Gingerbread Cookies

This is photographic evidence of my final attempt at making gingerbread cookies this season. Each time I’ve obtained wildly different results while trying to recreate a childhood favorite. Yesterday’s batch came closest to the taste and texture I had aimed for but still somehow missed the mark.

I eat healthier now than I did in my childhood. No more baloney sandwiches made with Wonderbread for me. Still I was longing for a taste of something I’d enjoyed a long time ago.

Half of the white flour in the recipe was swapped out for finely ground almond meal. The hydrogenated shortening was replaced by a combo of Irish butter and organic coconut oil; white sugar was exchanged for a nutritious sugar substitute. Pretty much only the molasses and spices in the recipe remained the same.

I had erroneously used blackstrap molasses on my first try in early December and even so a neighbor found them addicting when in fact they were abominable. They were filled with somewhat expensive ingredients yet were medicinal rather than delightful to my taste. They’d been dipped in melted chocolate as a last ditch effort to salvage the time and effort I’d expended. The darn cookie dough was turning into a money pit with each desperate attempt to re-capture the idyllic gingerbread cookies of my past . . .

However one comes by a life lesson, so let it be if it speaks truth to your soul. How many times have my expectations been truly unrealistic while trying to recapture what has passed? The funny part I suppose is tied to using entirely new ingredients yet expecting to replicate a delicious memory that was never really healthy in the first place.

We don’t often see it when its right in front of us. We innocently, unconsciously dream of recreating something belonging to another day and time. A relationship, an environment, a situation that refuses to be duplicated because it belongs to the past and not, my friend, to the “now” where our reality resides. We may try to reshape the here and now to suit our memories rather than embrace the new day right in front of us. My new goal? Savor the good of the past as I attempt to create new outcomes and new recipes in 2021.

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