A cookie jar. It was customary kitchen décor in the days of my youth.
The ceramic blue-skirted Dutch girl cookie jar that sat on our kitchen counter never turned away a family member’s outstretched hand. The hand may have been large or small, clean as new-fallen snow or dirt-kissed from a hard afternoon at play. It didn’t matter to her. She welcomed them all!
Made-from-the-heart gifts of love filled the hollowed out circumference from within her boundaries. By the single or by the handful, the sweet circular homemade treats which she guarded often served as the “Welcome Home” greeting that accompanied a loving hug and “How was your day?” from Mom.
Dear Readers, a variety of comforting aromas wafted into our farm kitchen when the lid was removed. Mmmm! Was that chocolate I smelled? Yes, many weeks it was. Yet lightly browned crumbs holding fragrant cinnamon and cloves or child-favorite peanut butter played house inside her home, too.
A Place of Honor
She added a spot of color to our red Formica kitchen counter top. Her place of honor rarely changed all the days of my youth.
At one point, however, I felt she needed the aid of a “cousin.” Perchance it was when my junior-sized cookie-baking hands were added to the consortium of bakers in our family. With three bakers filling the cookie jar, our Dutch girl overflowed with yum and sought help.
Mom’s birthday was upcoming—a perfect time to add a “cousin” to the Dutch girl’s family!
Limited knowledge of cookie-jar retailers confined my shopping to one store–the gift shop in the lower level of a corner drugstore in Capital City, North Dakota. Since the local bank guarded earnings from the sale of my 4-H livestock, I only had a few greenbacks and silver coins in my “pocketbook,” as my Grandma called it, that were rationed over months on end for childhood “necessities.”
There I stood in narrow aisles, sandwiched between crowded displays of gifts. I was the sole customer. As the clock silently ticked off minutes during open-evening hours, my eyes scanned cleanly dusted glass shelves that lined the wall’s perimeter. There were gifts of every kind: beautiful carnival glass that beckoned with dazzling rainbow colors, copper wall appointments that would bring an updated decorative spin to someone’s living area, and an arsenal of kitchen accessories—enough to enlighten the creativity and usefulness in any homemaker’s dream kitchen.
My eyes were intent on discovering the perfect Dutch girl’s “cousin.” Was she hiding within my midst?
A Sweet Sight
As I was about ready to forlornly walk up the basement steps, I caught sight of her! Oh, her heredity didn’t include wooden shoes and tulips, Dear Readers. But that was okay! Her cheery upturned lips, rosy pink cheeks, light blonde hair, and cavernous unfilled tummy more than compensated for a wooden-shoe-clad “cousin.” This was gift perfection in my young mind! And I had exactly the amount of money requested by the white hanging price tag.
Even though the new girl’s colorful features were a little out-of-sorts with interior design protocol, Mom proudly displayed her gift in a spot next to the aged Dutch-girl. She became part of the decorative cookie storage work force for years and years.
The sands of time have brought change to the role of the cookie jar. More will be found sitting empty on shelves in consignment stores or antique shops rather than sitting full of homemade treats in today’s contemporary kitchen. Miss NiNi hopes that the I-made-this-just-for-you love associated with a full cookie jar has not been relegated to shelves of antique-dom, too.
Dear Readers, your kitchen counter might not hold a simple Dutch girl cookie jar, but Miss NiNi does know where you can find cookies whose tastes reflect the comforting sweet images of your past.
Check out Miss NiNi’s “comfort cookies” at Miss NiNi’s Desserterie or online at missnini.com. With one bite, you will be soothed with the love that only homemade cookies can bring.