Today we did my favorite family tradition, the women of my family get together and bake cookies. The oldest woman present is always head chef. Ever since I can remember we have done this. For the longest time it was Aughra as Head Baker, Mama-san and me. Before that my Great-Grandma was the Head of the Bakers. Mama-san, myself and Mini-me got together to bake today.
When I was little, we would spend 2 or 3 weekends baking. Starting before Thanksgiving to be able to get 10-12 dozen of 20 or so different types of cookies. Some were super simple and fast. Some where labor intensive and slow. We would have Aughra's spare bed covered with cookies. This was our big family gift. We would make gingerbread men for me to take to school for my class. We would have tins of cookies for every person we came in regular contact with during a month. The mail person, school bus driver, my Teacher, the neighbors , everyone. For the big gift, it would be a large tray of cookies to Aughra's work, Mama-san's work and for me to take to Papa-san's family.
As I got older we scaled back a bit. Finally Aughra got too sick to bake and now needs so much of Mama-san's time. We now just bake for ourselves. However, both Mama-san and Me speak wistfully of a time in the near future when we will bake like mad people again.
Usually we start earlier in the holiday season, so that we can bake for the One Good Meal,a local charity, bake sale also. This year it has been hard to get together. I was sick for about 2 months. During that time Aughra decided to announce that God had told her she could die now. Which understandably upset Mama-san. Sigh. SO we got a very late start this year.
What I love about this particular tradition is the sense of female companionship. This is our No-Boys-Allowed time. The chance to discuss life. The undivided female attention. (Mini-me was so excited this year to read a story to Mama-san. Showing off her newly acquired reading skills. Big words and everything.Very Cool.) The teaching of where this or that cookie recipe came from. The showing of how to fill the cookie divot with just enough jam. Or how tell if the cookies are done. The picking on each other when we mess up the cookie recipe we know by heart and have made a bazillion times. The laughter and joy we bring each other. The annoyance and pain. In all an exhausting wonderful time. YAY! Cookie time!