Sunday, 6 December 2015


Cooking is art. Baking is science and I am most certainly not a scientist! So goes my first excuse for not picking up my Mother's famous Christmas baking mantel. Cookies call to me and I don't need the calories, has been my second worn out excuse.

My Mother's Christmas baking was legendary. Just ask family and friends; just witness their watering mouths. Say Christmas cookies and it conjures up memories of Mom's epic baking marathons. Cherry jewel bars (Right, Jo-Anne?), chocolate carousels, chocolate crunchies, Swedish tea rings, Christmas cheer, rum balls, butterscotch squares, apricot balls, mocha truffles........... Her list of Christmas creations was deliciously extensive. And Mom's shortbreads? Mouthwateringly devine!

Every Christmas season, until at 88 years when she suffered her first stroke, my mother entered her kitchen, commenced a manic baking frenzy and emerged a week later. Where did she find the energy? I believe that love of her children and grandchildren fuelled her. Magical packages of over fifteen cookie varieties then awaited pickup by we three very blessed children and our spouses. Cookie delights graced our tables for seasonal dinner parties, the traditional Christmas tree cutting brunch, Christmas dinner, and New Year's Eve celebrations.

Forget your silly excuses, orders my self talk. Why do you really avoid Christmas baking?

How do I live up to her example? I admit. And therein lies the crux of the matter; I cannot ever measure up to Mom's talent. 

Oh, get over yourself. Since when was this a contest? Just do it. Damn, my conscience bugs me sometimes. And so let the flour fly; let the chocolate melt; let the magical baking begin. I'll do it......well, not fifteen varieties! I know, too, that Mom will be there with me, sitting on a counter stool, smiling, providing encouragement and thrilled that I have at long last donned the Christmas baking apron.

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