Thursday, June 17, 2004

Grandma’s Cookies

This is something I'm trying to get cleaned up so that I can have it printed in the IPAN newsletter this fall. There's still parts of it I'm not entirely happy with. Comments and suggestions appreciated.

Grandma’s Cookies

There are always cookies at Grandma’s house.
They have a special drawer – one low enough that all the kids could reach it.

When I was young, Grandma was the one that taught me to cook.
We baked mostly – sometimes pie, sometimes bread, but always there were cookies.
Always cookies.

When I was in college, she sent me a care package.
It didn’t have cookies.
Instead, she sent me the ingredients to make my own.
And two dollars for butter, because she didn’t think it would mail well.

I finished college and grad school.
Grandma got sick, cancer eating her body.
I could wrap my fingers around her upper arm and have them touch.

The family had a mission – to fatten her up.
As if skinniness were the problem.
There was a contest to make her something she found appetizing.
A victory when she ate more than two bites.

In October, I made cookies for Grandma.
I spent the morning making a huge batch of her favorites.
I used one of her recipes.
I picked the best ones to put on a plate for her.
When I saw her, I said,
“I’ve got cookies in my car for you,”
and her eyes lit up in anticipation.

“I made them to send to Steph at college,” I said,
“But then I found out she doesn’t like this kind.”
It was a lie and she probably knew it.
But I felt like an ursurper.
It was her job to make the cookies, not mine.

In November, right before Thanksgiving, Grandma left us.
We told stories.
We shared her recipes.

Thanksgiving Day came, the family still together.
I was in her kitchen.
I called to my cousin’s kids,
“Who wants to help me make cookies?”

There are always cookies at Grandma’s house.