I wholeheartedly agree with celebrity baker and guru, Dorie Greenspan, who has launched a wonderful cookies and kindness project. It’s aimed at making “the world a sweeter place” by inspiring, mobilizing and connecting bakers all over the world to bake and share cookies. #cookiesandkindness
A campaign to spread joy? YES!
I’ve been pursuing a cookie baking practice for many years, baking and sharing cookies frequently. With family and friends, of course. And also with folks I’ll never meet: firefighters in my hometown or in a different city, folks at food pantries or soldiers overseas.
It’s always felt right somehow, this humble yet heartfelt practice. Not one that is going to bring world peace, yet one that may bring moments of connection and delight into individual lives.
To bake and share something delicious made with good ingredients, and chock full of the best ones like good wishes and love, is especially part of my Christmas rituals. This year has been no different–cookies for people receiving support from a local social services agency; college students far from home; the staff at a nearby market who were generous to a school’s fundraiser; some elderly neighbors.
No matter who the recipients are, the response is generally the same: delight! I think it’s partly due to the cookies’ tangible flavors. But I think the main source of the joy are the tastes of heart and soul. As one college student far from home sighed: “It’s so good to taste something homemade.”
In “Sharing The Alchemy Of Baking” I wrote about the ineffable ingredients that we taste in food lovingly prepared, specifically cookies:
“...What do you taste in a cookie, anyway? Well, of course, you may taste the tangible ingredients: butter or chocolate or sugar or spices. Sweetness. And as researchers have shown, eating something sweet can elevate mood.
I am convinced that we also taste an energy from the baker. So, when I bake I am stirring in positive intentions–wishes for health and good will and, absolutely, joy! I like to think they resonate on the tongues and in the hearts of the recipients.”
Right now, I’ve got some dough chilling that I need to roll out into Almond Crescents, an old family recipe, for a gathering with new friends. I’ll be wafting some aromas your way, if you’d like.
May many moments of joy sweeten your life….
“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.”~Thomas Keller