I could have been June Cleaver yesterday when the boys arrived with Amy to find me in the kitchen baking their favorite childhood cookies.
In our house, these pink and white swirled cookies never stick around for long. Whether warm from the oven or not, people find them hard to leave alone. I’m not sure whether the boys and Amy had taken off their coats or not before they enjoyed that first warm cookie.
An hour later, Don’s mother and stepfather came in just as I was putting the finishing touches on supper. It wasn’t long, before out of the corner of my eye, I saw another Sweetie go by with a few words on how hard these cookies were to resist. Then Kara and Joe arrived — and I won’t tell how many Joe confessed to having before the night was over.
With fifteen gathered, it didn’t take long for the Sweeties to disappear. Yet, to say that we gathered is a bit of a stretch, as the party was more like three gatherings in one. As I traveled the circuit, I walked in and out of pockets of conversation. Don and his parents were visiting in the kitchen; my children and their mates were gathered around the television watching a ball game; and my three youngest grands were playing ‘zombies’ in the basement.
At one point, I noted Kyle talking to one who might as well have been a zombie, for their lack of attention to his words. This is the downside of big gatherings: there’s just too much going on to take it all in; separate worlds collide, but then soon break apart to converse in more intimate settings. Meanwhile, I floated from one room to another, trying to experience a little of all the parties.
When I finally sat down, my granddaughters came to see if they could extend their party by spending the night. I was tired after cooking all day. And while having no definite plans, my after-party most likely would have involved a rendezvous with my favorite chair. But I couldn’t resist after one long look at their sweet hopeful faces. The girls were having so much fun playing together; and if they didn’t want it to end, I didn’t want to end it.
Someday, not too far off in the distant future, these sisters who admit to being best friends, will not want to spend their Saturday night with their grandmother. So it was not too hard to put that favorite comfy chair on hold to let their young world collide with mine. They ended up having the best time, filling the house with happy noises, as they trampled up and down the stairs from basement to second story. The girls played house, opened a restaurant, become artists with a set of watercolors and built a fine set of tracks with my sons old wooden train set.
This morning, before they left, the girls told me how much fun they had playing at my house. I learned that after I die, they are hoping that their mother will come here to live so that they can too. But my youngest granddaughter will be repainting my wall colors. And though she didn’t say, I’m guessing she has in mind her favorite pink — just like these Sweeties.
Makes 5 dozen2 sticks butter, softened 2 cups sugar 2 tsps almond flavoring 3 eggs 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 1 Tbsp baking powder 4 cups all-purpose flour 3 drops of red food coloring
Mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually mix in eggs and almond flavoring, then the dry ingredients until well combined. Stir in drop of red food coloring, swirling the dough, until streaked with pink. Chill in fridge for two hours.
Preheat oven to 350.
Shape dough into small balls, a little larger than a walnut. Slightly flatten with hand on cookies sheet, covered with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350.
While still warm, glaze cookies.
Mix until smooth:1 cup powder sugar 1/2 tsp almond flavoring 4 Tbsp evaporated milk (I use water instead)