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Care Packages

I’m going to visit my daughter at college tomorrow, a brief stop on a fall foliage tour with a friend.  “Can you bring cookies?” she asked. This is no great surprise – we both love to bake.  Living in a dorm, she doesn’t have the facilities to make much except a cup of coffee, and she’s craving some homemade goodness.  “What kind?” I asked, expecting her to request seven-layer bars or something simple. But no, she asked for “Italian Spice and Gingerbread, if it’s not too much trouble.”  This requires pulling out the Christmas cookie file, and renewing a bunch of the spices, like cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves. Pungent spices tend to lose their punch after several months, so I normally replace open bottles as Christmas approaches, and I go on my cookie making spree.

I made the dough for both recipes yesterday and baked them off this morning, and just finished frosting them. It was fun using Halloween cookie cutters on the gingerbreads, and it was a slight challenge getting the frosting right in the high humidity of the day, but they are done and packaged, ready for her to share with her roommates and friends.  My husband and son are pretty happy too since we have fresh cookies in the house again after the summer hiatus from this kind of baking. 

I’m pretty happy that she did ask for cookies…I sent her some clothes a couple weeks ago and she specifically requested that I did not put any food in.  My friends are surprised when I tell them that I’m sending a cookie care package, but this is something I cannot NOT do. Food connects us in so many ways. I reconnect with the previous generations of bakers when I pull out a recipe in my mother’s or grandmother’s handwriting. I remember Mom’s friends and neighbors from my youth when I look through the recipe file and see their names on recipes they gave me for my ‘recipe bridal shower’ nearly 30 years ago.  Many have passed away.  I recall the circumstances when my friend Susan shared this particular gingerbread recipe with me, and the scent of baking cookies today makes the house smell great. So, dear daughter, it is not too much trouble to make cookies for you. It is a pleasure that I embrace.  Thank you for asking. 

Do you send care packages to your children far away?  What are their favorites?