Baking Ruminations

https://pixabay.com/photos/christmas-cookies-cookies-christmas-553457/JillWellington, PixabayAs we begin to mix the batter for peanut butter kiss cookies (my grandson’s -GS’s – choice), I hum to the Christmas music in the background. GS has refused to wear my “Christmas apron” that I bring out every December for cookie-baking.

GS is all-boy, immature for his age in some ways while being wise beyond his years. Last year as we mixed the sugar and flour, he confessed to me that he was 158 years old.

I believed him. I still do.

The apron is bright reds and greens and black, ruffled at the bottom with fluffy sayings like “Enjoy every bite.”

“Madre,” GS explains when he declines to wear the feminine apron, “That is NOT a Christmas apron.” Christmas apron, mary engelbreit, apron

“Of course it is,” I proclaim. And then we read every word on it – “Home Sweet Home,” “Bloom Where You’re Planted,” surrounded by red cherries and flowers, but not one Merry and not one Christmas. Shoot, he’s right!

He beats the heck out of the batter with great enjoyment as I add baking soda and salt, then eggs and finally the peanut butter. As his arm muscles stiffen, he asks me a deep question. “How come Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus?”

Huh? I know that GS and his mom have recently watched a video about Jesus, since GS has never attended Sunday School.

“Well, the story is that Jesus was born in a manger because his parents couldn’t afford to stay in an inn, and yet a large star shone above the barn, and shepherds and wealthy merchants all came to celebrate his birth,” I say.

“Uh huh,” GS responds, holding the mixing bowl with one hand, the beater with another, his tongue out in concentration.

“And, um, that happened about 2, 021  years ago,” I continue, “and much of the world goes by a calendar that starts with his birth.”

The beater stops, and GS looks up at me with skepticism. “Then how come December 25 isn’t the first day of the year? Why do we have a New Year’s Day a week later?”

Damn if I know. I never asked those questions when I was 10. Or 50. “Well, because…”

GS interrupts: “Plus, they say that Jesus was born in March.”

I turn the Christmas music up louder and suggest, “Time to roll this dough into balls and around the sugar, then pop them into the oven.”

Baking rumination is hard work!

Christmas baking, Christmas cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies

What’s your favorite holiday cookie? HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM MY HOME TO YOURS.

130 thoughts on “Baking Ruminations

  1. Pam, a very wise grandson and I bet he keeps you all on your toes! I love his questions, logic and knowledge… and this was just a gentle chitchat over baking! Wonder what he thinks about when concentrating seriously! 😀

    This is such a beautiful post for the season, family, baking, cookies galore and even a Christmas apron (well, nearly!😃)

    Wishing you and your family a very special Christmas with all the magic and blessings of the seasons! Enjoy, my dear friend! ❤️

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks Annika. In fact, GS keeps his thoughts close to the vest most times (hmmm, an old expression) unless baking or sometimes walking with me. Thus, I bake and walk as much as possible with him! ☺️ MERRY merry Christmas to you and yours. ❤️💚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, there was trouble and even fights among the Christians for dating their festivals during the middle ages and even up to the 17th c. You can read this all in a very informative book
    “The Calendar” by David Ewing Duncan
    There is no year 0 and it seems to be that the birth of Jesus was around 4 BCE.
    Happy holidays
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  3. What a delightful post, Pam. Children do pose the questions to stump us, don’t they? I love the conversations that are sparked when cooking/baking together. Even now, with my almost 24-year-old, when I am allowed to help him when he is cooking, we chat about stuff we don’t usually.
    I baked my Quick Fruitcake this morning as I need to deliver one to a friend who cannot have a Christmas without one! Maybe some biscotti this weekend…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Quick fruitcake – an oxymoron? Sounds brilliant. Yes, baking with a normally reticent person (or driving in the car with one) can produce some good conversations. Usually I bake alone, and never with an adult, but adding a “kid” spices up the kitchen. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, right? But this recipe is. And it’s delicious – those who hate fruitcake, love this one. I also prefer to bake and cook alone but hey, if one is sitting by the counter keeping me company? That’s okay 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe him too. He has been exposed to some real history, not the stuff made up to make people do what someone else wants them to do. I admire whoever exposed real history to him. I always tell people I was born 108 years old and working my way backwards. Funny how kids are more connected than adults. He’s a treasure and you are sure to get quite the education. 😉 Warms my heart.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Somehow, baking and kids go so well together and especially at this time of the year. That is such a delightful photo of you, grandson and the baked goodies!
    A truly Happy Christmas Pam—from my home to yours. Today mine is filled with mince tarts and chocolate cherry chunks (cookies). May 2022 be an especially joyful, healthy and happy year for you and your family!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Minced tarts and chocolate cherry chunks!! Be still my heart. Do you share recipes?? I used to love mince pie during holidays, but my dad and I were the only ones, so our family stopped baking it many years ago. And putting cherry in chocolate chunk cookies just sounds brilliant! 🙂 Merry, merry to you and yours. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always thought that britches were suspenders (back in the day before belts) but maybe they’re pants…? In either case, GS is smart and witty and full of questions. I filled his mouth with cookies so he’d stop asking. Haha.

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  6. I love your grandson’s questions, Pam. We should write down all the questions the kids ask. I agree with Robbie, and think about how to answer them to a three, ten, fifteen, twenty-five, or fifty-five years old. The cookies look yummy. So good you and your grandson had so much fun cooking and talking!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. You need to keep GS, even if he wants to wiggle out of wearing that Christmas apron. That young man asks wise questions because he has an inquiring mind, like his Madre. I wonder what he would think of Luke 2.

    You sprinkled some sayings throughout your lovely story. I’ll add one I saw in my endodontist’s office today: “Be merry and stay that way!” 😀

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I love kids who ask questions and think deeply! Great holiday story! Wishing you a great holiday season!

    Just thought I’d let you know that the Erma Bombeck Writing contest began Nov. 30 and runs through Jan. 4, — 450 words or fewer. You’ve written some great material and you always make us laugh. Hope you think about participating. Here is the link: https://wclibrary.info/erma/

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you so much for your support and your excellent comments (and wonderful blog on children’s books). I’ve earmarked the Erma Bombeck Writing contest and will enter it before the 4th. Yikes! I better figure out what to write. 🙂 Happy Holidays.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Haha! I love all of this because it reminds me so much of the funny things about kids—especially boys. Don’t make us wear some sissy apron, but we love being with our grandmas. While they’re all over the place and seemingly not paying attention, they come up with these profound thoughts—ones that are entirely logical and rational that we have no response to.

    I have a feeling you’ll enjoy my guest blogger from today, Pam. You may already follow my guest blogger Chel Owens—mother of six boys. Here’s her funny post from today https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2021/12/17/chel-owens-guest-blogger/

    Liked by 4 people

  10. He’s a delight.
    Obviously, he takes after YOU!

    Love the photo!

    BTW: If you want to expand the discussion with him, bring the Celts and Winter Solstice into the mix. 😀

    Though December 25 is the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the date itself and several of the customs we’ve come to associate with Christmas actually evolved from pagan traditions celebrating the winter solstice . . .

    The two most notable pagan winter holidays were Germanic Yule and Roman Saturnalia. Christian missionaries gave these holidays a makeover and they are now known to us as Christmas.

    Saturnalia (detail) by Antoine Callet, 1783.It was a public holiday celebrated around December 25th in the family home. A time for feasting, goodwill, generosity to the poor, the exchange of gifts and the decoration of trees. But it wasn’t Christmas. This was Saturnalia, the pagan Roman winter solstice festival.

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  11. You have to be careful what you tell children. Their questions and comments sometimes cut to the heart of the matter. Then you have to know how to answer their often reasonable, logical questions. He looks like a thoughtful, cute kid. I can see you enjoy him. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    Liked by 4 people

    • GS can be talkative at times but at other times very very quiet. That’s when I know his mind is really working! One time when I was driving him back home and explaining how when I was his age there were no seatbelts he asked me – it seemed in all honesty – “well when you were a kid wasn’t it a horse and buggy?” I laughed but not until I explained that no I was not that old!!!

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  12. Your grandson sounds like a wide old soul. What thoughtful questions he poses. He’s probably figured out that the most important questions have no answers. 😉 What a blessing to have him in your life helping with the cookie baking and other matters. Happy Holidays, Pam!

    Liked by 4 people

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  14. LOL, so many hard questions! But if he’s 158 years old maybe a part of him knows that there’s many many answers to every question. Luckily he’s got a storyteller GM who can ruminate with the best of ’em!

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  15. Love a kid who is brave enough to ask questions!! And yes, I believe that December 25 is the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth, but it most likely not his actual birthday. Nothing is as fun as baking Christmas cookies with child or grandchild, is there? I love making Spritz, myself!

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  16. Those cookies in the closing photo look like they came out great!
    And love the GS smile with yours –
    Precious time for sure

    And is that a Mary Englebert apron? I used to love her stuff and still kind of do.
    🎄💚😊

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, you are correct about the apron. A good friend gave me that apron years ago because we both love the Engelbreit drawings (and we both get the Mary Engelbreit desk calendar each year). I bring the apron out for baking every Christmas. The boy grands are starting to balk about wearing it though. Hope you’re having a great holiday. 🙂

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      • Hi – the holiday is finally quieting down a little –
        And this year I got my mother n law a flax seed heating bag with a fun Mary Engelbreit cover – the kind you warm up and use to heat your body.
        I have seen many artists copy or make versions of art that seem to be inspired by Engelbreit – she sure started a fun design that is busy as its charm – and colorful with design

        And now wishing you a happy new year

        Liked by 1 person

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    • I know, I know. I loved baking with my kids. The happy news is that they now bake with THEIR kids when they have time, but mostly send them on to me to crack the eggs, measure the sugar/flour, and enjoy. 🙂 Hope your holidays are happy.

      Liked by 1 person

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