Christmas Cookies 2014 – Day 1

Start Time: 10:30 am

Stop Time: 3:50 am

Goal: 20 types of cookies, packaged, wrapped & ready to deliver on Tuesday 12/16

Completed: Vanilla Sugar (10x), Chocolate Sugar (4x), Brown Sugar Spice Cookies (2x), Chocolate Chip (4x)

Mixed: Coffee Chocolate Kringles (4x), Mint Chocolate swirls (4x), Oatmeal Raisin (6x), Peanut Butter (4x)

It’s been a hard day. My kitchen was in minor shambles this morning when I got up to start working at 9:30.  Also, today was the, “Worst storm in decades” for the San Francisco Bay Area.  Ok, not to be a hater, but seriously, it was not as bad as people make it out to be.  I’ve had worse flooding in Pacifica, and we have had the electricity go down for a few days because of high winds.  It seriously wasn’t raining Ebola like the news said it was.  It was actually kind of soothing.  Unless you’re Peanut.  Who refused to go to the bathroom because it was wet out.

So I feel like I’m off to a good start.  Despite my mixer being in it’s death throes and choosing to go out like a champ– a total temperamental bitch,which I can #respect — I feel like I got a lot done.  But it’s been a hard day.  And not in the way you might think it was hard.

I’m about to get a little real here.  In early October, one of our dogs passed away.  Not just any dog, but my girl; my daemon, Azuki.  She was my furry soul-mate, the one being on the planet that was in tune with me in ways I didn’t know I needed to be understood.  And she… is… Gone.

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I won’t get into all the feels too deeply here, because lord knows I could.  I will not rehash how she died or the whole messy devastation I felt.  I will simply say that I never knew pain like this before, and it still hurts.  She was the one person in my life that waited up for me and met me at the door no matter what, and always wanted to hear about my day and tell me all about hers.  And this time of year is one of the hardest to deal with that.

Azuki loved cookie madness.  The crap on the floor, the raw dough flying all over the room, the dropped cookies– all of it was the most exciting thing she’s EVER been through.  She was so much of my process and my kitchen that it’s hard not to feel the void as I start up the baking frenzy this year.  What is usually a fun, holiday-spirit building event turned out to be something I had a really hard time kicking off this morning.  Every time I dropped something, or spilled something — I had a batch of dough fall apart and land on the floor– Peanut didn’t even lift her head to see it.  It made me think of Azuki and how she’s not at my heels today.  I actually had to clean up my floor myself…

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So this year, as I say “here we go!” with only a little less gusto than usual, please hug your animals.  Kiss your husbands and children, because life is painfully short, and despite all the times they drove you nuts or got underfoot at exactly the wrong time, it really sucks to be without them.  I would give anything to spend one more cookie frenzy with Azuki.  To look down and realize she’s sleeping at my feet, covered in flour.

Yes, I’m struggling with finding my spirit this year, but despite missing her, I feel lucky.  I got to spend close to 10 years with a dog who had a piece of my soul in her heart.  There will never be another beastie quite like her, but I am happy.  I got to know her.  She chose me.  And we had so many moments that make me smile when I think about them and there are lots and lots of photos with those chocolate brown eyes, that I’m grateful.

And you know what?  That is what the holidays are about.  Being grateful, spending time with family, thinking about the year that is winding down and counting your blessings.  And there is still a lot to be celebrating.  Especially the life of a dog who was my partner in everything I did.  HER life is definitely worth celebrating this year, and I may have to drop a peanut butter cookie on the floor on purpose this year in her honor.

So as I finish up day 1 of the cookie frenzy, I have a lot on my mind.  Got over the rough part and got a lot done today.  The sugar cookies are baked and the edges are piped.  I can flood them tomorrow, ahead of schedule for once.  Peanut was even pretty cooperative and threw me a bone and licked a patch of the floor clean.  The Husband is on board with me using some of my award money (I won a corporate award this year) to buy a commercial mixer (!).

So this first day is for my girl.  I miss you, but I know you are having a blast, wherever you are.  And I know you can feel my love and smell all the heavenly smells that I do, taste the sugary goodness that I taste and are wagging your tail for me, grinning at me with encouragement on your face as I curse out the damn mixer and burn my arm for the third time in  1 day…

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