“Santa’s coming,” I said to my 4 year-old daughter. We have to make sure he feels welcome. I meant that we should tidy up the house. “Then we have to make him cookies,” she said, solemnly. “Make home cookies,” she said (meaning “homemade.”) And I nodded. Christmas cookies were on her agenda. Cleaning the house was not.
I had a moment of pause. Did I really want to make cookies in my wee little Beijing oven and my too-small Beijing kitchen, a job that in Canada would take an hour at the most (with a 4 year old), but would take at least 3 hours in Beijing? I found my old friend Scrooge grumbling in my ear.
Nevertheless, I dutifully contacted my (much more domestic) sister and asked her for the family recipe. I received an email within the day that contained an attachment scan of my grandmother’s recipe, written by hand. Armed with family history, I set out to April Gourmet for the ingredients.
I must admit, they were easier than I expected. Despite having to make 5 batches (8 cookies at a time due to the size of my ridiculous oven, which I nickname the “Not-So-Easy-Bake-Beijing Oven”), my daughter was entertained for a full morning and our resulting masterpieces were a bit messy but miraculously edible.
Oh, and they were blue, green, pink and white. The kids thought I had magically produced candy. I was the most famous Mom ever for at least ten minutes.
And, of course, I used my advantage to commandeer some collective picking up of junk around the house. This is called opportunistic parenting.