I believe in cookies. In its simplest form, in its most elementary function, a cookie is meant to make people happy. Not just happy, but thankful. This is something that rarely takes root in our twisted society, the idea of generosity, and to repay that generosity, the ability to wholeheartedly accept a kind word of thanks.
I bake cookies weekly, Monday and Friday. I bring them fresh out of the oven to my friends at dance class. Before an hour and a half of strenuous activity, a cookie isn’t the worst thing. Now sure, I admit that most dancers are strict about dieting, and cookie is virtually a swear word. Yet, somehow, those soft warm cookies baked with so much love give people a reason to cheat on their diet. Maybe it is the smile that graces their face, or maybe it is the sigh of relief received when taking that first bite. Or, just maybe, it is the comfort and security of knowing that every Monday, I will be standing there with a plate of homemade cookies and a few kind words after a long hard day.
I start out with an inspiration. I think of a taste that I particularly crave that day, be it chocolate, apple, or cinnamon. I put on my apron, wash my hands, and get dirty. The kitchen is a mess, measuring cups are strewn everywhere, and flour finds its way into every nook and cranny. I mix, chop, and taste until the dough is just right. Then, I bake and wait. The smell that fills my nostrils is like nothing else in the world. It is a comforting aroma that makes me wish they could bake forever. I check on my babies, making sure they aren’t burnt or fallen. I make sure that each cookie is taken care of, even if it means removing two from the sheet and leaving the rest in for a few more minutes. Then, the curtain rises and the spatula goes to work. I delicately remove the first hot cookie while it is still searing hot and take a bite. My mouth is filled with savory flavors, and the satisfaction of knowing that this was my doing, that I made these cookies with my own two hands and no one else’s. It is a feeling that no human should live without.
I suppose there is a lesson to be learned from this seemingly mundane activity. I often ask myself the question, why do you spend your time and money baking cookies just to give them away? It is a simple answer, and I need not elaborate it with fancy words and frou frou language. In its simplest form, in its most elementary function, a cookie is meant to make people happy.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.