Sweet Dreams

Kitchen Grandmothers

1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened        
1 egg

In the first few hours of early morning, her kitchen is cold, but in spite of this, she sets to work.  From her tin recipe box, decorated with colorful fruits and vines, she pulls out a dog eared card.  Christmas Sugar Cookies

1 teaspoon   vanilla      
2  1/2  cups flour

She brushes a strand of silvered hair from her eyes to better see this recipe that she is about to follow.  Over the years, she’s made these cookies dozens of times,  but she wants to make sure, once again, that they are perfect.

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

As she measures, and pours, and stirs, her mind begins to wander a familiar path.  Other years, and other baking days, when this very same recipe lay on the counter in front of her.  A lot of water under the old bridge, she  thinks to herself.  94 years worth of water.

Cream together the  powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Mix in flour.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Roll out small portions of dough 3/16”  thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes.  Bake at 375 degrees for  7 to 8 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool, and frost, if desired.

In the way that 94 years can go by in the blink of an eye, this day has come to an end.  She pours herself  a glass of milk and drinks it, and then pours a second glass, and sets it on a painted wooden tray.   From her china cupboard-older than she is-she takes out a piece of her best Haviland china-a salad plate, and on it carefully arranges three cookies, and puts the plate on the tray beside the milk.  Taking the tray to the living room, she places it on the coffee table next to her Christmas tree.

Upstairs,  tucked into bed, she knows that it will be hard to sleep tonight.  She has nothing to fear though.  She has been a very good girl this year.


This, dear readers, is another Christmas story from my archives, written three years ago.  Having made this particular cookie recipe many, many times, I can assure you that it is guaranteed to please Santa.


3 thoughts on “Sweet Dreams

  1. Such a beautiful story, Valerie! I love the way you play with time, moving from the immediacy of the cold kitchen and her day of baking – with bits of the recipe sprinkled in to the story, to her spanning back across the 94 years of her life. Brilliant.

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