Every year, as Christmas approaches, our kitchen turns into a production facility for the making and baking of Christmas cookies.
Let me say right up front, I have nothing to do with this annual event. I have over those years helped with the clean up, and some of the deliveries, but that is it.
Thankfully, my wife, the Commander Supreme, is in charge. I could never reach the level of perfection required to master these recipes. Even if a new recipe is tried, the Commander conquers it. She is a pro.
These cookies are coveted.
A fairly reliable source has conveyed to me one friend’s story. When the cookies are delivered, my friend basically hides the plate of cookies from the rest of his family. That is how much he enjoys the Commander’s culinary skills. I have never been offered a bribe for extras, but nothing would surprise me.
There is something special about the aroma of baking cookies in an oven. Those sweet smells drift through the house. They transform the soul. My favorite aroma comes from the ginger cookies.
I would imagine that the Commander Supreme has turned out thousands of cookies in our 44 years of marriage. I sense she doesn’t care about the quantity. She is committed to quality.
Even though it was a potentially dangerous line of conversation to pursue, I have suggested that she might take a break one Christmas—no baking of cookies. I don’t remember her response, but I’m still breathing.
In truth, I sense the Commander Supreme will never take a break from baking Christmas cookies. My reasoning is tied to one recipe.
It is a sugar cookie recipe from the Commander’s great grandmother, Abbie Parker Wood Thompson. She handed off the recipe to the Commander’s grandmother, Bertha Avery Thompson Crosby (grandchildren called her Nammer), who handed it off to her daughter, Elizabeth Crosby Cloud, the Commander’s mother. You get the picture, I’ll spare you the remainder of the Biblical begetting.
Over the years, our children, nieces and nephews, cousins, and children of cousins either in the Commander’s kitchen or their own kitchens have used Nammer’s recipe and made the sugar cookies.
The dough is just the correct texture for cookie cutters, and the Commander has quite a collection of cutters. If you have a favorite seasonal Christmas shape, chances are the Commander has that cutter for you.
Once cut, those shapes are placed on a lined baking tray. Next, comes the fun part—dusting the cookies with all kinds of confections.
On Friday, December 20, 2019, the last batch of sugar cookie dough was going to be used. The Commander had saved just enough for what might be a historic generational day for our family.
Around the kitchen table were my mother-in-law, Big Liz (who is not big, it is a seniority thing), the Commander Supreme, our son, Andrew, and his two year old daughter, Josie. They had fun. You couldn’t have anything but fun with Josie holding court.
That special family moment came courtesy of the Commander Supreme.
I have never thought that my Commander Supreme ever baked Christmas cookies for adulation.
No, I think she does this every Christmas because she likes sharing her heart, and I think she is also planting seeds for future bakers.
I am certain that deep inside her heart—she quietly hopes that the sugar cookie recipe and the experience it brings will live into the future for a long, long, long time through her children and grandchildren.
Come to think of it, a long, long, long time ago a little heart came to life in a miraculous story under a star lit sky. That little heart too was full of love and hope. Hope that his story would live for a long, long, long time too.
Merry Christmas Commander Supreme—I love you and your sweet seed planting Christmas cookie heart! I pray your hope and love will live in the hearts of those you touch for a long, long, long time too.