On my return trip to the breakfast aisle at Safeway to put back two items in their proper places, I and a woman became ensnared in a conversation. She mentioned how good the Fiber One bars were and I smiled in regret, mentioning that I had to return them because my budget would have been blown. That’s when we began talking about the price of things and how much better for you home-cooked and baked items were than store-bought.
I told her about my sugar cookie recipe and its origins. A beautifully illustrated book was lent to me by a friend. To my exasperation, I cannot find the book now or remember more than the author’s first name. It’s not just a mere cookbook, but handwritten recipes and art on every page. Some of the pages even have a brief story about the recipe. My friend let me borrow it. I copied some of the more favorite recipes. Eventually, I want to buy the cookbook as soon as I can figure out it’s title and author’s name. When I told the woman about the cookbook, I also mentioned the distinguishing ingredients of this sugar cookie recipe. It has cream of tartar and lemon zest. The cookies are light, crunchy, and go perfectly with tea.
We talked some more before we moved off in opposite directions. That’s when I felt some gratitude at living in a small town with only one grocery store. People greet each other and say yes to conversation. It might be crowded two weeks before a holiday with impossibly long lines and necessary ingredients unstocked because the store ran out, but it’s worth it. The grocery store is five minutes from the house down a country road, banked by a nursery and large horse properties. Of course, when I got home I didn’t have time to do the promised baking. That happened on Monday night as the snow fell in great sheets. A hot oven, warm cookies, and a smiling husband whose hand reaches out for more as I fill the cookie jar made the evening all the more joyous.
Days like that night bring comfort in tumultuous times when our country teeters between democracy and dictatorship. We must remember to agree to disagree, holding firm to friendships, and cling to those front porch days when people mattered.
When was the last time you said yes to slowing down?