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Get right in it!

One of the things I love about cooking is the hands-on approach. You have to touch the food, feel how it behaves as you mix it, taste it as you transform it. Cooking is a never-ending discovery of sensations.

As I was making Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies this afternoon it occurred to me that Spring Break started this weekend in the Okanagan. With apologies to anyone allergic to nuts, I thought what a great recipe this would be for kids to make.

Cookies are always a good thing to start with for a young cook and who doesn’t want to get their hands right in the bowl?! Squishing the dough between my hands as I made balls to be “criss-crossed” with a fork took me back to my childhood. There was a delicious sense of abandon at being able to get messy on purpose.

Okay, the secret is out – I live a double life. I love to be a girl, dressing up and being feminine and soft and delicate; I also love getting down and dirty in the kitchen and the garden. Is that bad? I don’t think so – the opposite nature of the two sides has helped me find a balance in my life, and feeling food and the earth it grows in keeps me connected to the universe.

So I suppose as much as the big kid in me just thinks kids would love messing around, I also believe it gives them roots in the world and connects them to something bigger than just us.

It’s not quite warm enough to muck in the dirt yet (although jumping in puddles is a highly underrated activity, especially with good gumboots). But at least you can get in a bowl of cookie dough and feel the inner peace that comes from creating something.

Happy Spring Break!

Support the cause – have a cookie!

My mom used to say that there isn’t much a cookie can’t cure. The good news is that cookies can also be especially rewarding when there is nothing wrong. Even better news is that you can help someone else by having one of their cookies. 

Okay, full disclosure: I am a Girl Guide leader. It is Classic Cookie season.  The  boxes of good old-fashioned vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies will be arriving by the truckload this weekend in the Okanagan. 

Soon girls in blue will be all over your neighbourhood asking for your help to achieve their goals. You see, Girl Guide cookies are the way units fund their activities such as camps, field trips, and service projects. It may sound corny, but your support could really help send a girl to camp. 

For me, Girl Guides is a delightful opportunity for girls to be exposed to a variety of experiences in a safe and encouraging environment. I enjoyed my time as a Girl Guide, and I adore my time as a leader (altogether I have spent 14 years in the organization.) Especially since I don’t have kids of my own, I feel it’s important to give back to our community and connect with young people. 

You may have other causes you support – there are so many of them nowadays it’s impossible to support everything. I would only ask that you be encouraging if you see girls at your door or in the community. I remember how intimidating it was the first time I asked someone to buy cookies; thankfully they were sympathetic that I had forgotten how much they were and had to run down the driveway to check. And see, look at me now! (Not to worry, guffaws are expected at this point.)

If you can support a Girl Guide, or a Girl Scout, or even a Boy Scout, thank you. I do believe you are helping to support the upbringing of well-rounded young people who will be leading our society into the future. (No pressure.)

Seriously though, they are good cookies. 

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