Posted tagged ‘cookie cutters’

“Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn’t any propeller, and it wasn’t any coral reef, and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper! It was a shark!”

July 5, 2014

Arthur passed by closest to Nantucket but dropped on us inches of rain and heavy winds. My deck is covered in oak leaf clusters, one of the heavy clay pots fell and broke and the chimney candle holder which had been clamped to the deck also fell but luckily didn’t break. Later I’ll have to clean up all the debris on the deck and the ground. I’m waiting for the sun before I venture outside. It is still cloudy, damp and chilly. I lost electricity last night for all of ten minutes, but the timing was bad. Gracie was just coming up the steep deck stairs when it went dark, and I heard her trip, but she was fine when I checked her.

When I was a kid, I got fifty cents allowance every week. It seemed like a king’s ransom. My father, the only ant in a family of grasshoppers, wanted me to save it for a rainy day. I never did. Sometimes I’d buy a new book for 49 cents, no tax back then, or I’d shop Woolworth’s for something I didn’t know I needed. On the way home, if I had money left, I’d stop for a vanilla coke, ten cents. Wealth was counted in pennies.

Nobody I knew worked summers during high school except for my friend Maryalyce. She had bought an old car, a really old car with the start button on the floor, and needed insurance and gas money so she worked weekends and summers. We were college roommates one year, the only year Maryalyce lived away from home, and she worked long hours as a waitress to pay for school. The muscles on her right arm were huge from carrying heavy trays one handedly. I talked to her not so long ago and she is still working. I wasn’t surprised. She didn’t seem surprised that I wasn’t.

My sister baked sugar cookies for the 4th using the cutters I had sent her. One cutter was a woman with her leg bitten off, another was a surf board with bite marks and a missing piece and the third was the shark who was responsible. My sister used red sprinkles around the bite marks on the missing leg and on the shark’s teeth. She said a couple of the woman’s arms had broken off but that was okay. The shark probably got those too. One cookie lost its head. It was like Hooper finding Ben Gardner’s boat. When Ben’s head appeared, Hopper and the rest of us jumped. It is still one of the scariest scenes in Jaws. I love the headless cookie.

I watched Independence Day for the umpteenth time last night, but I still had to watch. It is one of my July 4th traditions not at all dependent on the weather.

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“Christmas cookies without sprinkles are like raisins without wrinkles, and like sleigh bells without tinkles.”

December 8, 2011

My heat is blasting, a sure sign colder weather is here, but it’s the wind which is making the day feel so much colder than the 41° on the thermometer. It reaches right down to the bones and is strong enough to sway the trunks of pine trees. Gracie is staying closer to home and the couch. The outside hasn’t the same appeal it did for the last few weeks.

Yesterday it poured all day. I went off cape to a Christmas play and then to a really late lunch. The play and lunch or dinner are a tradition we’ve had for a long time. It would be the three of us: my mother, my sister and me. One year my mother treated us to The Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy. Afterwards we thanked her for the cheery choice of a play for the holidays. Now my sister and I go to a play. It’s one of my Christmas presents to her and it keeps the tradition alive. Before I dropped her home, we did a mini-light ride. It’s amazing how many houses are bright with lights this year. We oohed and ahhed as we rode up and down the streets. I got home around 8:30. It was a long but fun day.

I have my schedule all set up for Christmas. It starts tonight with Christmas card night. The cards came in the mail the other day, and I vowed they’d back in the mail by Friday. My list of ingredients for Christmas goodies is all set, and I have plenty of wrapping paper and ribbon for the gifts. I have a few more gifts to buy; some are for my friends but others will be sent right to Colorado. I need some stocking stuffers so I’ll take a day to do that then treat myself to lunch, in commemoration of the season of course.

My sister still makes sugar cookies. I used to but haven’t in a long while. Her grandson helps her to decorate them. We used to do that: spend a whole afternoon decorating the ones my mother had made. She’d cut them out using her old aluminum cookies cutters:  Santa, an angel, a bell, a reindeer and a tree. Both my sister and I have found those same figures in the old aluminum. They are the connection to our childhood and my mother.

I remember heavy cookies laden with frosting, and I remember green frosting the most. We were creative frosters. The trees had lights and ornaments, sprinkles mostly. Santa was tricky to decorate with his red suit, white beard and dark boots. Actually, there were no boots; we just iced them in as we couldn’t imagine a Santa without his boots.

Even when I was an adult with my own house, my mother and I would spend a day baking together. When the cookies were cooled, we’d put on the Christmas music and sit around the table to decorate them and to chat. It was always one of my favorite parts of Christmas and is still a cherished memory.