Latest Issue

The Jaded Eye… Here’s How the Cookie(s) Crumbled

For years on end, I played delivery boy during the Christmas holiday and enjoyed every minute of it. My mother took pride in making cookie trays for all our friends and some neighbors. It was my mission to load them into the car and get them to intended destinations.

The variety was outstanding. And the aroma from the kitchen while the cookies were baking would make your mouth water. My favorite? The green colored, almond flavored Christmas trees with green or red sprinkles on them!

Knocking on someone’s door, shaking off fresh snow, stomping my feet on their porch so I didn’t get their foyer wet, was rewarding. Faces lit up like sparklers — as this was a yearly tradition. Inside the warm confines of another home, we would trade — mothers assortment for a sampling of theirs.
No two families made the same type of cookie unless they included peanut butter or chocolate chip. Fine by me. In my younger days, I could devour one of each and not feel guilty.

Today, it’s a different story.

I am sad to report the revered ritual of delivering cookies is over. Let me list the reasons, and we will go from there.

A. The master baker moved on. My mother passed away last November. With it, cookie production shut down. I have no time or desire to bake. If I did, you’d probably be chomping on clumps of burnt charcoal. Sure, I can buy store made or bakery cookies. Sorry, it’s like the difference between attending a live concert or buying a DVD of it. Mother’s was the “real McCoy.”

B. People have moved to other cities or died, children have grown up. I have lost track of whos and wheres. Mother had a master list of who to bake for. That list has proved elusive thus far.

C. Time or I should say lack of. My carefree days (post high school, pre-mortgage) provided me with extra hours to hustle around. No more. Chasing the almighty dollar to pay bills and fatigue from chemo treatments have put me behind the eight ball. Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons were usually set aside to make my “cookie runs.” If it was a snowy night, that might have meant doing “doughnuts” also. (Putting the car into a circular slide on purpose). Those former time slots are now occupied like a hotel room during little league week!

D. Traditions have changed. For many folks, the effort of trading baked goods got thrown out the window. Why toil over a hot oven when you can send pictures (and recipes) of pies and sweet things over the Internet? Do mothers still bake with their offspring? Some still relish it; others feel it’s totally old school. Due to the stress from the holidays, some feel like, “Let’s get this over with. Including store returns.”

Some people told me they still have a bake fest and cookie exchanges. That makes me happy, knowing some young man or woman is doing what I did for many years: playing delivery person and trying not to sample the goods before getting home!

So for me, the cookie delivery routes were destined to come to an end. Or, in other words, that’s how the cookies crumbled. It was a simple pleasure, and I truly miss it, as much as I miss my mother in the kitchen. Let it be known that no cookie or pie went stale. They were chipped away day after day — fudge included — always a great treat this time of the year.

Temptation proved too great on occasion. When the people told me, “I have never done these before, try them and let me know what you think.” So, did I wait till I got home? Are you going to attempt going over Niagara Falls in a barrel next week?

I wasn’t just a delivery boy — I was a taste tester. One more reason to miss those special days and nights.

But just because I am not knocking on doors anymore doesn’t mean you aren’t. Mothers and fathers — keep on baking. Kids — keep devouring them (within reason to avoid obesity). And hopefully, you have great friends to trade with.

Now all you need is a dedicated driver.

Call me if you’re in a pinch. I promise not to eat any of them on the way back this time around!

Merry Christmas to everyone in Webb land!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *