The introduction to the Gourmet Cookie Book begins, "Buy a cookie, and it's just a bite of sugar, something sweet to get you through the day. Bake a cookie, on the other hand, and you send an instant message from the moment you measure out the flour. Long before they're done, the cookies become a promise, their endlessly soothing scent offering both reassurance and solace. And even the tiniest bite is powerful, bringing with it the flavor of home. For anyone who is comfortable in a kitchen, a warm cookie is the easiest way to say I love you. There are few people who don't understand, at least subconsciously, how much a cookie can mean."
These are the words I can never find for why I fell into cooking, so far over my head. My mom always used to tell me that she knew when I had it bad for someone, or had some sort of hurdle to jump in my mind because I left a wake of flour and mixing bowls behind my attempts to sort things out. The best memories of mine center around birthday cakes, warm cookies, or the smell of a Sunday dinner.
It's been interesting to see so many of these creations from a time before anyone ever imagined my existence. I like the imagery of my grandmother flipping through the pages of Gourmet, and my mother doing the same. For me, this project is not only a ridiculous challenge, but homage to the women who have taught me the importance of taking the time to take care for the people you love.
Tonight, the dough for 1993's Aunt Sis's Stawberry Tart Cookies is chilling in my refrigerator, with 1980's Bourbon Balls alongside it. In 5 hours, I'll be baking gorgeous breads for the day at the restaurant, then anxiously venturing through these cookies, 1992's Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti and 1979's Bizcochitos, the first state cookie (New Mexico).