The Joy of Eating

I am on the “Christmas Baking Kick” that my kids love so much.

I make about 16 different kinds of cookies and squares and we deliver plates to some friends and neighbours, and of course have a wealth of goodies for us to have throughout the holiday season.

Everyone has their favourites. Some have more than 1 favorite !

Gabe loves “Crack brownies” (caramel brownies), as does Rob.

Zach loves chocolate truffles.

Zandra likes a few things, but I think her favourite is Gran’s fudge.

Sam is not a big dessert guy, so I think he just enjoys the candies off the sugar cookies!

Josh loves everything of course, but has a favourite which he calls “Coconutties”. They are coconut macaroons (sort of a meringue cookie with coconut).

Last night I made truffles and coconutties. The timer was on for them to come out of the oven and I was in the living room. I then heard Josh counting, “10 ,9 ,8 , mom… 7… Mom… 3 , MOM…, 2, 1, M-O-M!!!!! The coconutties are done”!

Now luckily these things take a while to make. You bake them for 20 minutes, then you turn off the oven and they sit in the oven cooling for another 30 minutes. So, when you pull them out of the oven, they are already pretty cool.

I say luckily, because I barely had the tray out of the oven when Josh had reached over and taken two off the tray. He had been waiting all night for these and couldn’t control himself any more (he had spent the last hour peeking through the oven door).

I was just removing the rest from the tray when he was finishing off his first one.

Josh loves food. Well, certain food. He loves his desserts. His eyes were rolling (in a “sublime” kind of way), and he was licking his fingers, while saying “Mom, these are heavenly. So good. I love them. They are the best right out of the oven”. Then he polished off the next one (I had promised him he could have two as soon as they were ready – he would eat them all if I let him).

That night at bed, he told me how much he had loved them again and thanked me for making them.

His appreciation for food is so sweet. His appreciation for me making the food is even better.

It reminded me of the kind of love affair my Dad (Grandpa) and Josh’s great Grandfather on his Dad’s side (Great Grandad) had with food.

Grandpa loved to eat – much to Gran’s dismay as Grandpa also developed diabetes in later years. But he fully appreciated his food. He would always have a “little taste of everything”. (My kids might now know where I get my “buffet game” from!!).

I remember being really sad and going through a tough time and he showed up at my apartment (an hour and a half away for him by public transit)bearing danishes. Now, I don’t even like danishes. But I loved that he brought them to me. He loved them, so he figured they would help feed my soul….

Now that he has been gone for 8.5 years, I look (note look – not eat) quite fondly at danishes. We have danishes sometimes “In memory of Grandpa”. But my Dad certainly enjoyed his food.

Great Grandad really enjoyed his food. It was like he was having a heavenly experience. In between bites, he would be saying things like “Mmmm, this is so good. This is the best you’ve made, Jan” (aka “Ama” as the boys call their grandmother – his daughter). You really felt his enjoyment, and he really really appreciated the effort that went into cooking for him.

Josh eating, reminds me of these two men in very fond ways. I think maybe the enjoyment of food runs in the family – and Josh has that gene. The fact that he is so appreciative of the food (that he likes) makes it a pleasure to bake for him.

Although, I must admit, the opposite holds true too. If he doesn’t like it, you will know about it. We are working on that….

For now, at Christmas time, I get to watch eveyone enjoy the goodies that are baked, and reminisce about the family members that are likely still feasting in a place maybe not too far away – especially at Christmas.

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