My boys, ages 5 and 8, were excited as I drove them to school this morning knowing that when I picked them up we would be going over to my best friend Laura's house.
It's tradition! Baking Christmas cookies with Aunt Laura!
Now when I say we are going to bake Christmas cookies, what I mean is that we will go to Laura's house where she has been hard at work since early morning. We will frost and decorate a handful of her delicious sugar and gingerbread cookies that she has set aside for us:
This is how the conversation went down in the car on the way to Laura's:
Jake (who is 8): Aunt Laura is the best baker.
Sam (who is 5 and constantly trying to defend my honor, it's very sweet): NOOO!!! Mommy is!
Jake: Mommy doesn't even bake.
Me: I bake.
Jake: You bake cookies from the log roll at the store. But you don't bake with eggs and flour and brown sugar like Aunt Laura does.
Me: Yes I... (realizing I don't)
Jake: Have you ever?
Me: Yeah... (realizing I haven't)
Jake: You've never baked anything?!?
Sam(screaming): SHE MAKES PUMPKIN BREAD!
Jake: That's from Trader Joe's, from a box.
Me: Yeah but I add an egg and oil to that one, so that's baking.
Jake: No it's not.
Me (triumphantly): I bake tacos!
Jake: That's not baking that's cooking.
Me: Well... we're all good at something. Aunt Laura's really good at baking and I'm really good at tacos, and... I'm good at tacos.
Then Sam starts confusingly trying to defend my honor again to no avail. It was useless.
Jake was right. I don't bake.
If it wasn't for Laura there would be no homemade goodies this year or any year.
There are photos of me when the boys were younger in our kitchen, Laura is over and I'm wearing an apron. It's a really cute apron! I'm trying hard to look like Donna Reed, like I actually did something to warrant wearing a cute apron besides needing a place to wipe the frosting off my fingers on it after licking the beaters.
When I was little my mom's baking reminded me of Laura's with cookies for every holiday. Frosted and decorated hearts for Valentine's Day, pumpkins and leaves at Halloween and of course sugar cookies and her signature cream cheese brownies at Christmastime.
I wonder why I didn't get that chip... that gene, does it skip a generation? Will one of my boys grow up to be a master chef or baker someday? Sam has a play kitchen and won a cooking contest last summer. Seriously.
Holy crap, my 5-year-old made a frittata and won a cooking contest. I bake from a refrigerated log or a box. What is wrong with me???
Like I said to them in the car, we're all good at something. And Laura is really good at baking. Thank GOD for Aunt Laura, she's there to fill in the (chocolate) chip that I'm missing.
And remember, I'm good at tacos, which I hope they never discover is simply chicken, a jar of salsa and a packet of taco seasoning in the Crock Pot for eight hours.
But I'm really good at it.