sugar cookies

Feb 14, 2011

I am NOT a baker. So, so, so not a baker. Baking gives me anxiety. I have lovely dreams of baking with my children and everyone pouring, stirring, and tasting, but it never works out that way because baking = stress. I pretty much always ruin whatever it is I am trying to make and destroy the kitchen in the process.

Today was no different.

This morning as we started school, Keziah begged to do something fun for Valentine’s Day. I was unprepared for fun. I had no ideas of what to do and not a whole lot of energy to do it with. She begged to make sugar cookies. I thought about it and decided it would be a wonderful family activity (hilarious now in hind sight!). I called my mom to get her sugar cookie recipe. She gave me the one the Home Ec. class used this year and had her whole school raving. Then I changed it a little to use butter instead of shortening and buttermilk instead of milk. I had to run to the store to get butter, buttermilk, and sugar. I don’t use sugar except to make sugar cookies and while I know I have some here, I searched today for over an hour and couldn’t find it anywhere. It is buried in the overrun food storage room. I finally gave up and went and bought some.

When Kez, Annes, and I got back, the moose that has been wandering around our property was right outside our fence…like 50 feet from our home. I ran outside and started taking pictures. Then, I climbed the fence to get a better shot of its footprints (yes, I am certifiably crazy) and I stepped on a piece of our wire fencing. It went clear through my thick-soled Keens and into my big toe. Ouch!



The footprint photo that caused the hole in my big toe:


When I came in the house to assess the damage, my black sole was embedded in my foot. I cleaned it out, tried to get it to bleed and then washed the whole thing down with Thieves essential oil. Of course, I had to call my mom to ask if I needed a tetanus shot. While on the phone with her, Kez was demanding I come and start baking right this minute, Fisher and Annesley were fighting over his volcano he built today out of duplos, and then Annesley bit him. Bit him! She doesn’t do things like that often, but when she does, Fisher is her victim. The poor boy is sometimes too gentle for his own good. In the midst of all this chaos, my mom was still on the phone with me trying to explain how to save the dough. This was SO not the vision I had in mind a few short hours before when I agreed to this plan of family bonding.

Keziah, Annes and I were finally able to start working, but we ran into some problems. Problem # 1 was we couldn’t find any useful measuring spoons. Problem #2 was Annesley was putting her hands in everything. Problem #3 was I couldn’t find all my mixer parts because I use it so rarely and Keziah had to climb in the back of the lazy susan cupboard to find them. The cupboard isn’t really big enough for a ten-year-old to fit in, so we had to empty it out. After she found all the parts, I started putting stuff back. I dropped my grandmother’s blender and little shards of glass covered my bare feet, my hands, and the floor. I vacuumed all the shards and reminded myself that no cooking project is complete in this house until something is broken. Glad we got that requirement out of the way early on in the process. Problem #4 was the dough turned out too sticky. Another phone call to my mother and she recommended refrigerating it for an hour and then using lots of flour when I rolled it out. It helped, but the dough was still incredibly difficult to work with and whenever the children tried to pick up their cut-outs, the dough stuck to them and became misshapen. Tears, tears, and more tears. I kept reassuring everyone their dinos, stars, hearts, and gingerbread men would be fine, but I don’t think anyone believed me.

We finally got them all baked, whew! Keziah made the frosting and then all the children frosted their creations. I think they turned out amazingly well for all the stress and mishaps along the way.

Keziah just took a plate over to our wonderful neighbors and Richard is driving Fisher and Annes over to our other neighbors instead of having them run across the field because there is a good chance the moose is out there and I don’t think it is a great idea to send my little ones into to the path of a moose (actually there is a bull moose out there too, we just haven’t seen it yet.)

Blythe cut Fisher out a triceratops with a knife. It is so cute!


I cut him out a tyrannosaurus rex, but it was abysmally ugly and I didn’t get a picture of it before it got eaten.

Notice the browned edges…yeah, a few of the batches got overcooked:




How my grandmother baked with nine children I will never understand. I’m sure she had it down to a science and didn’t have all the mishaps I have…or maybe she did have the mishaps and they didn’t stress her out…or maybe they did stress her out and she never let it show…or maybe she did let it show, but by the time I knew her as a grandma she had learned to relax. I would like to ask her how she did it…I need lessons!

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  1. jessica

    Oh doesn’t this just sound like a day in the life over here! Ha ha ha! I’m so sorry it was so frustrating and fraught with injury (metal puncture wound? Um, yes you need a tetanus!) and broken heirloom blenders, but I laughed out loud b/c I could relate.

    I have an easy peasy fool proof sugar cookie recipe, holler the next time you need one.

  2. tracy

    Nothing is fool proof if I am involved!

  3. Anne

    Oh my good WORLD!

  4. Natasha

    Wow, the moose in the yard is my favorite part of this story. Do you know, my mom used to scare off the moose in our yard by throwing a light up Frisbee at them from the porch. Not sure why they were so scared of a Frisbee, but it worked!

    • tracy

      Well, this moose is loving my trees. It is fun to see her, but I may have to try the lighted frisbee if she won’t move on soon!

      Good to see you here, Natasha!