Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wondrous Things Get Their Start in the Kitchen

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wondrous Things Get Their Start in the Kitchen

Article excerpt

WITH A PANG of Working Mother's Guilt - that double-pronged ice pick to the heart - I discovered my Mother's Day gift from my 4-year-old, Rosemary, this morning. It was crammed in her backpack along with a reminder about her preschool's ice cream social two weeks past, a blue sweat shirt with gum in the zipper, leaf crumbs and three dog-eared Pogs.

How could I have overlooked it? A truly attentive working mother (flog, flog, double-flog) checks her kids' backpacks every day after school, right before they sit down to cookies and milk. Not only don't I check the backpacks, I am not the adult at home when my kids get out of school. A truly organized working mother (flog, flog, triple-flog) does not have scrambled brains resulting from her obligations to a full-time job, a full-time family and several part-time carpools.

Excuses, excuses. I can't blame my negligence on my job or motherhood. The truth is that Rosemary is the youngest of the four kids who live in my household. I would never EVER have forgotten to check the contents of the firstborn's backpack; I still have every one of the firstborn's baby teeth, every scrap of artwork she made since she was old enough to hold a fat crayon in her fist.

That, however, was 10 years, two marriages, three kids and thousands of backpack inspections ago. For Lamb No. 4, it is sometimes all I can do to check the contents of her bed at night. If I can locate a small, warm body amid the jumble of dolls, stuffed rabbits and tangled bedcovers, I am content.

Rosemary's gift this Mother's Day was a cookbook wrapped in crumpled pink tissue paper and three colors of pastel ribbon. Inside its clear plastic covers were a baker's dozen recipes, illustrated and signed in wobbly capital letters.

Other mothers tell me this is a standard preschool Mother's Day project, a parent-pleasing classic on a par with the gilded macaroni collage and the plaster of Paris handprint. But it was a first for me, and a source of delight and reassurance.

Naturally, I turned first to Rosemary's Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1 Whole load of flour

2 eggs

Pretty much sugar

Couple drops of salt

All of the chocolate chips

The recipe is illustrated with a drawing that, depending on which way you turn it, bears a striking resemblance to either a chocolate chip cookie or me on a bad hair day. …

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