Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Day 215
My baking business (or what my husband refers to as “my hobby that’s gotten out-of-hand”) continues to grow.  This week, I began teaching cookie decorating classes to seniors through an agency called Creative Aging. 

To prepare for the class, I bake several dozen spring-themed cookies.  I stack the still warm from the oven flowers, beehives and butterflies into plastic containers and hit the road.  I’ve got a half-hour’s drive and don’t want to be late. 

A grandmother answering phones at the center’s front desk directs me to a large, open room with 6-foot folding tables.  I place a dozen paper plates around the table and top each with six cookies.  I line the colored icings down the center of the table and space glass ramekins of toothpicks around the table within easy reach. 

“I want to share a few easy tricks,” I start.  Seven heads nod in agreement.    

“Don’t let Martha Stewert fool you,” I continue.  “You don’t need fancy smancy supplies to make gorgeous cookies.  I use clean ketchup bottles bought at the dollar store and toothpicks.  High tech, right?” 

They titter and nod.    

“What if we make a mistake?” one lady asks. 

“We eat all mistakes and destroy all evidence,” I immediately answer. 

“I like that,” one laughs.  To prove she’s on board, another sneaks a taste of icing that’s dropped on her paper plate. 

The ladies and I talk and decorate cookies for over an hour.  Each time I demonstrate a technique I place the cookie on a platter in the center of the table.  Several of the ladies share with me that they’ll be traveling to New York City on a tour the following week. 

“We’re going to see TWO Broadway shows!” one says.  The class shifts from cookie decorating to a lovely hour with friends.  The ladies laugh and nibble and laugh some more.  They invite me back to teach them cupcake decorating with their grandchildren.      

“I liked that,” says a woman to me as I pack up my supplies to leave.  “But my eyes aren’t what they used to be.”  I nod.  “But I am 96,” she says in a conspiratorial whisper. 

“96!” I yelp before she shushes me.  Can you imagine?  I hope I still have teeth to eat cookies at 96 let alone decorate them.

I grab the platter of cookie from the center of the table.  When the 96-year-old and I walk towards the front door, I gently place them on the desk of the grandmother who showed me to the room earlier.   

The two of us walk out together.  “Have a great time in New York!” I say.  I turn left and she walks right before getting into her car and driving away.  Yes, she drives, too. 

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