I am writing this in the hopes that someday I will reread this and learn my lesson.
This weekend, I made 6 kinds of cookies. The cookie baking started when my then-fiance/now-husband and I just graduated from college. He started working in the office where he still is today, and because he was working in an administrative role, helping out pretty much everybody in the office with clerical and computer-related tasks, he started getting a lot of Christmas presents as sort of thank you gifts toward the end of the year. We quickly realized we could not possibly afford to buy presents for the 20 people in his office in return and still pay our (living way beyond our means/what were we thinking/oh boy did we get in debt in the beginning) rent, we made cookies for the office instead. I would say that I make the cookies, but he is an excellent dish washer and errand runner, always willing to go get the one more stick of butter or dozen eggs that I need and underestimated. You can’t take for granted the value of somebody willing to do that stuff while I do the fun stuff.
So anyway, 8 Christmases later, I kind of end up making a lot of cookies every year. We also give them to the neighbors who put up with us and bring in our mail and recycling bins while we’re at work and the people who continue to hire me every summer at a fabulous program where I am lucky to work, so they hopefully won’t forget about me in the long stretch between August and June. And a couple of other assorted people.
So why is it that 8 Christmases later, I haven’t learned to chill out with the rubber spatula licking and the quality control taste testing? My sugar tolerance has significantly lowered over the years; as I always tell people when they give me funny looks when I’m waxing poetic about food, I used to be a lot fatter. And not only did I lose almost 50 pounds along the way of those 8 cookie making years, but I also got a lot healthier. Last year, I started learning about eating clean and, inspired by my friend Alyssa, who gave up white flour and sugar cold turkey (and told me to shut up and do it or stop talking about it already – thank you, I needed that) I changed my diet totally. I went from watching my diet by means of finding all the ways I could eat junk and still lose weight (Fat Free Cool Whip and graham cracker sandwiches, anyone? Diet Coke cake? You know what I’m talking about.) to cutting out processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and other stuff and eating a many whole foods as possible. (Oh, and some weeks, spending as much money at Whole Foods as possible. But that’s a topic for another post.) And I feel great. Usually. Except now, when I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck full of cookies, with a little trail of royal icing dripping from the corner of my mouth. Next time, please remind me that I can’t eat like I used to. It’s not worth it.
Oh, and just for the sake of comparison, here’s a little snapshot of Christmases past: