Tuesday, April 02, 2013

B is for Burnt Cookies

My dad loves burnt Christmas cookies. Every year, for as long as I can remember, he has gushed
over them.  I figured he was just being too polite to take the good ones. You know, sacrificing for the family and all that?

But, no. He said that's the way his mother  always made them. "Growing up, she never claimed to be a cook. She loved the outdoors and didn't want to be in the kitchen ."

My dad, being a poor kid on a Kansas farm,  seldom got cookies of any kind, so even burnt ones tasted delectable to him. 

Years later, married to my mom, Daddy would eagerly wait for her and us four girls to pick the choicest cookies--the golden brown ones. He zoomed right in on the dark, dark brown treats and smiled like a nine-year-old boy stuffing his mouth with sugar.

As an adult, late December found me baking ginger snaps and chocolate chip cookies, taking out most, and then standing there waiting for the rest to burn. Can you imagine? Every year I would tell the kids, "Don't eat the burnt cookies! I'm saving them for Pappaw!"

I'll never forget the first year I decided to forego this tradition. I talked myself into believing that surely--after all these years--he would have gotten used to the finer baking of Mama and his girls. 

Christmas Day came, and Daddy opened shirts from us (he gushed)  socks from the kids (he gushed more)  and a KU ring from Mama (he gushed and gushed and gushed).   Strangely, though, he seemed extra quiet when all the gift-giving was over. That wasn't like him.

A few days later I asked Mama if he was okay or troubled.

"He's okay," she assured me. "But he did tell me how much he missed getting burnt cookies from you."

Lesson learned?  Never underestimate the value of giving a nostalgic gift to an old person.  


Debra Ann Elliott said...

Love this post! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you. I was going to follow, but can't find a follow button.

Zoanna said...

Oops! I didn't have one! Follow Me button is now right above my photo in the upper righthand corner. Thanks for the nudge!

Teresa Coltrin said...

So funny except for when your dad was sad because there were no burnt cookies. It's true, we never know from where nostalgia will arise or in what form.

I must say that I like everything well done just because my mom always cooks and bakes food that way.

Danielle said...

That's really funny. My mom loves the random burnt chip that can be found in a chip bag.

April said...

What a great story, Zoanna! Made me smile! :)

Bill Somogyi said...

My burndt cookies is a nut cracker. Every year for the last 18 yrs my daughter and I have a ritual. I'll tell her that Rite Aid or Target has them on sale and she'll say "your not getting one this year". Every year I get one.

There still is no follow button.

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Paintings and Sketches of the beauty that surrounds us.

Susan Kane said...

Awww...sweet man. I'd burn a whole batch of cookies for him.

Zoanna said...

Susan, i Burned a batch within a week for him.

Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli said...

This is my goodnight post reading for the day and I am so glad to have landed up here as your blog listing is around mine in A-Z challenge.

I know some of us like the little overcooked / burnt-like things. Like I prefer the little brownish part of rice when we cook khichdi (indian rice + lentils dish).

So do you make the darker cookies for him again?

Beth Zimmerman said...

What a hoot! I wish I'd known. I had a few batches I would have gladly packed up and sent his way! =)

Lea Culp said...

Oh, I love this, what a sweet memory of your Dad. My hubby doesn't like them burnt but he likes them way more done than I do.

Artichokes, burnt cookies, hummm, wonder if carrots are next?

Nel said...

What wonderful memories! I love it. Enjoyed this it made me smile!
until next time...nel

Anonymous said...

awh sweet
that's a great memory x