Monday, December 19, 2005


This past weekend, I helped Geri’s 5-year-old man, H, bake some holiday cookies. We started by getting out the flour, sugar, eggs, and – okay, that’s not true. We started by cutting open a roll of Pillsbury ready-made cookie dough I'd bought at the store. After eating through nearly a quarter of the roll with our fingers, we decided to see how good they would taste baked in the oven.

H and I took turns slicing through the sweet log with a butter knife and placing the chilly slivers on a metal cookie sheet. Because there’s no rule that says a cookie must be round, I began rolling them up into little balls. H was intrigued by this creative approach to cookie-building and began rolling his own dough nuggets. Then I branched out and shaped one like a big Burger King onion ring. Then H decided he would make a pencil-shaped cookie. Next I made a volcano. So H made a bigger volcano. Then I made a turtle. Then H made a snake.

When we were done molding the dough into rudimentary shapes that only vaguely resembled what we claimed they were supposed to be, it was time to decorate them. Where I attend the school of “a little goes a long way,” H preferred to coat and bury his cookies under a mountain of pink and purple sugar sprinkles. Geri and I tried to discourage him from using too much decoration, but to a 5-year-old, there’s no such thing as too much decoration. When we were done sprucing up our holiday sweets, the kitchen looked like Tinkerbell had just detonated a suicide bomb.

I slid the baking sheet into the oven and flipped the oven light on so we could watch the cookies grow. Because we’d given them such unique shapes to start with, each one baked in a new and interesting way. The balls began to melt, the pencil spread out like a ruler, the onion ring blossomed like a doughnut, the volcanoes fused together and bloomed fatter than John Madden's hands, and the snake – well, the snake began assuming the plump disposition of something decidedly adult in nature.

I looked over at Geri and pointed at the oven. She glanced in through the window and blushed. We both had a hard time pretending the creature in the oven was a harmless snake when, quite clearly, H had unwittingly crafted a monster Pillsbury dildo.

I wanted to call it something clever, like the “sugar shaft” or the “sugar nookie,” but in the presence of an impressionable 5-year-old I could only say, “Wow – would you look at that SNAKE. Quite the monster, wouldn’t you say?”

Geri could tell I was jealous. “Oh yeah, that’s a good looking snake right there.”

A few minutes later I pulled the sheet from the oven and H violently dissected the “snake” with a spatula, a gruesome act almost too painful to watch. We then devoured the pieces with milk and, I must admit, they were quite delicious. I remember thinking it a good thing that the snake didn't make it. Those aren't the kinds of cookies you leave for Santa.

MRS. Claus, on the other hand...well, I imagine she'd appreciate a little holiday dildough under the mistletoe come Christmas Eve.

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