7 Doz. Almond Fingers


My sister is the writer in the family so I’ve used a piece she wrote just a few months after our Mom passed away. Mom even sent me tins of cookies when we lived in Hawaii. When I do my Christmas cookies every year I pack them they way she always did - they just taste better!


Journaling (by my sister) reads
7 Doz. Almond Fingers
The garage cleaning project continues slowly as I go through boxes one at a time. Coming upon one that contained a variety of Christmas tins, I pried open the tops with a familiar kind of anticipation. Of course they will be empty—there won’t be clusters of bite-size cookies placed in cupcake papers and layered to the top--round thumb prints with cherries, spritz with jelly centers, the round white ones with many names (my favorite), bonbons with decorative tops and a nut or cherry surprise in the middle, pecan tarts, and often an experiment from a promising recipe. I opened the last one, red with gold ornaments bearing signs of much use, and felt a sudden rush of her presence strong enough to jolt me into a flow of tears. Rounded layers of foil lay ready to do their work--a white identifying label in her precise hand-writing announcing “7 doz. almond fingers” and with it the flood of stories, smells, and tastes of another life—a life with a mom.


I can see her in the kitchen, the turquoise Pyrex bowls, assorted utensils, butter placed out to soften, a carton of eggs, a worn Betty Crocker cookbook, an assortment of recipe cards. On occasion I’ve helped make them, but mostly I’ve been the recipient of a colorful tin packed with treats to use throughout the holidays.


The prize cookies were present at all the festivities—Christmas eve warranted the highly polished 3-tiered serving tray looking elegant enough to be in a magazine feature; everyday meals finished with a glass platter holding the assortment; and a living-room gathering of friends and family called for an entire tin to make several passes through the room.


These were intense labors of love. I understand that more now--now that so much is filled with her absence. Maybe it’s because I miss her and all those things she just did without fanfare—treats she baked or cooked, things she sewed or knitted, calls she made to check in, cards she sent. Now I gather with friends to make Christmas cookies and realize it’s really a major effort to create multiple kinds and package them for later use. I do it in one friend-filled day in a spacious kitchen; she did it usually alone in a cramped kitchen over many days. I remember phone conversations where she would say she was tired after spending a good chunk of a day on her feet making multiple batches of thumbprints or ginger snaps. Always willing to help after the work was complete, I volunteered to do taste tests and often managed to show up for a little preview sampling. She probably didn’t know how much I appreciated all her effort in making creations in her kitchen for all of us to enjoy—she didn’t know because I didn’t really know.


If you can hear me mom, I loved your cookies! I love that you cared so much—the tins, the precisely shaped foil, the long hours of mixing and baking, cooling and frosting, layering and freezing. I love the identifying label—the one that said “7 doz almond fingers” in your handwriting. I know what it really said—I saw it clearly today. It said “I love you.”


Credits
Stamped and Framed Layered Template No. 21
Artistry d'amour Kit
Layer Works No. 017
Apple Bites Kit
Alandia Rancheros Kit
How’d They Do That? No. 16: Playing With Cardboard No. 02
KPertiet AdInspiration12 24 11
KPertiet Color Inspired 06 11 11
KPertiet Color Inspiration 10 08 11