Image courtesy of Fagles, because it didn't occur to me to take any pictures of the 30,487 cookies I personally baked.
This happens every year. The holidays somehow manage to sneak up on me, and I find myself the week after Chanukah putting together our yearly holiday card, wrapping and shipping gifts, and baking more cookies than the average tree-dwelling elf could manage to crank out in a day.
It is about those cookies that I would like to talk today.
Because there is a real problem with cookies after a certain point in your life. Up until about age 22 or so, receiving a large package of cookies in the mail elicits this reacion:
"Yes! I'm going to eat all these cookies!"
After age 22, however, there is a completely different reaction to the spontaneous arrival of cookies to your home:
"Sigh. I'm going to eat all these cookies."
I personally experienced this cookie conundrum a couple of weeks ago. After the Oneg Shabbat (food and drink after services) one Friday earlier this month, there was nearly a whole package of cookies left uneaten. The woman who had brought them insisted I take half of them home, because she certainly didn't want them at her house. J and I looked at each other, each of us dreading the fact that we were going to eat all of those cookies.
Then we remembered that our neighbor's college-age brother was babysitting down the street, and we offered up the cookies to him. He was absolutely delighted at the idea of eating all the cookies, because his metabolism and/or stomach has not yet betrayed him.
So, as a 30-something purveyor of holiday cheer, I have some really conflicted emotions about my yearly urge to bake more cookies than we have the tupperware to contain. I want all of my friends and family to know I'm thinking of them. And yet I fear that the cookie conundrum will strike, and they will curse me and my chocolate chip-baking ways.
Luckily, my inherent disorganization and inclination to hurry may serve me well this year, for the cookies will in actual fact be stealth cookies.
Let me explain:
I baked all day Saturday, ending up with either eight or nine different batches of cookies. (I lost count). I packaged those bad boys up in festive tupperware and pretty boxes almost as soon as they were cooled, because otherwise J and LO and I might have eaten all the cookies. Sunday evening, I bought some padded envelopes to send out the cookies.
Then, Monday morning, I asked J to address the padded envelopes, and I hurriedly started shoving boxes of cookies in each envelope, sealing them. I was in a hurry, you see, because we needed to get to the post office before we picked up LO at school, and we were already running a little behind.
It wasn't until all but one of my padded envelopes was sealed that I realized I had forgotten something crucial: some sort of note included with the cookies to explain who they were from and that I was thinking of the recipient. Rather than try to find a way to re-open and then re-seal the envelopes, I decided that I would just be sending out stealth cookies this year. That way, my friends and family would either be pleased at the anonymous delivery of cookies that they would eat all of, or they could not know who to curse as they ate all the cookies.
So, if you've received a random package of stealth cookies, know that I'm probably the sender. I'm thinking of you! Hope you have a happy and bright season.
(And I want to tell you either you're welcome or I'm sorry, depending on where you stand on the cookie conundrum.)