On Saturday, C-Man left the house at 9:30 a.m. to drive an hour to San Antonio so he could play in an all-day miniature wargame tournament. When he was done there, he drove back to North Austin to play in another miniature wargame tournament all evening.
You covet our lives, don’t you?
For my part, I did what any reasonable person would do and begged my mother-in-law to come over.
“Don’t you and your daughter want to come over Saturday afternoon and bring that Christmas tree that you’ve been promising to give us and decorate it and make cookies with Boy Detective?” I said, “Your son’s going to be out of town ALL DAY.”
“Ooh,” she said, “My daughter said I could just bring the tree over when I come to work but your idea sounds way better.”
“Yes, doesn’t my idea sound fun? Also, did I mention your son is going to be out of town ALL DAY?!”
They showed up right after lunch, and they even brought daughter’s boyfriend, The Farmer, whom Boy Detective adores. Score!
I mixed up a batch of sugar cookie dough and refrigerated it for half an hour, following the instructions from my paternal grandmother via my mother’s handwriting on the index card. My mother-in-law mixed up a batch of molasses gingerbread cookies and did not refrigerate that dough, following the instructions on the index card in HER grandmother’s handwriting.
We rolled out half the sugar cookie dough and then painfully negotiated the following items:
- how much colored sugar Boy Detective was allowed to eat out of a spoon
- how hard he could slam his hand down on the cookie cutters to push them into the dough
- how much he could complain about not getting as much colored sugar as he wanted
My mother in law rolled out the molasses gingerbread dough and cut out some cookies. I tried to transfer them from the table to the baking pan. Squish.
“This doesn’t get refrigerated,” she said.
“It might do better if it was,” I said.
“You don’t put all the flour in at the beginning, it makes the dough tough,” she said, “You work it in as you’re rolling it out, and you put quite a bit down on the table too so it won’t stick. But I don’t like to put too much down because then the backs are all floury.”
“Hmm,” I said.
I finally worked out how to get them onto the spatula in almost their original shape, but the transfer from the spatula to the pan was asking too much. The bells were warping into unrecognizable lumps, the crinkly-edged circles were uncrinkling and un-circling. And then I had a clever idea. Don’t try to slide them off the spatula, just flip them onto the cookie sheet! I am a genius!
Except that we live in Texas. In compliance with our state constitution, we have a Texas-shaped cookie cutter and use it at every cookie-making opportunity.
When I lived in Colorado, I did not have these problems.