Today was COOKIE DAY! Early in Advent, I asked each person in my family what kind of Christmas cookie they would most like to have. I made a list and last night, at about 10:00pm, John and I went to the store to pick up the ingredients. Our cart looked like baker’s heaven – flour, sugar, brown sugar, shortening, butter, cream cheese, chocolate kisses, milk, buttermilk, peanut butter. I didn’t want any excuse to stop me from baking cookies today.
It was really important for me to regain the holiday tradition of baking cookies. Last year, I was struggling to come to terms with my reduced vision and I thought that I was unable to bake. Measuring seemed impossible. Even searching my cupboard for the ingredients was just overwhelming. So, I did not bake any cookies. None. We contented ourselves with the cookies that people gave us and the ones we bought at the store. Throughout this year, I have been working on coping skills, so that I can continue to do the things I love even with low vision. One of those things is baking Christmas cookies. I worked with a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist from ABVI earlier in the year and she really helped me to believe that nothing is impossible, that all I needed were a few tools and some practice. She even provided some of the tools for me – special measuring cups and baking aids. Today, I put her words to the test.
I pulled out all the ingredients I would need. I thought about the order in which I should prepare the holiday treats. Ben volunteered to help me out in the kitchen. And the baking began. Today, we made six different kinds of cookies and treats. We made white chocolate pretzel candies, peppermint bark, peanut butter kisses, kolach, gingerbread men (John piped the icing), and finished up with a double batch of no-bake chocolate cookies. Whew! The only cookies on my list that didn’t get made are Cut-Out Sugar Cookies. I am hoping to have that dough chilling in the refrigerator by the time I go to bed tonight. What a fantastic day. I feel wonderful. I feel renewed. I feel empowered to believe that I CAN do anything.
Okay, I needed a little help. Ben had to read a few small print things to me and help me tell the vanilla extract from the peppermint by reading (although I could have distinguished between them by smell). I needed the confidence-booster of knowing that John was nearby, in case I needed help or something went wrong. I realize that it would be helpful to rewrite some recipes in LARGE PRINT before next Christmas. But I did it! I made Christmas cookies!
It feels like a miracle to regain something that I thought was lost forever, even something as simple as baking cookies. I am so thankful that there was someone to teach me that losing vision does not mean missing out on doing the things I love. It just means learning to do things in a different way. My family has been so loving and supportive of me this past year as I have struggled to come to terms with my reduced vision. I feel so amazingly great that I can give back to them – a delicious gift of all their favorite Christmas treats.