in December Jennifer emailed me, asking if i could do a cookie decorating demonstration for the Glen Ellyn Newcomers, "a social organization for women who are new to the area" who were having a holiday cookie exchange. awesome, i thought. after kids, suburban women are my biggest fans. i read on: Jennifer had already planned on another baker, but she had to cancel for health reasons, and now it was a scramble to replace her. [related: i once asked my facebook friends who knew me back in the day, what they thought i would have become upon growing up. almost universally they agreed, something with art and/or teaching. (Spock eyebrow)]
i inquired of details, we spoke on the phone, and shazam, the following week found me at Drury Design, unloading my sprinkles and tools and example cookies (left) in a model kitchen that looked like a Food Network set, from a box that previously held generic firelogs. i don't travel with my tools, i was at a loss for a neat little rolling plastic organizer thing. (so i walk into a room full of well-accessorized ladies with my log box and lime-green low-top Chuck Taylors looking like amateur-hour. yet confident in how i would wield the box's contents, so i felt just fine. c'mon, chef Batali wears orange Crocs...) i set up in one kitchen while they went over agendas and minutes in the other. then they filed in around the counter, i was introduced, and for the first 10 seconds i was the ill-prepared 7th grade spaz with a book report to present, then i picked up the icing and was instantly zen-master cookie teacher.
the rest was informal Q&A about my cookie past, tips and tricks, awesome adventures, etc., all while demonstrating flooding dots, piping lines, and fun with colored sanding sugar. there was a lovely moment when i piped green dots, then switched to red, and when i shook off the loose sugar to reveal 2 colors, there was a collective "ooooooh." i always get a kick out of the perception that this is part magic. (it is!) then i filled a few more bags and let the ladies try their own.
my big "oops" for the evening, and there just had to be one, was that because of time, i had to make the icing the night before so i could grab it from the fridge after work and take it straight to the design store. problem is, that lets the icing settle a little. imagine a whipped foam losing it's foaminess. that and the warm room and the warm hands handling the piping bags, and before long we were piping with pink and green soup. but everyone was a good sport, gave it a try, had fun, and hopefully gave their own batch a try at home. to the left are some of our masterpieces. i would absolutely teach cookie decorating again. but i would have a lesson plan, and the aforementioned nifty means to transport the supplies. but i bet i'll still wear my green sneakers.
i asked Jennifer how she found me--she said Google. Blogger is part of Google so a search with IL-cookie-decorating-related keywords lands this blog not too far from the top of the search results. so how often are my cookies viewed? the counter on the blog is set to count individual website visits, but since Blogger changed its dashboard layout, i can also see a count of separate page views. over 5000 people have visited, but those people have lingered and browsed around, and the page view count is nearly at 8800. (!!!) i thank every single one of you for stopping by. i have immensely enjoyed delighting your eyes with cookie stylings. if you have a second, please take my mini-survey (to the right), and tell your friends to visit (especially if your friends work in bakeries) and if you're a new gal in Glen Ellyn, click that Newcomers link at the top. then, stop back for clocks, comics, cows, purses, hearts, plaid, houseplants, and whatever i come up with for the office this month. suggestions welcome. :)