Christmas Baking


Oh, the wondrous scents and tantalizing tastes of the festive season…the tangy sharpness of a warm ginger cookie, the heady aroma of a nutmeg log awaiting frosting, the citrusy crunch of fruitcake and the smooth coconut sweetness of chocolate drops affectionately known as moose farts.
At the end of the afternoon, my kitchen boasted eight racks of cooling confections proudly announcing the arrival of December and kicking off the Christmas season.
Familiar recipes, pages batter stained, with notes written in faded pen. Visions of my small children danced in my head as I baked, hearing their sweet childish voices in my ear as I washed out bowls of batter that they used to fight to lick and seeing their delighted smiles as they each got a fresh warm cookie from their favourite batch.
Today no little hands got in my way, no grubby fingers helped roll the nutmeg log dough in increasing grayish cylinders. No small aprons hung on their own hooks, no step stools to help them reach the counter for me to trip over. No sprinkles sprinkled on the kitchen floor, no dusting of icing sugar everywhere.
Just neat rows of perfectly formed cookies, Bundt pan fruit cake and logs that looked like logs.
Yes, my husband stole a few. Our son snuck up the stairs to pinch a few but his hands were clean and he didn’t disturb the rows or make a mess. So grown up now.
The cookies were packaged and tucked into the freezer to wait a few weeks before being enjoyed during the week before and after Christmas.
Our daughter will be home but her hands will also be clean and her actions neat when she selects her treats. She won’t fight with her brother to lick the beaters or get the last spoonful of frosting.
But every year, when I make Christmas cookies, along with the wonderful scents and delicious tastes, I am given the gift of remembering how it was when they were small and ‘helped’ me bake.
It is the best gift I could ever receive, especially with a ginger cookie to munch and a cup of tea to sip. Those aren’t tears you see on my cheeks, just reflections of the memories that warm my heart when Christmas baking warms my kitchen. Sweet memories of home and of Christmas.