For some reason this year I am seized by the Christmas spirit even to the point where I made cookies. There is no way to describe how monumental this is, normally I hate this over-commercialized holiday they start advertising in May, but recently even over-heard myself humming xmas tunes! My last memory of baking anything was when I was married - a long time ago. Whatever I baked we devoured and both of us got really chubby. Post divorce I slimmed down, then I quit smoking and got chubby again...now I'm just normal or at least that's what I call it. All that could change tonight when I bake then do a quality check those cookies. The last time I made cookies was probably 30+ years ago so I marveled today at the easiness of falling into the rhythms of blending, mixing and (gasp) it felt so good. Flour, sugar, shortening all over the counter, the scent of fresh scraped (organic) orange peel in the air. I happily remembered spending time with my grandmothers while they trained me to do this very thing. It was all done today (and then) by hand - no electric mixer. At one point I grabbed 2 forks to blend the dry ingredients flashing back to when I was taught to do that. It was such an automatic a gesture! One grandmother taught me how to make cakes and truly great pies. To this day I am still the best pie crust maker. My other grandmother taught me how to make muffins and fudge. About the fudge...I still can't eat it. She made a tray of fudge one day and we ate the whole tray. I've never been so sick and can't even stand the smell of it to this day! My Mom also excelled in pie making, something she perfected after she set the kitchen on fire - she took that as a challenge! Mom did lots of things really well but my most favorite memory is of making pie crust for when I came home from school. Waiting for me was a nice little plate of plain pie crust (which is the way I like it) right out of the oven with a big glass of milk. Such a great memory! Ah the cookies are cooling so time to sign off and do a thorough quality control check of them, even if it means eating a whole plate full of them!