I’m finally ready to talk about it…but just barely ready.
When planning Jaia’s 1st birthday party I was at a loss for a ‘theme’. Too young yet to know who most of the cartoon characters were that covered the usual party supplies, I needed to come up with something a little different, but child-party friendly. All of the non-cartoon supplies were very adult-New-Years-party centered and I figured that wouldn’t be Jaia’s bag either.
Then it hit me. Quite literally hit me in the face. Snowflakes. Jaia was born in the middle of a snow/rain storm (though I didn’t even catch a glimpse of it thanks to 30 hours in labour) and so it seemed quite fitting. So I started busying myself looking for all the right snowflake elements. And lo and behold, they were everywhere (not surprising considering the season).
But there was one critical piece that alluded me. The giant snowflake cookie cutter that I needed to make the little loot bag/give-aways I was planning. I searched the stores in Virginia over Christmas and found nothing. I searched stores in Ottawa once I returned and again, nothing. My ‘piece de resistance’ was nowhere to be found and we were running out of time.
And then when we were en route to Orleans on January 29 we heard a terribly annoying radio commercial for the store Ma Cuisine. I had forgotten all about that place! We called and the girl on the phone said they had a 5 inch snowflake cookie cutter in stock! A quick detour and 20 minutes later we pulled up. I raced inside only to find that the girl on the phone was wrong. The owner, who was working the floor, didn’t think they had anything like that, but said she’s check the back anyway. After 10 looooooooooong minutes, she returned holding a beautiful, 5 inch snowflake cookie cutter. Excellent. We were on our way.
Now, I had never made anything like these cookies before. We were using Dan’s mom’s no fail recipe and I even enlisted Sonja Lasagna (baker extraordinaire – seriously) for some help. And thankfully I did. I somehow totally messed up the first batch by the third ingredient and had to start all over. But once we got rolling, we were unstoppable. After one or two glasses of wine we had 40+ giant snowflake cookies cooling on the table.
Step 2: Icing the cookies. After they have cooled overnight, you can begin work on icing them. I wanted to do a layer of white/violet icing and then pipe a white/violet snowflake design on them. So I started with the base. I whipped up some icing and went to work. They were starting to really come together….
And I let Dan take care of piping the snowflake design. My first (and only) attempt was pathetic. Who knew high school drafting courses would eventually help with cookie decorating?
And there we were. It was New Year’s Eve and we were way ahead of schedule on everything. The only task left was to bag the cookies and tie them up with purple ribbon the next morning. Now we were free to relax and enjoy dinner, a glass of wine and each other’s company as we waited first our first toast at 11:51 pm (the time Jaia was born) and then again at midnight.
We went to bed feeling confident that all would be finished and ready by the time our guests started rolling in around 11 am. Jaia woke up around 6, her usual time, and as she was finishing her bottle, we heard a huge crash in the kitchen. In our house this is not unusual. With two adventurous cats and a dog that has made it his mission to to kill one of said adventurous cats, the early morning crashes and booms are common around this place. But this time Dan and I looked at each other, unsure of what that one was.
A little while later I came downstairs, turned the corner into the kitchen only to find………………..half of the cookies on the floor…in pieces. One of the cats had obviously jumped on the counter, not expecting it to be covered in cookies, panicked and took them down with him/her.
I was not pleased. I was beyond not pleased. I won’t lie ..there were tears. Yes, they were just cookies, but these cookies were three days in the making and in less than two hours, guests would start arriving.
Once I regained composure, I bagged up the survivors and made the final preparations…
(including a do-it-yourself cupcake decorating station for the older kids)
But then Mother Nature stepped in and brought me more snowflakes. Mountains of them. The melty kind. And they also kept half of the guests from being able to join us. It totally sucked on one hand, but was a huge stroke of luck on the another (the hand holding half as many cookies as it should have been holding). We actually ended up with 1 leftover.
So there you have it. The Great Cookie Cat-ass-trophe of 2008. And in the end it was an excellent lesson learned…Cats are jerks.