and sugar bombs and baking them in straight little rows on cookie sheets and rolling the baked little fat and sugar bombs in more and more sugar and lining THOSE up in straight little rows on wax paper and I realize- I've reverted back to my nine-year old self who baked because it was comforting and a neat little hat trick (you made these yourself?) but dammit, it's not amazing when a fifty-eight year old woman makes cookies. I mean, it's just not.
It's sort of pathetic.

Well, Christmas brings out the best in all of us, doesn't it?
No. It does not. Not for me, anyway, and so I comfort myself with the oldest kitchen ritual I know while the news gets weirder and the funerals continue and the speculation as to how and why reaches a frantic pitch and the religious among us try to rationalize what god was doing when babies were being slaughtered and preach to us that we've kicked god out so why should we expect him to be there when we need him and the NRA finds itself in a cold, dark place where their arguments freeze and fall and crack on the floor and Facebook is full of "Let's all pray for the children and brave teachers" and meanwhile, the people of Newtown are pleading with reporters to leave us alone, just please, back off and give us some space here, and the stores are filled with crappy crap that even I find myself reaching for because, well, I don't know what to buy and the Muzak (oh god, oh god, oh god! the Muzak) is telling us that it's the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! and the days tick down and all I want to do is to be in the kitchen, rolling out dough and planning a Christmas Eve dinner and I keep holding on to that image- the Christmas Eve dinner.
I want all my babies to be here and I want to make the foods that make them happy and I want to see their smiles and pass Gibson around and I want to see Owen beside himself with excitement and I just want to love on my family and see their eyes shining, to feel what is true and what is real without the lacquered layer of artificial gloss applied.

No wonder I don't want to leave the kitchen where the miracles of butter and sugar and flour and heat are real and tangible, where attention must be paid but where nothing I do can truly end in disaster.

Good morning, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. You've made yourself a sweet haven. And I'm feeling rather lazy. I think you've inspired me. I will start with gingerbread cookies, I think.

  2. The kitchen is my haven also.I am 49 and consider it a blessing at this point in my life. Yay for cookies!!! Fat Bomb schmat Bomb, Life is short. Just make sure and wear your sexy undies when you go to the neighbors and oh yeah a coat or something.My 90 year old neighbor walked to my house with cookies so hey what is stopping me? (goodness 2 much coffee :) Have a great day from your fan in Alabama...

  3. Ain't nothing pathetic about a grandma making cookies. Really, now.

    And I would certainly rather be given home made cookies by a lady wearing no bra than get no cookies at all!

  4. You are not pathetic for making cookies. There is no better gift from anyone than one that is homemade and delicious. I am especially envious of those beautiful eggs. I used to get farm fresh eggs but no longer have access to them and have resorted back to grocery store eggs which are sad excuses for eggs. I think I may have to make cookies now too. And good friends and neighbors won't care a lick that you aren't wearing a bra not when there are cookies to be had!

  5. Your last paragraph just really hit me (I'm baking too. In fact I just cruised by here on my way to epicurious) and then while I still had tears in my eyes Jo made me snort with laughter. I love it here!

  6. I would love to see pictures of your cookies. Especially the cut out ones. Well Mary, that makes perfect sense, you making the cookies, and it's not pathatic at all. It's exactly what you need to do to feel okay, to soothe yourself. And it's quite unpathetic that you know what to do to keep yourself feeling somewhat in control and okay. But the image of you as a young girl doing the same exact thing really struck a cord. Maybe somehow you are conjuring her up too and protecting her now from all the awfulness that was happening then, that no one else protected her from (this doesn't make sense really how I'm saying it. Sorry to therapistize you. It just seems connected to trying to find a way to protect vulnerable children from horrors). People will LOVE your cookies. It's once a year, who cares if no one needs them. In a way we all do right now.

  7. I've been baking like mad lately - ever since my mom sent me my new kitchenaid yellow beautiful mixer. It is comforting - to put all the odd ingredients together you sometimes wouldn't eat on their own, mix them around, heat em up - BOOM! Cookies. And everyone is happy and it becomes another creative outlet without judgment - it's just pure joy.

  8. I'm with you, Marymoon....and right now (just to balance things out) I have my own bastardized version of Chex mix in the oven. 2 kinds, one regular, only full of pumpkin seeds and pecans and walnuts and stuff...and one that is a junk food mix with brown sugar and cinnamon and butter...oh the butter !! Butter in everything!! The junk food mix has all the same stuff...a new Chex that is multiBRAN or some shit. Life cereal. Pretzels. and my favorite of everything, bercause you can stick them on your fingers like a fucking 7 year old...BUGLES!

    Happy Solstice/Festivus/ everything, old girl.

    And, btw--are you making snickerdoodles?? Because that's the only cookie I really love. And Biscotti, but I made that Monday.


  9. Sugar/butter bombs are the best kind of bombs! I have all my baking in the freezer, but it isn't stopping me from being a glutton. Oh well, if the Mayans were right, it won't matter. If they were wrong, that's what January is for.

  10. This is a great post. I'm so glad you are cheerful! I think that may be directly related to the grands... Children really bring the holidays into that unprecedented joyful state.

    As to all the rest, I still find myself somewhat stymied. We decided to send a donation to one of the local groups helping the community through their unimaginable grief. That was all I could think to do, and I felt that I had to do something. I think a deep problem in our society is lack of real community. I think it is the source of many of our "modern" problems. Disconnect pure and simple. I'm doing my best to try to stay connected.

    I am really happy you've found your holiday niche and are looking forward to Christmas eve.

  11. Denise- Gingerbread cookies sound lovely.
    Maybe I need to make some too.

    Mary i- Ah. Welcome my friend from Alabama! I am so glad you're here.
    Okay. I'll take your advice.

    Elizabeth- They are Mr. Moon's favorite. I just hope I have a few left by Christmas.

    Jo- You have a point.

    Kelly- I love my chickens so much that their eggs are merely a bonus. But what a beautiful bonus!

    Joan- We have the best community here. I swear.

    Bethany- I believe you completely understand. You are just precious to me.

    Rachel- A yellow Kitchen Aid? Ah! How gorgeous! Mine is gray. And I love it.

    Akannie- I haven't made Snickerdoodles but I've thought about it. Maybe...

    heartinhand- Perfect! Yes!

    Ms. Fleur- Food is love. Period. The end.

  12. We haven't done the cookies yet but I believe that they are being made over the weekend. And the jelly is done and the cakes have to be made. But it gives us something to do together which is fun.

  13. I don't know what a peanut butter blossom is but it sounds yummy!

    Everything is so insane. Christmas is insane. This Newtown situation is insane. I mean, really. I wish everyone would just sit down and be quiet for a few hours.

  14. This is the truest description of Christmastime I have ever read.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.