The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, December 16, 2003  

There’s No Recipe I Want More

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

It was 1970. I was in the third grade. This was back in the day when kids made Christmas presents for their parents on the school’s dime, something I doubt is done any longer, though I could be wrong.

That year, for our mothers, we assembled a cookbook, or a collection of recipes, each student having solicited his mother for a favorite Christmas-season recipe. (Trust me when I say that no individual student, nor his family, was disturbed by this request. There were no Jews, Moslems, Unitarians, or atheists in our little village.)

In preparation for the project, my mother sent me to school with her recipe for butter cookies.

I loved those cookies. And yet, when the cookbook was completed it struck me, even then at eight years of age, that my mother’s recipe was far less interesting or exotic than those contributed by the other mothers.

I wasn’t ashamed, but I did feel funny somehow.

Time passes. Things change. Perceptions are altered.

And now, writing this today, there’s no recipe I want more than my mother’s formula -- along with her talent -- for baking the perfect butter cookie. And I wonder: Might this be the only recipe all of those mothers saved?

There’s one thing I would enjoy more of course, and that’s the butter cookies themselves. Preferably butter cookies simply adorned with green or red sugar sprinkles, nothing more complicated or elaborate than that.

But don’t worry. I think B. is taking care of it.

If she doesn’t, I’ll get back to you.

Or to Mom.

[Post-publication addendum (December 18): B. is taking care of it. Even before reading this B. had purchased red and green sugar sprinkles in preparation for the project. And -- finally! -- it’s confirmed: B. and A. are heading to Nepal next month to fetch my next, my incipient, my impending, my newest niece. Hope and pray for peace there: in the meantime, until then, and always.]

[Post-publication addendum (December 19): Whoa. New York blogger Diana found the recipe to end all recipes. As in, STOP writing recipes! (If links are whacked, search for “repulsive.”)]

[Post-publication addendum (December 19): I asked her. Mom, I mean. For the recipe. I’m waiting to hear.]

[Post-publication addendum (December 22): Mom came through with the recipe. See above.]

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