Guest Blog Post from Kelly Q.: Kindergarten Celebration, Sugar Cookies and Chicks
It’s great to be “back on the blog”! I am looking forward to making some of the delicious recipes in the cookbook during the quickly approaching summer break with my kiddos. My co-worker and church friend, Stephanie S, once said that baking/cooking with her kids was a great way to bond with them, and I couldn’t agree more!
You are probably wondering what kindergarten celebration, sugar cookies and chicks have in common. My daughter had her kindergarten celebration last night from Immanuel Lutheran School. We were asked to bring some cookies for the simple reception in the church hall afterwards and it was a good excuse to try out the sugar cookie recipe. As I was mixing the batter and rolling it out on a cutting board, I got the idea to cut the dough out in the shape of chicks. Recently, my daughter ‘s class hatched 3 eggs in their incubator and we had a “chick sleepover” with Blackie, pictured below.
I had new-found admiration for her teacher, Nancy Jahnke, who managed to keep these 3 chicks alive, cages clean and even arranged an elaborate “pretend field trip” to the Pacific Ocean last week!
Nancy will be retiring at the end of the week after many years of teaching in public and Lutheran schools. To say that she is a treasure and a testimony to the power of faith would be an understatement. One of the kinders said it best as he belted out, “We love you Mrs. J!!” after she was presented with some lovely parting gifts from the class. I doubt that it was the high pollen count that brought tears to many eyes as she came to the mic and thanked us for sharing our children this past year. I feel blessed beyond belief that both of my children were in her class these past 2 years.
Yes, I was also brought to tears as I saw my baby finishing kindergarten. How could this be as I am feeling younger every day?! Well, I took a (reality) trip down memory lane thinking back on my own kindergarten experiences. I pulled out my Moran Family History book and found an article from the Scranton Times about a Graduation Trio I almost forgot about–my mother, father and myself! My parents received their Masters of Education degree the same day I graduated from Kindergarten. My kindergarten teacher, Sister Lois Buckley, was kind enough to change the time so my family could attend both ceremonies. Much to my surprise, this happened almost exactly 40 years to the day of Mary Kate’s kindergarten celebration!
I love the term “celebration” instead of “graduation” Immanuel uses. It is recognizes this important rite of passage but not elevating it to the status of high school or college commencement. I can’t fathom how my parents managed to complete their graduate studies, thesis, work full time and care for a 3 and 5 year old. A well meaning relative suggested they forgo their commencement ceremony to attend mine. I am grateful Sister Lois made it possible for them to celebrate the fruits of their labor and enjoy watching their kinder also!
Sugar Cookie “chicks”
Here is the dough, quite stiff. Hand-held blender worked great for liquid ingredients but it was all arm strength when it came to adding dry ingredients.
I will confess that despite being the “queen of modification,” I only made one small change to substitute butter for shortening. My food science courses taught me that modification of fat and sugar ingredients can affect browning and texture. My children have taught me that unless it tastes as good as the free one they get from the bakery counter, I’ll be stuck eating these cookies alone! Knowing I didn’t have time for a do-over yesterday, I decided to just make one conservative change.
Shirley Z, a lovely lady who does fabulous Bible Challenges for VBS, contributed this recipe on page 102. She suggests Christmas shapes, which would be fun to do for a holiday cookie exchange. Mary Kate and I agreed on yellow food coloring in honor of another one of their chicks “Goldie.” She iced and put sprinkles on them before heading off to school this morning. We still have some left to share with friends at an end of the year picnic.