Snickerdoodles and Gratitude

As I write this, my kitchen has been taken over by two young people baking snickerdoodle cookies. Let me tell you a story about the snickerdoodles in my life…

The concept of baking cookies never entered my family until I was eight years old and living with my parents in Mexico. Mommy learned to cook from her parents, but baking was never a thing, and even less so from Daddy’s side of the family. It was only when Mommy moved in more international circles that she picked up baking, and Daddy being the quality control engineer for a multinational food company, was only too happy to help her out with measurements and techniques. Remember, this was long before the internet age, so these were the good old days of cookbooks and afternoons of trading recipes with friends.

At first, Mommy made one chiffon cake after another, and Daddy experimented with food colouring and decoration. Then she met Cheren, who introduced her to a whole new world of pies and cookies, a crossroad that transformed our relationship in the kitchen. Baking became a mother-daughter activity, and we began trying out recipes that were classic, flavourful and above all, easy to make and fast to clean up afterwards. Enter chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles. Daddy loved the both, but preferred the simplicity of the snickerdoodles, so they became a staple in her repertoire, especially around Christmas.

Later on, I began making snickerdoodles for my daughter, hoping to get her interested in baking as well, but that was before I went on a lifetime strike of cookie baking (wouldn’t you, if told that your cookies didn’t taste like your mother-in-law’s?!). So, after an absence of 23 years, snickerdoodles have re-entered my kitchen and my life.

What are you bringing to the Christmas Eve Table? Our meal tonight is a collaborative effort wherein each of us made part of the meal as a celebration of being together, regardless of the conditions we traveled from to reach this point.

The temperatures have dropped, and earlier today there were some snowflakes fluttering around. More important than the food itself, is the affirmation that we can bring our broken spirits to the table and know that the love and gratitude around it will heal us back together. Maybe not this evening, but the fact that none of us find ourselves alone or abandoned this Christmas, is reason to raise a glass and bite into a snickerdoodle.

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