Guy went to the store today to buy the fixings for fudge. The clerk, he tells me, eyed his purchases and then asked what he was making. I could buy two-by-fours, nails and a how-to book and never get asked what I am making. Chicks think a man who cooks is hot.
Well, he is, dimples and all, but that's not my point.
What is my point?
I don't remember.
Oh, yes, baking. I have been baking lately. It doesn't make me hot, but it has made an impression on the small humans that inhabit this place.
Last week's rainy day met them at the door with the warm aromas of homemade chocolate cranberry cookies. One (child, not cookie) asked, "Are these for somebody else?"
"No, these are for my children." I smiled.
The smile bounced back like one of the 15 bouncy balls that is stuck under my fridge. I guess I have been baking and cleaning and doing for other people's small humans more than my own. Sad times indeed when your kids have to hold up a cardboard sign on a street corner to get noticed.
"Will work for cookies
intended for someone else's kids".
So I have made cookies for my children four times in the past two weeks, which may very well be more than in the past year, all told. I burned out my mixer a while back, so I pulled out my big antique wooden spoon, and as I stirred, I imagined the pioneer woman it might have belonged to, and she helped me stir with her strong arms and pioneer fortitude. She told me that people need for us to feed them. She explained that the first thing our babes ever had in their mouths was our honey-sweet milk, and that if God hadn't meant us to make snickerdoodles, he wouldn't have invented cinnamon. And when I said, but there isn't time to bake all the time, what with laundry and homework-helping and diapers, she said
Don't give me that pig slop, you make time!
and I knew she was right.
While we waited for the cookies to come out of the oven she explained that when a soul is weary, food can bring comfort when not much else will, and when there is something warm waiting when a person walks through the door, it tells them you were thinking of 'em before they even got home. She said memories are rolled and pressed and baked at 350, and that there's no better way to patch up a hurtin' heart than to let a little person lick the spoon.
I am lucky to have a husband who cooks, and bakes and makes fudge (particularly that last one). It is hot, actually, and I can't blame women for flirting with him a bit. But with a little help from a pioneer woman and her sturdy spoon, I am working on becoming a little more of the family baker.
That would make me the Baker and my hubby the Baker's Man.
1 1/2 bags chocolate chips (we use dark)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla (or orange flavoring or some other flavoring)
other yummy add-ins
Melt chips, milk and mallows in a pot on the stove, then add what ever flavorings and tid-bits you enjoy. It's like making a pizza, add what you like: peppermint, crushed candies, cinnamon, lemon zest... you get the idea. Dump it into a plastic wrap lined pan and chill till firm. Cut and serve. Yum and yum.