The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
When I found out what this month's Daring Bakers Challenge was I was ecstatic. Here was a challenge I was going to be able to run circles around, do in my sleep, with one hand tied behind my back...you get my drift. Cut out cookies decorated with royal icing have been a bit of specialty of mine for awhile, so there was nothing new to learn here. Plus, I'm a sucker for detailed oriented projects. Yet the day of the challenge reveal I was still decorating my cookies, slowly I might add. I got them done in time, yes, but barely. I know I'm not the only Daring Baker doing it at the last minute, but sheesh I really thought this one would be a breeze. Next month maybe.
Mandy's rules on the challenge, besides using the recipe she provided for the cookies, was to make cookies that represented what September means to you. Sugar cookies in September, and what they mean to me? Huh? it took me awhile to figure out what September does mean to me, and also how to make that into a cookie.
September is perhaps my favourite month and time of year. I love the clear way you feel the season changing into the next and the noticeable chill in the air, while still being full of the blue skies and sunny days of summer. The light in September changes to some of the most photogenic of its kind and of course as the leaves begin their descent into winter the world still feels alive and full of abundance. As a regular shopper at the farmers markets, this time of year is full of excitement as the stalls are chock full of so many beautiful fruits and vegetables and there's a desperate feeling in the air to ear or preserve as much of it NOW!
But even given all of those reasons, they aren't the only things that September means to me anymore. I was on my bike on a glorious September day a few weeks ago, the chill had already come upon us and I even spotted some leaves changing. It was on this reflective sort of day that I realized that September is quite a meaningful month to me, even if I wasn't entirely aware of it. Its the month I lost one of the most influential and important people in my life. My best friend, Heather, left us on such a September day, 6 years ago. And it just so happens that these cookies were a favourite of hers. So with her in mind I made a special cookie just for her in a colour she was goners for. As perhaps my biggest fan and a passionate and joyful person, Heather would have been a frequent guest and commenter on this site, and I think would have weighed in on some important food issues regarding the truly greatest ketchup chip or the best time for black vs. red licorice. and while life does indeed move on, during this month of September I feel a twinge of melancholy that she wasn't here to be part of something so important to me. How excited she would have been to see my blog grow. But this site is also not about melancholy or sadness, but about fun and food and the joy that food brings to me and so many of you. These cookies are with her in mind, and that means her zest for the oh too short life she lived. So with her in mind I say, "eat a cookie!".