When my friend and I get together, it’s quite the opposite of the “5 loaves and 3 fishes” story. We always over-do food. Not sure why but we both do, so when we are together, we could easily add a few more people and still have plenty. For many years, we have gotten together to do our Christmas baking. We aren’t even sure how it started. Likely it was while we were on a walk one time when we were still neighbors. I’m guessing we got to talking about holiday baking & thought that since we both liked to bake, it would be a great way to do it together. We would try to get together once a month for a group meal. Maybe we talked about it then. Not sure. It all started with her bringing over her baking supplies and using our double oven to make the baking go faster. Of course there were lists involved (who made which one and how much). We each picked our favorites to make. Eventually we found some new ones and got rid of some others.
We made a full day of it each year. Our husbands were in charge of dishes, packaging & the babies. Now our kids are much older and we don’t need the pack & play or diaper bags. The year I was diagnosed with cancer, we still baked. We made an extra batch of everything & took it to a neighbor who was also battling cancer. I was still numb from my diagnosis- still not sure what path my treatment would take. Baking has always been like therapy to me. Not sure why, I just love it. Last year we didn’t do baking day. We had moved into a rental and things were crazy. Between the two of us, we didn’t have a good weekend to do it and my double oven was gone. When we were cleaning out our old house, I cried when I saw sprinkles under the stove – so many memories of baking in that house.
So, this year, we took baking day “on the road.” Her friend wanted to join too, so this time, I packed up 1/2 of my kitchen and hauled it to West Fargo. We spent 4 hrs the night before having some wine & just doing “a few things.” Sunday was Game Day! It was an 8am start, and when we left at 5, they were still doing their cut out cookies. After seeing the pictures on Facebook, several people asked if we were doing a bake sale. It’s not why we made that much, but I am taking some of mine to a bake sale at work. We do a fundraiser for Relay for Life. Usually, we give most of it away. We like to eat some of course, but we mainly just love to share it. Several years, we have packed up a bunch to take to the homeless shelter. We give it to teachers and neighbors & co-workers. The fun is in the laughs that we have while we do it. It’s an all-day, 12-14 hr marathon. Our feet are sore, but our freezers are full and we have plenty to share. Her husband likes to keep track of numbers. Final count was 3500 treats, aside from our separate cut outs and the puff corn & reindeer chow.
I ended up sick but it wasn’t from eating too many sweets. Just a bug. Or God’s way of slowing me down. Or maybe I’m getting too old for this. Regardless, the treats were all divided into 3 groups by our packaging department & will be shared throughout December.
Whatever your talent, be sure to share it. This time of year is a great time to reach out to a neighbor or volunteer somewhere. May your journey of enough contain enough sugar for your cookies, enough music for you to sing along and enough laughter to make the time fly. I’m thankful to have had all of that and more yesterday.