"I can see lights in the distance trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing a waltz on All Souls Night."
One of my favorite ways to pass an afternoon is to spend time preparing something great to eat with people that I enjoy spending time with, especially my sisters and my daughter, Maddie. When my sister Linda and I lived together for a spell we would often find ourselves on a Saturday morning, collaborating in the kitchen, putting together a simple and delicious midday meal that we would enjoy eating al fresco under the dappled shade of the big, gnarled oak tree.
My teenage daughter and I often work companionably together to create beautiful and tasty desserts. Maddie has become an advanced baker while still in her teens, and even makes gorgeous layer cakes that would make any pasty chef proud. Maddie has made cookies with Linda and me ever since she was tall enough to stand on a chair to reach the kitchen counter and work side-by-side with us. Picturing these happy memories in my mind, I recall the nursery rhyme, girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Maddie, as a little girl, tended to lean toward the spicy side.
|Linda and Maddie, both in their jammies, baking together circa 2000.
|Maddie and I baking together back in the day. Such good memories!
Maddie recently told me about a conversation that she took part in at a friend's birthday dinner. When the talk turned to cooking, Maddie discovered that she knows so much more about baking and cooking than she previously realized. Growing up with a mother and aunts who love to cook and bake, Maddie has picked up details that she didn't even know she had absorbed until she began contributing quite enthusiastically, like a true foodie, to the dinner conversation.
|All grown up now, Maddie is a baking and decorating pro.
Over the summer when my dear friend Stephanie gave me the "GingerDead Men" cookie cutter and stamper as a hostess present, what she really gave me was the gift of more time spent in the kitchen with my daughter. Maddie and I agreed that making the cookies would be a fun Halloween project. Especially since the bones are made by piping frosting... Maddie's favorite thing! I look forward to our kitchen dates with much anticipation now that she is older. I see much less of my only child now that she has her driver's license. Increasingly, now more than ever, school commitments and extra curricular activities demand her time and energy. Carving out time to be together has become more of a priority due to the demands of both of our schedules.Working in the kitchen together with family and friends encourages conversation and is quality time spent towards building better relationships. Then, as if it couldn't get any better, you get to chow down on some good eats with your favorite people. Now, where's my apron? Let's get baking.
|These little cookie cutters are widely available. Click here for a link to
one website that has them for sale.
Halloween Dead Man's Party Cookies