Every morning for the last week I wake up and my first thought is, Caitlin didn’t have her baby last night. You see, we’re counting down days, maybe hours, until the big event. The Royal Event in the Kinsel family. My baby’s first baby. The baby that would have been Mother’s 10th great-grandchild. That event.
With all this nervous energy, I could be making cookies—Mom’s cookies, Mom’s Molasses Spice Cookies with footprints on top.
The grand kids would go wild for Mother’s footprint cookies. Heck, I went wild for them. Every time we flew home to Minnesota, the first place I’d look was inside the cookie jar, which was a monk in robes with a big smile on his face. It was always full. I’d look back at Mom and she’d beam. She sure knew how to please us!
Mom’s cookies have met a lot of people
Some of you have asked for this recipe. Mom would be tickled that I’m passing this it out to all of you pre-Mother’s Day. “You’re famous, Mom,” I’d say if she was here. Well, wait, she’s already famous for these cookies! I used to make them—and wrap them real cute—for image consultants in my seminars. I’d offer these footprint cookies at break time. It was memorable, and it made me feel like Mother was there with me. I liked bringing her with me to places she’d love. She’d have enjoyed all my image consultant friends and they’d have enjoyed her.
I made these spice cookies and brought them with me to Stockholm, Sweden when I went there in 2002 and 2003 to do makeovers on readers of Tara magazine, a magazine for women over 40. I brought plenty. I passed them out to the staff of the magazine, my makeover models, and even staff at the hotel I was staying at.
Mom and Maggan, the then editor of Tara, have a great connection. They spoke on the phone one Thanksgiving when the Swedes were here in Sonoma, and got to know each other through me. Maggan wears Mom’s earrings, the clip-ons I sent her when Mom died. Maggan takes her around Sweden and shows her the sites.
The big reveal: Mother’s Molasses Spice Cookie Recipe
It’s a bit involved, this recipe is. I like to make the dough in the late afternoon or early evening and then I put it in the fridge to get super cold. The next afternoon or early evening I roll the dough out into those walnut sized circles. When I get six of the walnut balls of dough, I drop them inside a Ziploc bag with granulated sugar. I seal the bag shut and then I shake, shake, shake until the balls are all coated in sugar.
I pull them out and put them on a lightly buttered pan and then use the footprint cookie press to flatten them out. Dip the cookie press in flour every time or two that you press the dough or the feet will get sticky and the dough will cling to them. I put the sheet of cookies in the oven and wait for the smell of spices and then I pull them out to cool on a cookie rack and get ready for the next batch. As soon as you smell the yumminess, they’re ready. I purposely burn the bottoms a little on some of them because burnt is my favorite flavor. You can seal them up in Ziploc bags and freeze them once they’ve cooled. That’s what I do.
And if you travel with them as I have, pull the bags of cookies out of the freezer at the last minute and slip them into your luggage just before heading to the airport. I wanted a nice presentation in Stockholm so I packed colorful tissue paper and flat boxes that I could assemble once I got there. Those supplies easily slipped into the front pocket of my suitcase.
My first grandchild would be Mother’s 10th great-grandchild
Mother had 9 great-grandchildren. And now Caitlin’s little one will make it ten. “Mom!” I say. “Caity’s due date is on Mother’s Day! Is that the craziest thing? Oh, how I want a picture of you holding #10 like you’re holding #9, little Julia Grace.” Mother was in my dreams last night. I think she’s hearing me call out to her.
Putting a plan in place
Besides waiting for a baby, the Golden State Warriors are in round two of the NBA playoff games. That’s professional basketball, in case you’re not a fan already. I split my attention last night between the game and organizing a food train for Caitlin once the baby is born.
I took the advice of our baby delivering client who asked me on a shopping trip earlier this week what Erin and I were doing to prepare for the baby.
“Uh, nothing? I guess we’re playing it by ear! Is there something we should be doing?” I asked.
Great idea for brand new parents
She told us what she tells her patients. “It’s good to do some cooking ahead of time so you have food in the freezer ready to pull out. I also suggest you get a food train going. Ask friends or family to prepare food for one day each—at least the first two weeks—so every day the family has fresh, nutritious food to eat. Put me on the list.”
So while watching the game, I started texting Caitlin’s friends. Everyone was excited to be a part of it. Even Russ signed up and offered to make his famous pasta and sausage with tomato sauce.
Another piece of advice from the our doctor client was to tell the people dropping off food to just leave it with someone or plan to stay only ten minutes. Mama, Papa, and Baby need their time together sorting things out. They’ll most likely be tuckered out.
I texted Caitlin about the food train and she said exactly what Judy said. “For the food train thing…can you warn people we might not be that social…I’m not sure how I’ll be feeling, might be exhausted and be trying to figure baby out.”
You betcha, Baby.
To plan something on Mother’s Day or not to plan?
We’re going ahead with Mother’s Day plans. Although Caitlin was born on her due date, January 4th, nearly everyone is telling me that first babies come late. Maybe I’ll have time to make cookies. Oh wait! Those footprint cookies could be little thank you gifts for when people drop off food! Pink ribbon, cellophane, polka dot tissue paper…I can see it!
Are there recipes or traditions you continue that started with Mom? Let’s share stories!