Life in Progress: A weblog by Heidi Price

Clove tree cookies

He has been baking for days now.

First, it was these amazingly great meringue nuts. I think it was his mom's recipe. Then he moved onto spice cookies. In these last few days it has been a Chocolate Cake to take home to his family and multiple versions of a triple cream Mexican cake that he wants to serve to his sons at Christmas dinner.

He stacks his baked goods in cookie tins and tupperware containers and, every party I go to, every family member or friend I visit, he loads me up with cookies and nuts to take to them. He picked out a Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Special-of-A-Tree and decorated it with lights and ornaments. He wrapped lights around the bush outside his house.

I didn't even put up a tree.

I love giving gifts and spent the better part of the last few weeks shopping for the best present I could possibly afford for everyone but I dropped the ball on all the rest of it.

But somewhere between the spice cookies and chocolate meringue cake, his enthusiasm started to wear me down. One morning, I woke up intent on baking these molasses cookies I had read about in a cookbook. I wanted to take them home to his family for Christmas.

It's going swimmingly, I thought as I added cloves, ginger and other spices to the bowl of sifted four and salt. I creamed the butter and sugar and eggs. Once they were done baking, I drizzled them with icing and packed them into plastic containers.

I figured I would take my cookies to my grandmas and let them be my guinea pigs before I unleashed them on the general public.

"I taste a clove," my uncle said, pulling a clove twig out of his teeth. We went over the recipe, looking for places where I might have misinterpreted a directive, and it turns out that cloves need to be ground up before they are added to cookies.

"They use these to pickles beets don't they?" my grandma said, checking her own cookie for clove twigs. We decided to nickname my creations my Clove tree cookies.

I didn't take the cookies to his family.

See, I would be meeting them for the first time and I didn't want anyone to choke.


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