How Did I Get Roped Into Making The Cookies?…


I’m not sure when it started – I think in high school, but I’m not sure. My mom used to make the holiday cookies. I have memories of almond crescents, chocolate snowballs and chocolate chip cookies. My mom was not a baker. She wasn’t a cook either for that matter. She did what she had to but it wasn’t one of her big joys. So no wonder, somehow, the cookie making chores fell to me.

It was a sneak attack actually. Luring someone young and impressionable with the temptation of chocolate chip cookie dough. Now doesn’t that taste good, honey? Isn’t that divine, honey? Don’t you just love it, honey? Would you like to know how to make these – I’ll show you.  I think that was the trap, but I can’t really say for sure. Then first it was just can you make the chocolate chip cookies for me, honey. Then it was standing by the oven with mom and learning how to determine when the chocolate snowballs were actually done. Then it was mom showing me the art of rolling out and forming the almond crescents. And lo and behold, slowly but surely torch was passed.

Now it is a tradition I cannot escape. Each year the expectation is there – when are you going to make the cookies? And then it’s – which ones   and how many and who is getting them and planning the timetable for getting them all done. Only the chocolate chip cookies have survived the test of time. They have been made every year since the beginning. The snowballs went by the wayside years ago – too dry. And this year the almond crescents left the pack – too sandy for my husband’s mouth after his radiation. But fear not – there are the others: the triple chocolate brownie cookies, two varieties of cranberry cookies (one with icing), peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies, spritz cookies (trees and wreaths), sugar cookies dipped in chocolate, two varieties of kolachkys (apricot and raspberry), and the newbie this year – the raspberry walnut bars. Somehow in a weak moment I decided that I would try at least one new cookie recipe each year – I never made a rule as to how many or when one variety would be transitioned out. Maybe I should because the list seems to get longer every year.

How did I ever get roped into this? I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world – precious holiday memories and traditions.


Recipe for Raspberry Walnut Bars

Raspberry Walnut Bars

(F)orget (A)bout (R)esistance (T)actics…

I’m not sure why we have such a hard time with the concept. After all, it is a normal human function. But for some reason when the subject arises we revert back to our puritanical heritage lest we, perish the thought, offend our delicate sensibilities. And we’ve developed a variety of monikers to avoid calling it what it is – tooting, flatulence, breaking wind, ripping one, silent but deadly (the dreaded sbd), passing gas – all derived in an effort to be politically correct. But why?

We all do it. We all know we do it. I remember the first time I realized that when I did it in the bathtub I could create bubbles. What fun, although my mother didn’t think so. I’ve come to the conclusion that even though we willingly accept the reality that we do it, we conveniently forget that others do. And we’ve deluded ourselves into thinking that the rich and the powerful never do. So when others do it or, God forbid, someone famous does it we don’t quite know how to handle it.

Take for example just this past week – Tuesday night on Dancing with the Stars. Nancy Grace and her partner finish their dance and right in the middle of their obligatory post dance interview – yes, you guessed it – someone ripped one on live TV! For the moment all fingers are pointing at Nancy Grace although she vehemently denies being the culprit and has vowed to use her legal prowess to uncover exactly who perpetrated the crime. No one wants to admit to doing it, after all how uncouth. And on live TV to boot. It doesn’t get much better than this.

But wait – just recently Rahm Emanuel, mayor of the City of Chicago, rips one during a national TV interview. It’s loud and clear for everyone to hear and will remain in perpetuity on YouTube. What a legacy! And what does he do when the dirty deed occurs? He smiles this sheepish grin and quickly takes a sip from his coffee mug before he busts out laughing. The person interviewing him meanwhile doesn’t know where to look or what to do.

So why has his normal human function created such a conundrum for us all? Thank goodness we do it, otherwise our bodies would blow up from all the unnecessary gases that have built up in our systems. Maybe it is the aroma factor, although they don’t necessarily have to have aroma. Maybe it is the sound of it or the fact that at times we just can’t control doing it. And when that happens what do we do  – we rip one and walk away in the hopes that someone else will get blamed. We never ever want to admit that we were the one. And some people have even used it as a term of endearment. How many husbands have tooted under the covers and then lovingly put the covers over the wive’s heads so that they could enjoy the experience as well. Sometimes it can be a badge of honor and sometimes our worst nightmare.

But we just don’t quite know the best way to handle the situation when we are caught in the middle of it. We get embarrassed, we act like it didn’t happen even though the sound could have doubled as a fog horn. And heaven forbid if the aroma factor occurs – how do you get away quickly without tipping your hand that what you really need to do is put a clothespin over your nose or douse the room with air freshener.  Wouldn’t it be great if, when it happens, you just stood there and said, oops I farted. Sorry. How direct, how freeing, how up front and honest! Yes, I think that’s the ticket.

So from now on I am on a campaign – I mean if Nancy Grace and Rahm Emanuel can do it publicly, so can I. From now on I will forget about all resistance tactics. No more pretending, just call it what it is – a plain old big fat fart. Fart. Fart. Fart. Fart. Fart. There now, I did it, I said it, I feel better.

Rham Emanuel farts!