Do you remember when you were about 3 feet tall and could barely look over your Grandmother’s kitchen counter, to stare longingly at her cookie jar? An effigy of something or someone, that was religiously kept full of glorious, delicious, homemade cookies? I sure do! These fond memories of my Grandmother’s kitchen fill the technocolor memories I have of my childhood. Growing up, spending my summers with the one person who indulged my every whim: Gma. My Gma, was not a wealthy woman. Her husband passed away before my mother finished College. She hand made everything for us kids. Cookies were one of her specialties. My summers were a wonderous adventure of sweet treats two times a day. If I was lucky, three. Gma always made sure after lunch and dinner, that there was a cookie plate saddled with exactly 3 cookies, neatly laid out in a triangle, and a tall glass of ice cold milk. We always had to finish our dinner first, no exceptions, and we always complied.
Cookies were always awaiting our arrival for the summers. Her house always greeted our excitement with the aroma of fresh baked cookies. I remember opening the car door before it was even parked, to run to my Gma to give her hugs and kisses, telling her how much I had missed her since she left us in January. Sometimes we would convince her to stay till February. I would snuggle into her lap and she would pet and hold me, and relish the affection. After the long trip she knew we would be thirsty and need a tiding snack. She would whisper in my ear that there was a plate of cookies on the table and milk in the fridge. Being a child, this would grab my attention and off her lap I would fly into the kitchen; so she could catch up with my mother, and hug my brother. On the fourth or fifth day, the cookies in her jar would need replacing. Baking time and everyone was excited to help. In the morning when we woke up, everything was out for an afternoon of flour, sugar, eggs, and whatever else ingrediants the recipe du jour called for. We would measure under her watchful eye and she would mix the batter for us. We would help spoon the cookies onto the endless train of cookies sheets. After the last cookie dropped, she would give each of us a spoon or beater to go lick clean on the back porch, while visions of cookies tormented us until after supper. If we were especially well behaved, she would sneak us a surprise cookie when my mother was not looking. She would say, “go play now,” and we would run off into her orchard to eat our cookie in hiding. Playing for hours in the grasses of the orchard, till the mosquitos and lightning bugs woke up, and it was time for supper. Afterwards, three cookies set perfectly on a plate, just for us.
I treasure the memories and the recipes I have inherited from my Gma. I occasionally break out a recipe and make it. Dreaming all the while, that my Gma is in my kitchen with me. As I make the cookies she used to make, to express her love for the two small children she doted upon every summer.