The Loving Touch
This is picture of what makes going to my mother-in-law's so wonderful. As you see there are three types of "cookies " or "buscuits" here: meringue on top; brownie to the left and shortbread to the right. (A real United Nations picture!).
They are all homemade and available after the dessert. Yes, not only does she make a homemade dessert, she then pulls out at least one of these babies and serves them with the dessert and the coffee. (Yep, everytime.) It's that loving touch: homemade sweets to finish off the meal. Just when you think that there's nothing else, the meal's over, she pulls something like this out of the cupboard. She just always has some on hand.
In reality it's not much. It doesn't take that long to whip up a batch of meringues and let them bake while you go off to do something else (like blog or shoot e-mails back and forth with your girlfriend while sipping the last dredges of your morning coffee that is stale and cold by now).
It's a little extra time that says to guests, "I care." And it always makes you, the guest, feel great. Even for my husband and his sisters, who are used to her doing these little added touches, they still look for and forward to finding these family traditional treats. (OK the brownies were introduced after my arrival in the family and I don't where the shortbread came from.)
You can imagine that my children love going to her house, too, because they'll snoop around looking for some homemade cookies hidden in a cupboard. They know they get to indulge at snacktime while we wait until after the meal. They ask her if they can take some home with them. They come back again and again for another serving.
I've learned (from her) that it's the small things, the little loving touches that make the difference. Some homemade biscuits instead of "store bought" are always a treat. Sure you could say that it would grow old after a while or that we'd get used to it. But we don't, not in a bad way. We don't expect the extra work, we simply savor it each and every time.
Now I've got to get into the kitchen and bake up some of my Chocolate Cherry Brownies for my children's snack after school! check back for this recipe and for Meringue Cookies.