The joy of the holidays is often expressed with food imagery. Consider these lines from merry songs:
- “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”
- “Hurrah for the fun, the pudding’s done, Hurrah for the pumpkin pie…”
- “Take a potato, pat pat pat. Roll it and make it flat flat flat. Fry it in a pan with fat fat fat, Chanukkah latkes just like that.”
Memories of warm, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth, flaking sugar cookies inspire salivation. Sugar cravings aside, Santa has nothing on Grandma, whose recipes fill the house with scintillating smells that leave grandchildren woozy with anticipation.
For those without baking relatives, there are professional bakers. Every town has its culinary hot spots and Denver is no exception. Taste test The Shoppe, located at 2103 East Colfax. Or Gateaux Pastries at 1160 Speer Boulevard. And don’t forget The Santa Fe Cookie Company. Such cookie shops- were they novels- would be nominated for National Book Awards.
However, all readers do not require culinary or literary genius. For some, “yummy” books are enough, as paychecks are slight and energy levels low. Why not pick up a book and a cookie and de-stress? Linking a taste experience with a literary one offers adventurous readers a fresh perspective on life.
Combine a mindless romance like Lori Wilde’s “The First Love Cookie Club” with a sugar cookie from Panera Bread. An unofficial taste test conducted by my twenty-something daughter and me rated these cookies palate-friendly, accessible and reasonably priced.
Bring a a holiday mystery and recipe book like Hannah Swensen’s “Sugar Cookie Murder” to The Corner Bakery Cafe, where sugar cookies may be hard to crack. (A clue? They melt when dipped in coffee.)
Sarah Addison Allen infused her fascinating novel “Sugar Queen” with magical realism, earning her a sugar cookie with icing. This New York Times Bestselling author adds flights of spiritual fantasy to her romantic recipe, while keeping basic story ingredients real. My daughter and I sampled such a frosted sugar cookie at Parker’s Nomelie Cupcakes.
Pairing story lines with satisfying taste delights takes the edge off holiday stress. Send the kids to grandmas to lick the cookie bowl and gift yourself this pleasure.
Or take the kids on a sugar cookie tasting adventure and gift them a nostalgic children’s book like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, who lives in an upside down house that always smells of cookies.