We were working on a secret project tonight ... but since no one knows me here, I think it's alright to talk about it. After all, I need to document what happened ... should I pass away in my sleep tonight ...
This coming up week, Stoney is taking dinner to one of his close friends and this friend's family. This friend has ALS and everyone is chipping in to try and make things a little easier on them. I offered to make something for him to take along ... a dessert or cookies or something ... and together we came up with a spectacular idea.
Stoney's friend loves the Drive By Truckers. Well ... I know someone who makes custom cookie cutters. So, I sent them an image of the band's logo/mascot. I had two cutters made ... one for us to use and another for Stoney to give them as a gift.
Now pause that story ...
Growing up, my Mom always made these certain Christmas cookies. They were the cut-out kind ... and I remember making trees and stars and bells ... all the normal cookies that people make. I haven't had those cookies in decades ... so I called her Friday to ask for the recipe. She warned me that they are some of the hardest cookies to make ... that I wouldn't enjoy making them ... that she didn't make them any more because they were so hard.
Now ... at this point, in my head, I'm feeling cocky. I'm looking at the recipe and it's not a hard one. Cream together butter and a couple sugars ... egg and vanilla ... flour. What's the big freakin' deal? I've made dozens of kinds of cookies ... including cut-outs before. So, really .. .how hard could this be?
Famous last words ...
Back to today ... I took all of the ingredients over to Stoney's around two o'clock ... and we started cooking. Despite what he says, he helped immensely ... first bringing me ingredients, then cutting out the cookies after I'd rolled the dough, and eventually icing more than half of them. Once he's given his friend the gift box, I'll post a picture here so you can appreciate how ridiculously detailed this cookie cutter is. But Stoney did an awesome job. I'm lucky he made them with me ... because I'm telling you, cutting them out took much more patience than I'll ever have.
The cookie cutter is big ... so we weren't able to make that many from the first batch. So we decided to make another. We were feeling pretty good ... and dinner wasn't going to be ready for another half hour or so. Why not whip up another real quick? By the time the second batch was done, we were feeling rough. We ate dinner ... and went into the living room and sat for a bit ... in the dark ... with no TV on ... just trying regroup for the inevitable second half ... the icing.
We got it done. They're iced. They're boxed. They don't look too terribly bad coming from two people who aren't professionals. They're a little messy ... a little sloppy ... but hey, that gives them character, right?
When it was all said and done, we both looked like we'd been run over by a Mac truck. We sat together for a bit on the couch. It was warm and comforting. It wasn't so much cuddling as it was utterly collapsing against each other.
I hadn't understood what Mom meant. No, the recipe itself isn't hard. Making the recipe is ridiculously hard. You wouldn't think someone would be exhausted after making cookies, would you? Well, you'd be wrong. So very ... very wrong ...
It costs folks like you and me
And if we don't all chip in
We'll never pay that bill
Freedom isn't free
No, there's a hefty in' fee.
And if you don't throw in your buck 'o five
Team America -
Freedom Isn't Free