As I advance in age, I find myself realizing more and more often that my parents were right.
“Take a jacket,” they said. “It might get cold later.” It usually did. If it didn’t, I did.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Funny, it never seemed to cut down on doctor visits, but it was a healthy, convenient snack that would keep a kid occupied for a while.
“Clean your plate. There are children starving in China.” I’m pretty sure this is universal parent code for “I worked hard to make that, and now you’re going to eat it.” They never could name any of the starving children, so this line remained suspect until adulthood.
“They just don’t make things like they used to,” delivered with a deep sigh of longing for the long-lost days when people made things right.
Those very words passed my lips the other day before I could snatch them back. I must be turning into my mother. Still, I seem to be in possession of a newfangled defective cookie jar. It can’t be one of the good old ones, because this one clearly has a major flaw, in that it doesn’t hold cookies.
Perhaps a more accurate statement would be that it holds cookies just fine while you’re looking at it, but the minute you take your eyes off of it, cookies go missing. Surely the old-fashioned, made-to-last cookie jars didn’t have this problem.
It all started innocently enough when my darling hubby asked me to make cookies. He requested his favorites, oatmeal raisin. Of course, I would make him cookies. After all, he not only keeps us fed and under a roof, he supports my obsessive compulsive knitting disorder and yarn addiction.
Since I hadn’t made them for a while, I thought I’d look up a new recipe to try. Thanks to the amazing Internet, I found what I thought would be a sure winner. Happily, I set about mixing up the cookies, inhaling deeply as the aromas of cinnamon, oats, and vanilla filled the house.
When the first sheet came out of the oven, I called the kids to be taste testers. Odd, I thought. I thought there were a dozen cookies on the cooling rack. There were now eight. Maybe I’d better try one just to make sure there’s nothing wrong with them.
They seemed to taste good enough, but somehow they kept disappearing right off of the cooling racks. Careful counting before and after baking just didn’t match up with the number of cookies resting on my countertops.
The children were oddly quiet. I began to wonder if the house might possibly be haunted by an oatmeal loving ghost. I should probably try another one to see if I could taste any possible ghost-attracting ingredients. No, I think the cloves possibly made them ghost-proof.
When they were finally cool, I put them in my cookie jar. At the time, I thought it was a perfectly good one.
When I washed it out, I didn’t notice any obvious leaks. Still, leak it must, because within a few hours of filling it—and screwing on the lid—more than two thirds of the three dozen cookies I had put into it were simply gone. Missing. Poof, into thin air.
After posting a picture of the offending jar on social media, a friend was kind enough to offer to dispose of any defective cookies for me.
Another friend pointed out the large pores in my obviously defective jar. It must be time to have my eyes checked, since I completely missed seeing them before putting the cookies in. However, it did explain the phenomenon.
At first, I had simply assumed a chemical reaction in the recipe must have been responsible for the seeming disappearance of baked goods. That, in combination with my cookie jar, must have induced spontaneous cookievaporation.
I suppose that human-induced cookienesis is also possible, given the broad grins and cinnamon-scented breath of my family.
I suppose that aliens might have attempted cookieportation—based on the guess of yet another friend— but since they have not yet recognized me as the cookie queen of the known universe, I doubt that.
I also doubt the Cookie Monster took them, due to the lack of accompanying Snuffleupaguses—the resident Big Bird is safely in the coop, and I’m the Grouch.
So, you see, folks, they just don’t make things like they used to.
If I had a properly made cookie jar, none of this would have happened. Check your belongings for possible defects, and be sure to buy American. Avoid reactions like this in your own home.
Shana Thornhill lives on farm near Marion. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.