Monday, December 7, 2009

Me LOVE Cookies, says Cookie Monster

Over the years, I've developed a repetoire of December baking that is extensive.  Extensive, I say!  One reason why I gain 10 pounds every year between Thanksgiving and New Year's.  Lucky me. 

I make about 450 baked goods.  Here's the breakdown:

  1. Cutouts - 10 dozen
  2. Thumbprints - 3-6 dozen
  3. You Won't Believe 'ems - brown sugar, butter, chocolate and nuts over saltine crackers - about 50 pieces
  4. Lemon bars - 3 dozen
  5. Chocolate Turtles - 6 dozen
  6. Mini-Lemon Pound Cakes - 20-22
I carve out 2-3 nights a week the first two weeks of December, doing nothing but baking.  And tasting.  Then I go to the Container Store (talk about YUMMY, a girl could blow her bank account in THAT Shangri-La) and find the cutiest-patootiest baked goods holders I can find. 

I divvy up all of my treasures and give them to pretty much everyone I can think of.  Teachers.  Babysitters.  Friends.  Relatives.  Neighbors.  Make-up girl at Nordstrom.  Dog walker who goes past my house every day looking hungry.  People at the bus stop. 

It's a lot of baked goodies. 

And I'm not doin' it this year.  I'm devastated and ecstatic at the same time.  Devastated because I love the creating.  Devastated because at the time, I love the tasting, tasting, tasting.  Devastated because it makes me feel so fulfilled - in that I am a feeder.  MUST FEED PEOPLE to feel fulfilled in life. 

Ecstatic because I might escape with only a 5 pound holiday weight gain this year.  Ecstatic because the removal of that pressure to perform is quite delicious in another way, it's freeing, if you know what I mean.

So WHY did I give it up?  Two words. 

Swine.  Flu. 

I read an article predicting most people would pitch their homemade baked gifts this year for fear of H1N1 exposure (of course I can't find it online now, but I SWEAR I read one). 

Really, can I spend hours upon hours creating these labors of love to have them hit the trash?  I just can't and it makes me sad. 

So here's my Q of the day - do you plan to throw away homemade goodies this year for that reason?  I wonder where this article got the validity for a prediction like that - so I'm asking you good people what your plans are. 

For a Cookie Monster like me (Husband nicknamed me the Remorseless Eating Machine the first year he watched the Bake and Taste Fest - I love it THAT much), this is a hard decision.  But I would be lying if I didn't admit to a little relief (ok, a lot!) - this year especially. 

Maybe next year I'll double the amount and give them to some new people - airline pilots, check out clerks, friendly Wendy's drive-thru guy.  You get the picture. 

See you Wednesday!  Remember, Tuesday's bon-bon day, so no post.  Store-bought, sadly. 


P.S.  I won't throw away any bakedy-bling that comes through my front door, back door, side door, down the chimney, through the window, home in my children's backpacks, etc.  Just sayin,' in case you wanna deliver any to me. 

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