There are many days during this time of year that I find myself taking deep breaths. Often times I have the sensation of drowning and can almost feel the sensation of floating in deep water with my head bobbing on the water gasping for breath…and you wonder why I don’t find this time of year my favorite?!?
The time from September to the end of December is a giant crescendo of anticipation and activity; beginning of a new school year, both sons’ birthday celebrations, Halloween events, Thanksgiving, Christmas preparations and finally Christmas Day. And more recently acting as Christian Education chairperson of my church has added another event to the already full calendar; Rally Day weekend.
Our church kicks off the new Education season with a Rally Day weekend celebration where we invite families to “Get back to church and Sunday school.” It is a chance for families to review the many opportunities our church offers families and to re-dedicate their lives to Christian Education. As Christian-Ed Chairperson I am the “lucky” person that puts the event together. Although I don’t shy away from planning a good party, another event at this time of year pulls me a little deeper in the water.
So, after deciding on a list of food to serve at our meet and greet table, purchasing the needed supplies, and arranging the table set-up with the church staff, I woke early on Friday to bake the cookie part of the food menu.
After sending Dear Husband off to work at 5:30 am, I turned on the oven to begin the baking. I had decided on 5 different bar cookies, and making more than one batch of several so that I would have enough to serve the crowd. At 6:30 am my first batch went into the oven.
I chose 5 cookies from my Taste of Home’s Complete Guide to Baking cookbook I had not made before but have made other things from this same book and after reviewing the recipes felt confident that they would be good choices: Lattice Fruit Bars, Polka-Dot Cookie Bars, Rich ‘n’ Buttery Bars, Apple-Berry Streusel Bars, Fun Marshmallow Bars.
Between trays of cookie baking, I juggled the other jobs of the day. One of those jobs being taking care of my milk cow. Our oldest Jersey milk cow is now producing milk having calved in June with her second calf. Because the calf is now getting older, if I don’t separate the two for part of the day, I don’t get any milk for our family. The calf is capable of drinking it all. So, at 9:00 am I made the first of my daily trips to the cow barn.
After getting the cows taken care of, I returned to the house to continue the cookie baking task. I found each cookie recipe to be fairly easy to put together and baked up without and problems. One side benefit of this long day of baking is the fantastic aroma that fills the house. Of course I had to keep a sharp eye on the three men of my in-house review board from abusing their taste testing privileges.
By the end of the day I had 8 trays of cookies baked. Finishing just in time to do the evening milking.
Returning from the barn, I strained the milk, put it in cold water to cool, and retreated outside to take myself and the dog for an evening walk to take in the beautiful day that was quickly coming to a close and to thank God for keeping me afloat in these busy days filled with cookies & milk.