WHEN MAMA STARTS BAKING COOKIES, #6 AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD

When mama gets out her yellow bowl,

and her sturdy wooden spoon,

She sets out butter and some eggs,

and a can of cinnamon.

I watch as she finds raisins and

a bottle of molasses,

They she gets out her rolling pin,

and she never even asks us,

’cause she knows we all love cookies

and the cookie crock needs fillin’,

I help her cream sugar, eggs, and butter,

and don’t do any spillin’;

From the Hoosier cupboard comes

the Watkin’s bottle of the flavoring,

My mouth begins a-watering,

In wild anticipation;

Then ma takes out her receipt book,

the one she writes inside,

with only just her best receipts,

the ones she serves with pride;

I know she knows it all by heart,

but she says it wouldn’t do

to forget a single thing,

and this I know is true;

I watch as flour, soda, salt,

go in the yellow bowl,

and when the bits of dough have baked,

I know she’s reached her goal.

While the spicy cookies cool

on mama’s wooden table,

I help her clean the kitchen up,

As well as I am able.

from the icebox, mama brings out milk

and pours us each a glass,

And asks do I want to taste

the little cakes?

I thought she’d never ask!

Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted June, 2010,
Updated September 4, 2018

Sandy’s food note: see also Mama’s Old Receipt Book

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