Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Cookie Help

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A couple of Santa’s Helpers stopped by for a visit yesterday and cheerfully volunteered to assist Cyndie with baking some Christmas cookies. Sara and Althea did a heroic amount of the legwork getting loaded cookie sheets into and out of our double oven. That’s a lot of squats since the bottom oven is at about floor level.

My legs were getting tired just standing around helping with occasional cleanup. I think they baked almost ten different kinds of cookies. It seemed like that’s how many I test-tasted. Cyndie had prepared much of the dough in advance and refrigerated it overnight.

Each oven was set at a different temperature and the multiple varieties of cookies needed different baking times so it was quite a challenge for four people to keep track of pertinent details. I worked on the jigsaw puzzle while using the timer on my phone to track baking times.

Not that Sara really needed help with that. At one point, she asked me how much time was left and when I looked there was 1 second left on the timer. Her intuition was spot on. She also demonstrated a good sense of when the suggested baking time wasn’t enough. Several of the kinds of cookies took a little longer in our oven to reach the desired golden brown.

I learned that the inside light blinks on when the oven reaches the set temperature. It also emits a little tune, but I already knew about that. Sara conducted most of the orchestrations of the baking while Cyndie consulted recipes and prepped the different doughs for the cookie sheets with Althea’s support in cutting, sprinkling and spritzing.

At about the time maximum baking was being accomplished, I slipped out to feed horses and discovered a gorgeous moon illuminating the early evening. Once the horses were taken care of, I strolled down to pick up the mail. This is an activity that used to always include Delilah and it feels strange to walk down there alone.

Along the way, I took note of a variety of tracks in the snow from a prowling cat and either a fox or coyote. I could see where the snow along the driveway is getting peed on. I wonder if the local animals are noticing that Delilah is no longer marking this territory. 

As a punctuation to this thought, last night our motion-sensing light popped on over the deck and I looked out to find a fox on the top step of our deck. We never saw any fox on our deck when Delilah was alive. As soon as I spotted it, it noticed me, did a hasty about-face, and “noped” outta there.

Not long after that, a pack of coyotes started howling up a noise storm from very close proximity. Maybe they were howling at the moon.

Thinking about it, that moon looked a lot like one of Cyndie’s fresh-baked Russian tea cake cookies.

Howl-worthy, indeed.





Written by johnwhays

December 7, 2022 at 7:00 am

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