Cookies of perpetual indulgence

We throw a party every year to bake and exchange holiday cookies of no particular affiliation, although there do seem to be a preponderance of Christmas trees in the mix with each year’s collection. I started the annual cookie exchange in 2003, when I was living in a 1-bedroom 3rd floor walk up, which incidentally was the only place I’ve lived that had kitchen appliances younger than me. Unbeknownst to me, Susanne was hosting her own cookie party, not surprising since we both own KitchenAid Artisan 5.5 quart mixers that we have given names. Obviously baking is more important to us than your average bear. No, I do not think that makes us weird.

What was a fun little get-together has evolved into a tag-team extravaganza of confection. We held our first cookie exchange in Wallyworld last weekend and 30 guests came by with all manner of sweet goodness: there were butter cookies, gingerbread cookies, fudge, pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookies, spice-raisin cookies, shortbread cookies, nutty cookies, fruity cookies, and some high-end store bought cookies. 

To cut some of this unending sweetness, Susanne and I made a few savory delights — her well known (in DC) stuffed mushroom caps, spinach dip, and as a joke, I made mini-wieners with Pillsbury dough crescent rolls snugly wrapped around each one. Susanne could not believe her eyes, but I said, “you wait and see, people will love them.” She continued to look absolutely horrified. 

I ran out to the store, buying last-minute things and getting some cider so we could mull it with some spices on the stove. It had started snowing. Walla Walla, although it gets about three times the amount of snow, on average, that DC does, does not own a single plow. So driving gets pretty treacherous. I put on my grippiest shoes, prayed my remaining ACL would hold out on any ice, and hopped in the car. And then drove very slowly to the grocery store. Anti-lock brakes are great, but the jittery dashboard alarm that the road is slick annoyed the hell out of me. I know it’s slippery, car, I’ve been driving for 20 years. You were just manufactured in June. Don’t tell me how to drive. 

After this altercation with our vehicle, I slipped into the grocery, grabbing what I needed, and then heading for the cash registers. In Walla Walla, there aren’t long lines for anything, really, but they’re still painfully slow. People here like to commiserate. It did, after all, take us 2.5 hours to buy a new dryer at Home Depot our second week here because the appliance salesman spent so much time chatting us up. By the end I knew his full name, favorite hobby (hot air ballooning), preferred church (Adventist), favorite restaurant (26 Brix), and had met his current girlfriend and her two children.

I stood in the line of two people (me and another person) for 12 minutes. At this point all the friendly has evaporated from my body and the three-foot radius of space around me. I am thus very consistently a rather terse, unhappy customer by the time I actually reach the cashier, but my politeness stops me from spilling over into rudeness, which is fortunate, because that would be such a difference from Chatty Cathy Cashier that it would rip the fabric of the universe, and then where would we be? Looking at the gates of hell or the 7th dimension or something, at Checkout 1 of the Safeway on Tientin Street? Not good.

Then it was off to get home, get the food prepped, and hop in the shower and find some festive outfit. I was happy, damn it, happy for the holiday party!

I showered too quickly. I left soap on my backside and realized, only after I’d gotten dressed, that this made it hard to walk. Apparently friction keeps our legs from doing the Monty Python silly walk, and I had just minimized my friction. But with 30 minutes until the party, I didn’t have time to remedy my situation. So it was that I realized that inside slipperiness is just as bad, if not worse, than outside slipperiness, like ice. At least I didn’t have a butt alarm telling me that it would be hard to keep my legs together. Actually, that’s not really how I meant that to sound. Oh, bother.

The party went off without a hitch, and two people actually squealed with delight when they saw the mini-wieners. Somehow this post has gotten off track with all the talk about butts and wieners. Sorry about that. I have pictures somewhere, of all the cookies, and when I locate the camera cord (Susanne tells me it’s in the cabinet of no return), I’ll update this post.

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One Comment on “Cookies of perpetual indulgence”

  1. Alexis
    December 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    Hah! You’ll be thankful for those mini weiner-wrap things when you have kids. There are two things that all small children on the planet love: hot dogs, and pillsbury dough. When you start throwing parties for them and have a dozen 4 year olds running around your house, the last thing you want is a dozen HUNGRY 4 year olds running around your house – I refer you to your gates of hell paragraph.

    Mini-weiner-wraps are your friend. I used to be horrified by them until I saw how effective they were for toddler crowd control.

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