Half Moon

When I was four years old my family moved from Manhattan to a tiny upstate town along the Hudson River. The town, looking back, was shabby and odd, but it had some really special things about it.

We rented a neat house with an amazing view of the water and a garden along one side.

It wasn’t a long walk down the hill roads to the boatyard where the Clearwater Sloop docked during the fall and held pumpkin festivals and made stone soup, with the help, of course, of all attendees who brought vegetables and seasonings to add throughout the day.

In town there was a small bookstore with a permanent collection of toys where little kids could play while their parents looked for books. The little barn that moo’d when the door opened. The little stage with a turntable and curtain so you could put on little doll productions.

And nearby, a bakery.

You know how memories never seem quite as strong on their own? But add a scent or a piece of music and suddenly you could be right there, at some specific point in your past?

There is a rare occasion when I remember exactly the feeling of standing in that little bakery. Picking out a half moon cookie.

It tasted exactly how the bakery smelled.

 

Last week, while we were waiting for our Chinese food order, we stopped in the grocersĀ  nextdoor to get a few things. While my husband ran after our laughing, running toddler, I wandered over to their bakery, where my father-in-law works nights, just to see what they had in their case. Not much at that time in the evening, but there was that smell.

That smell that five year old me encountered, picking out a half moon cookie, all those decades ago.

It’s magical what sense memory can do.

About a year ago, I started baking. Inspired by The Great British Baking Show, I decided I would try making things I never thought it would be possible for me to recreate.

Today, inspired by a tiny memory from what feels like a distant past, I made Half Moon Cookies.

 

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Who chokes up over a cookie?

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I guess I do.

 

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