In past years, at the direction of Siena, the lucky dog, I have made cookies and given them to her friends at the McLean Animal Hospital and at Old Mill Kennels in Leesburg. (The conversation usually went something like this…Siena “My friend, Timmy at Old Mill needs a new car, let’s buy him one.” Me, “That’s a nice idea, Si but let’s make him cookies instead.”) That was a tradition that I missed last year. This October, I made a batch of oatmeal cookies and they turned out okay so I decided I could make cookies again. I have had a long learning period of figuring out the oven on our stove but think that I now have finally cracked it.
When I made cookies in Virginia I made 8 to 10 different types and would package them up and store them all over the house until I was ready to make the platters up to give away. Our other dog, Hawthorn, a springer spaniel, thought that all these cookies should be for him. In his younger days he was capable of jumping straight up, hovering, while looking me in the eye. He was the Michael Jordan of the dog world. No matter where I put these cookies he would find at least one batch. I usually caught him before he did too much damage. The most trying time was actually putting the platters together. I would put all the plates of cookies out on the dining room table and walk around assembly line fashion making platters. I finally figured out to wait until Ben was home so he could physically restrain Hawthorn while I did this.
Here in Italy, I only have the oven and can I find more brown sugar? to worry about. No need to protect the finished product from high jumping dogs. Still I only made four kinds, oatmeal with dried cranberries, peanut butter, sugar, and chocolate chip with tiny Perugina chips.
I set them assembly line fashion on the table in the living room and made platters. Fortunately Siena was not in the least interested.
The platters I got at the ‘dollar store’ in Arezzo were bigger than I wanted but that was all there was so I had to fluff it out a little with napkins.
We gave a platter to our old and new mail lady, the people at the main post office (I am always a challenge for them), our doctor and the pharmacist, Paolo and Patrizia at our neighborhood restaurant, our friends at Caffe Luna (our favorite bar) and one of the visiting gospel groups. (more about them in another post)
A little American cheer here in Italy and a rainbow over town appeared late one afternoon. I like to think that rainbow was to remind me of a high jumping dog who could soar if cookies were involved.
For all the folks that I used to share cookies with we are thinking of you.