Thursday, February 28, 2008

Trial, day 19 -- with cookies

My mom was not a baker. Every once in a while, she'd play along when I wanted to bake something, but it was not something she particularly enjoyed doing.

One year, I got an Easy-Bake oven as a birthday gift, and my mother was actually perplexed when I wanted to use it. She told me that it made no sense, trying to bake little mini cakes on a lightbulb. After one or two uses, the toy mysteriously disappeared. So if I wanted to bake something, I'd have to resort to looking up the recipe in my dad's well-worn copy of "The Joy of Cooking" and using the real oven.

When the subject of baking came up, she would tell the story about how, for one of my birthdays, she labored over frosting a Bert and Ernie cake for an ungodly amount of time. The cake was, indeed, beautiful. But she always left out the part where the cake itself was made from a mix, and how the beautiful frosting tasted exactly like food coloring.

When the other kids' moms brought in cupcakes for their birthdays, I was excited. I love cupcakes. But when it was my turn, I begged and pleaded for Munchkins. Trust me, it was safer -- and better.

Then there was one time, in 7th grade, when I had to make some kind of dessert for a school project, and do a demonstration of how it was made. She actually had me make rum balls. I got in trouble. She thought it was funny. In retrospect, I'm surprised that I didn't get suspended.

In all honesty, there were a couple of things she baked well. Cream puffs and cannoli were her specialties. Actually, now that I think about it, I think she used pre-baked shells for the cannoli, and just made the filling. For her kids, she made really good M&M cookies -- mostly because the recipe was on the back of the package and it's pretty much foolproof.

Anyway, one of the best things about this hotel is that, every day, it puts out cookies for the guests. More often than not, they're chocolate chip, or chocolate with white chips. Sometimes they're coconut or peanut butter or white chocolate cherry. Today they were M&M cookies -- just like my mom's.

The M&M cookies are still my favorite.


E :) said...

Food is always so connected with memory and it's amazing the emotions that good food or food from childhood conjures up.

I hope you're feeling better, Dara. Take care of yourself.

Paige Jennifer said...

Even blurry those look really good (she says as she wipes away the drool on her chin).

I love those moments. When something as mundane as a M&M cookie can bring you back to a happy memory.

Kimberly said...

dara, i just wanted to let you know how amazing of a writer you are. sitting here, reading your blog (such a rough sounding word!), you were like the perfect romantic comedy. you made me laugh, you made me cry...!

anyway, i just thought you should know. :o)

dara said...

Kimmie: That is such an amazing compliment. Thank you.

And I can't believe you and Jeromy are moving so far away. Although, in all honesty, my schedule's been such that I don't even get to see you guys out in Suburban Va., either.