My boys had a holiday party they had to go to today. The parents had all been invited to bring cookies, and I readily volunteered to bring two dozen. Ok, I admit that I always offer to bring homemade baked goods whenever asked. I think I’m a pretty darn good baker, and I don’t mind showboating a bit with what I’m able to whip up in my little kitchen. However, the era of Julie’s homemade cookies might have officially ended today.
Here’s what happened.
Rex, Judd, and I decided that gingerbread boys would be the right choice for their party. C’mon, is there really any cookie more Christmas-like than a gingerbread boy? And, my two little gourmands love gingerbread.
So, we made our dough from scratch. Chilled it in the fridge. We cut out the shapes, baked and decorated them for today’s event. Yes, gingerbread cookies require a multi-step baking process. For those of you non-bakers, this isn’t the same as slicing up a chub of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough and baking it for 8 minutes. It’s a little more complex.
Anyway, I proudly placed two dozen “boys” on the cookie table. I glanced up and down the long buffet table and was somewhat alarmed to see that I was the only one who had made cookies. Everyone else hit the grocery store bakery aisle and had picked up garishly colored sugar cookies. They were all still in their loud, shiny plastic containers with my lone container of homemade goods sticking out like a sore thumb.
Well, I thought. The kids would certainly dig our homemade cookies over these artificially-flavored, hydrogenated palm oil-laden spheres frosted in red dye #5.
How wrong I was. It was an extraordinary smack down, and we lost. The kids did not eat one gingerbread cookie. However, they were stuffing the store-bought alternatives in their mouths like they were laced with crack.
A wave of realization swept over me.
These kids probably have only seen and tasted cookies encased in plastic. They may not even know what the heck a gingerbread boy is let alone appreciate the rather complex taste of gingerbread. Ginger, allspice, nutmeg, molasses. What the heck was I thinking.
Am I the last home baker in Scottsdale? Will gingerbread go the way of the rotary dial phone and 8-track players? Will my kids be deemed nerds because they have a mom who is bringing weird food items to a party?
I have no good answers, but I felt defeated today. I would have been better off spending two minutes at the store picking up cookies than taking the time to make cookies that no one ate. But, there was one ray of brightness at the end of this tough day. I watched Rex and Judd nibbling on gingerbread boys before bed. Maybe, they’ll grow up to be as nerdy as their mother.
Song of the Day: I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times – The Beach Boys