Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cookies Gone Wild

Sometimes, it’s a relief to have the doctor tell me that I am, indeed, sick.

It’s not that I like being sick. But… it’s good to have it sorted out why I have had trouble seeing the bright side of anything for the last couple of weeks. I have been dragging myself around the to-do list— and skipping many items on it— and feeling cross, exhausted and low. It hasn’t exactly made me a joy to be around. It’s also been disconcerting, because I sounded and felt so… sour. I was like Richard III as a housewife (all winter of discontent, minus the murdering of nephews), all pissed off despite having an awesome deal.
What finally made me twig to the fact I was sick was baking cookies with Curly and my boy.

I'll back up a little. This past week was teacher appreciation week.

My children, I've learned, are not big believers in store-bought flowers or baked goods as a way of showing their appreciation, because both of them made lists of every single teacher they needed to bring cookies for, and then offered to help make the cookies. And then helped, cheerfully. And they've done enough baking that at this point, they actually are helpful (well, most of the time).
All told, we made over a gross of cookies. We made chocolate madeleines (fantastic, from Tartelette), vanilla madeleines and ginger snaps. We made a lot of each kind. A lot a lot.
At some point, in baking with kids, there is a point that you think they’re going to give you an aneurysm. But mostly it’s pretty fun. They get excited about getting to run the mixer. They like measuring things. They enjoy the little steps on the way, and their pleasure in it reminds me of what a pleasure it really is. I realized I was sick when I wasn’t enjoying any of it. The whole thing felt like a tiresome, vexing chore, and as I realized that this was something that was usually fun, I also realized that pretty much everything for the past couple of weeks has felt tiresome and vexing... and that maybe the body aches and headaches were not symptoms of an exhausting schedule, but, you know, symptoms (no, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed).

The doctor confirmed it, and sent me off to get antibiotics. And as not-great as I still feel, it is a huge relief to realize that I was not suddenly a discontent bee-yotch, but crabby from being sick (also: to all my friends and family, whatever it was I kvetched to you about, in another 24-48 hours I am likely to feel much less undone about). It's good to know that as the antibiotics kick in, I’ll feel more like myself. Which doesn't mean no kvetching (I'm getting better, not getting a personality transplant), but kvetching with appreciation of how lucky I really am.

I don’t think I’ll make another batch of chocolate madeleines this week (at 5 dozen, even something fun starts to get a little chore-like), but I recommend you do. My other recommendation? When you’re making over a gross of cookies, go with drop cookies instead of adorable little molded cakes. As cute as madeleines are, there is a certain percentage that has to be put in the seconds pile upon unmolding. The kids were thrilled about that (the seconds pile supplied lunchbox treats all week), but it probably caused the making of an additional dozen or two.

No comments: