Cooking, Cookies, and Cats

It’s coming down to the finish line for the semester closing, and lots of to-dos are squawking for attention.

But there’s always time for cookies and pie.

Okay, so I cheated a little on the pie. A few weeks ago I picked the last of the apples from our trees and spent a couple of hours peeling them all while my husband loosely followed a recipe I found for apple pie. The plan was to bake pies until we ran out of apples. It took five.

One went to his work as a treat, one was to be immediately eaten by us, and three were frozen for later use. The one we ate didn’t turn out that well, but the pie he took to work people raved about. Because of his “secret ingredient.”

Then we thawed one for Thanksgiving, and I thawed another to take to my work. Both had his “secret ingredient.” I had entered mine into a work contest, and find out in about two weeks if it won the sweets category.

His secret? Adding eggnog. Apparently everyone loved the different taste and it sparked little ripples of conversation among people who ate it.

Then another baking challenge came up this weekend: cookies for a cookie swap party. I had my heart set on molasses cookies, and we made quite a mess in the kitchen. This time he added a little peach liquor to give it some flavor. I kept adding sugar until it had the right sweetness taste.

I had three pans of cookies. I put them in the oven for the correct amount of time the recipe called for, but when I pulled them out, two of them looked burned on the bottom.

I was in denial. “The edges are just a little crip,” I said.

My husband poked them with a spatula. “They’re burned.”

“You’re wrong. Give them time to cool and I’ll pry them off the pan.”

So they sat, cooling, and I hoped my cookies would be okay. I had timed it so they would be ready when we needed to leave; there was no making a second batch.

When I went to peel them up, sure enough, almost two whole pans were burnt. Only two cookies out of all of those were viable. But the third pan turned out fine. The cookies had flattened out to large globs, so I cut them up into smaller pieces and ended up with a baggie full of small cookies.

“I told you I was right,” my husband said as he was finishing up getting dressed. At least the good pan tasted excellent.

It felt good taking a break, not having any major projects or doing any work. I still have a pile waiting for me when I return to the work week, but for a few moments in between the hecticness, it was nice to relax.

I’m sure everyone is feeling stressed this holiday season, whether it be work, family, finances, or just something weighing you down. Remember to take time for yourself, even if it’s only a few moments.

Here’s a cat scheming to get cookies. He’s my latest cat art creation.

If you’re looking for gifts, this looks really nice on a tote bag.

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