It has been a BUSY couple of weeks! (Library school midterms are upon me!) But when things are busy, we’ve just got to simplify. I read a lovely and simple little book recently that made me want to bake something, well…lovely and simple!
Love is has a classic, vintage feeling to it. The illustrations’ bouncy ink strokes and gentle watercolors and the story’s nurturing, faithful heroine are reminiscent of Corduroy or Charlotte’s Web. Love is shows us the story of a duckling that wanders its way out of the city park onto the hustling, bustling sidewalk to be rescued by an adorable and concerned little girl.
The text is a rhyming poem, describing what it means to love someone. The little girl feeds, bathes, shelters, plays with, cuddles with and teaches her little duckling. As the months go by, she grows stronger and bigger until she senses that “the time is right to lift those wings and travel on.”
After reuniting her duck with others back at the city pond, the little girl misses her, aching at the loss. But, fear not, there’s a happy ending after all–which I’ll let you enjoy for yourself.
Love is is a sweet little book. So what better to accompany it than some sweet little sugar cookies? I had the pleasure of reading this book with a 2 year old friend who just couldn’t get enough of it. It’s the kind of story that makes you feel cozy and makes you want to snuggle up with the people you love and who love you.
Sugar cookies are a great recipe to do with kids because they can be hands-on throughout the whole process. I used a mix, which simply asked us to add butter and water, and it was really fun to squeeze and squish the dough between our fingers. We used a heart-shaped cookie cutter and my helper liked getting to push it down through the dough. It was fun to peel away the outside dough and then make a big deal of carefully lifting the cutter and revealing the heart left behind–ta da!
There are times when you want to be precise and achieve a just-right look with dessert decorating. And there are other times when you want to throw aesthetics out the window and just let kids do their thing. This was one of those times. We had a blast smearing frosting (dyed yellow in honor of our ducky friend, of course) and tossing sprinkles on our cookies. Love is messy sometimes (as our book’s little heroine discovers) and that’s part of the fun of it.
I enjoy coming up with unusual recipes, with creative flavor combinations and different stages of baking and assembling. But I’m also glad for opportunities to make a classic, kneading the dough, rolling it out, stealing a nibble here and there. Whether you’re an ambitious baker or unsure of how to even turn on your oven, sugar cookies with a loved one are a tradition worth keeping (or starting!) in your kitchen.