Sometimes a cookie is more than a cookie
I am so lucky. I can stand in the middle of the lobby and random individuals begin to tell me their stories. Their stories are half the reason I find great pleasure being involved in this wondrous, chaotic place.
Today while replenishing the front table area where customers hand pick their choices and carry them to the counter, a woman walked up to me and said “ You are the owner. yes? I have a story to tell you. “ Of course I encouraged her to do so immediately.
It started with a holiday family baking tradition. Her now deceased Mother used to make an orange cookie during the holidays. It was a soft cookies with icing laced with the juice and zest of fresh oranges She remembered watching her mother make them for Christmas every year. After her mothers death she decided she would continue that baking tradition but there was no recipe. Not one of her seven siblings had a copy of the recipe either. Even the tattered recipe box she inherited from her mothers kitchen was void of that beloved orange cookie recipe.
She continued her tale and confessed that she had finally given up looking for it when last spring she came into the BonBonerie. Much to her great surprise right there on a shelf in the bakery case sat a tray of cookies that looked identical to her Mother’s elusive recipe.” We call them orange blossoms”, our counter staff told her. She asked for one, immediately took a bite in the lobby and started to cry. It was exactly like her Mother’s. She was told that the bakery only made them for a month or two in the spring, so she returned to buy them frequently while they lasted.
This particular story teller is an artist. Later that summer at an art show in Michigan she began a conversation with someone at the show, who noticed she was from Cincinnati. This fair goer had also lived in Cincinnati and somehow confided that years ago she had worked in the cookie department at the BonBonerie. Amazed, the artist shared her tale of the long lost orange cookie recipe that her Mother baked. The fair goer shared that she had brought that very recipe to the bakery. (Many individuals have brought their personal and family recipes to our repertoire, which we are always so grateful for). She agreed to email that recipe to the artist within the week.
Fast forward to Christmas that year where she surprised her siblings by making a batch of those beloved orange cookies. Each cookie apparently came imbued with their Mother’s memory and love. She said every sibling started to cry as they ate their cookie. I started to cry when she told me the story. I am always amazed at the joy that a simple cookie can evoke. Sometimes a cookie is more than a cookie.