At this time of year, I always take heart in the little rituals that, combined, make the season of Christmas special and important.
Every year, I look forward to cookie decorating with my son, nephews and niece, at my mom’s house. She goes all out for this occasion, providing enough candy to sink a small boat and makes the tastiest red and green icing to top her famous sugar cookies.
Alas, this year, we were thusly prevented from our ritual sugar high by a trifling knee operation.
Until Ms. Mel and I decided to do it up ourselves — if you remember Ms. Mel, she’s the super urban homesteader who schmecks of good taste.
She sent me to buy the confections at the Bulk Barn and to retrieve the famous icing recipe from mom.
I made a batch of both green and red and Ms. Mel set out to bake the dozens of cookies for the kids. Laden with treats, Harrison and I walked down the hill to Mel’s, her house filled with the sounds of Raffi’s Christmas and the excited chirruping of children.
We set the table with all sorts of Christmas-y sugar-y things. Then we backed up and let the kids go to it.
Armed with spreaders, they set out a-spreadin’ the beloved frosting over the bare white cookies. In mere minutes, after the first few cookies were spread, the kids bolted, high already, to their foam swords.
Left were us moms, breathy and content to continue with the Raffi and the spreading and the chatter. This ritual is more for us, anyway, we laughed.
Today, I am battling with myself to stay away from the cupboard crammed full with delicious cookies. This will go on for a while. Or until they’re all gone.
Let the second Christmas ritual begin!
The Famous Icing:
¼ cup of butter (I used half a cup),
¼ cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla (I used two),
1 bag of icing sugar
Melt the butter. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Add milk. Add bag of sugar. Add very small amounts of milk if required. Mix well, until clumpless. Colour with food colouring. Find an excellent baker to provide the base for your icing. This last step is important.