Many of my childhood weekend mornings were spent, perched on our kitchen counter. I would sit carefully, nightgown tucked around my legs to avoid the sharp edge of the laminate countertop, and listened diligently to my dad's instructions. We discussed the importance of sifting, the reason for leveling your dry ingredients, and the difference between stirring and beating. We made biscuits, pancakes, and, at Christmas time, cookies.
The cookies were an even larger tradition that involved not only counter top assistance on mine and my sister's part, but leaning over the dining room table to decorate the sugar cookies. We would decorate for hours, spreading milk on the dough that was cut into seasonal shapes, picking out sprinkles and toppings, and sneaking bits of dough and sugar when we thought mom and dad weren't watching. It was a warm and happy time. I looked forward to it each year.
While some of our family traditions from growing up have faded, decorating these cookies has not. In fact, it's been revitalized with the next generation of decorators. My dad will sometimes bring dough and sugar out to us and other times we head over to his house for an evening of visiting, dinner, and trying to monitor how much the kids are sneaking!
This year's was my favorite for a simple reason. My girls took mine and my sister's perch and sat precariously on the same counter that I did. Granted the laminate is now tile, the number of cookies has reduced, and we have to chase after a very curious little brother that my sister and I didn't have to worry about, but the scene was set in a familiar way none the less. The sat, attentive, taking in my dad's every word and waiting for their chance to stir a bit or measure out the next ingredient.
In summary, my heart was happy.