Sunday, February 13, 2011

fresh forever

This past Christmas, as I munched, snacked and nibbled on homemade cookies, I mused aloud that it seemed a pity to eat my truly favourite cookie only once every twelve months. Couldn't they be enjoyed on all of the special days of the year?
Valentines Day is imminent and so butter is now softening in a big cream bowl on the counter awaiting the guidance of the wooden spoon.
For many years, when my mother lived afar, she would move about her yellow kitchen stirring and rolling cookie dough. Striped and spiral and fruited cookies were then packaged and sent off in the mail to us; samples of Christmas.
One year, December blew in and out without their annual arrival. They had been wrapped and stamped and sent just like every other year. "It will just spread out the festal joy when they come for New Years," I assured my mother. But the New Year awakened cookieless. We went expectantly each day to the mail box, but in vain. As January ebbed away, so did our hope of ever tasting those cookies. Had they bounced off the back of the mail truck? Had a postal worker enjoyed them on a spectacular coffee break? So much for the reliability of a national institution.
In mid-February a package arrived from my mother.
The package.
Posted in mid-December, it had been two months in transit.
She could have walked to my house herself and hand delivered them quicker.
Sadly, we found that time had not been kind to those cookies. They were definitely beyond their best before date. My taste buds recall them as the gold standard of stale.
Love may remain fresh and sweet forever, but not home made cookies.

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