Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Cookies

Alright everyone, I have a confession to make: I do not particularly feel that God has destined me for a ministry in or around or near the kitchen...  In other words, I don't like to cook.  Fortunately, the Sisters have not allowed this to keep me from the monthly schedule of kitchen duty :)  And now at Christmas, it has not kept me away from the privilege of baking.  We are baking dozens and dozens of cookies so that we can give them to all those who have contributed to our well-being throughout the year.  It's a wonderful plan, but what do I contribute when I have no clue what kind of cookies I could make or what the recipe would entail?  Well, I can be the help.

So on Saturday the 17th I went downstairs promptly at 1:00 p.m. to assist Sister Angelise with her Mexican wedding cake cookies (also known by several other names that I am unable to remember at this time).  Sister Bridget was also in the kitchen preparing to make three different types of goodies herself: chocolate drop cookies, twice-baked biscotti and something else that tasted really good.  Here we are, then, two experienced kitchen people and one not-so-experienced kitchen person who is wondering just when it will all end even though nothing had actually started.  On goes the apron as I prepare to engage in my first task: making balls of the cookie dough.  Alright, not so bad.  Things are going smoothly as we put our cookies on the sheets and into the oven to later cover them in powdered sugar.  In between all that, Sister Angelise and myself begin to help Sister Bridget with her cookies, too.  We put cherries in the chocolate drop cookies, crunch up some walnuts, and I get to free all the utensils of their delicious batter.  None of us had looked at the clock during this time and the next thing we knew it was 3:00!  What was I doing in the kitchen so long!  Two hours!  Impossible.  Should I leave?  Do I panic?  I don't understand!  And yet, I'm still having fun... Wierd.  But I stayed!

The Final Product of Cookie Week

We were all three in the kitchen together until 4:30, but for about an hour or so in that time, Sister Angelise and I had brought up our instruments -- she strummed some Christmas carols as I did my best to accompany her with the flute.  Sister Bridget whizzed around, feeding us broken cookies, exclaiming, "I'm being serenaded!  This is already my favorite Christmas!"  Then she started telling stories and Sister Angelise, with her wonderful gift of improvisation, began to turn the stories into hilarious songs as I did a little jig or two for added effect.  We had such a wonderful time, we decided to stay in the kitchen a little longer and put some frozen pizzas in the oven for everyone.  We even whipped up some nacho cheese to satisfy our chips and queso craving.  By the time we were done, it was a little after 5:00 and I felt blessed to spend my entire day in the kitchen.

Lord, I am amazed at the wonders You work in us.  You can take the simplest task or the heaviest burden and turn it into a song of praise that even You are pleased to hear.  You do this not for Yourself, but for us -- to give us a life that is worth living, a life that brings joy to us and to others.  Thank You for loving us so much.