Decorating Cookies

The year is 1991. Mike and I are caretaking for the first time at Bristol Bay Lodge. ‘Tis the season; the Dillingham public radio station plays holiday music, but we can’t get to the post office twenty miles away in Aleknagik because while the bay is frozen preventing us from taking the boat out, the main part of the lake is open due to relentless winds, so we can’t take the snow machines, either. We have cards and packages waiting for us, but we can’t get to them.

I want to make holiday cookies–ones that look like Christmas since that might be all the Christmas we get. Alas, we have no food coloring, no cookie press, no sprinkles or decorations, and no cookie cutters.


So we snip some aluminum, get out the soldering iron, and make cookie cutters.

It’s 2008. We still use those cookie cutters, though not very often because I’m not a huge fan of the kinds of cookies that use cutters. This year, however, Kiki magazine had a recipe for Polish Sugar Cookies, and I’ve been in a holiday baking/crafting mood, so bring on the cookie cutters, colored icing, sprinkles, paint brushes, and toothpicks.


“But my plaid cookie’s not done!” Mike protests after I snap the picture.
“That’s okay, a lot of them aren’t done. It looks fine checked.”
“But it’s supposed to be plaid.
“Fine. Finish it now.”


So he did.


Plaid tablecloth.
Plaid shirt.
Plaid cookie.

I didn’t wait for him to paint his hand.

Back in 1991, the lake did not freeze before Christmas; however, the caretaker of a lodge further north was a pilot. A couple of days before Christmas, he flew to Dillingham to pick up supplies. On his way home to his lodge, he stopped in Aleknagik and picked up mail for us and Val, a woman caretaking five miles upriver from us. He landed on the bay out front and delivered holiday gifts and mail in time for Christmas.

Santa doesn’t always drive a sleigh. Sometimes he flies a blue Supercub. We gave Santa a heap of cookies for thinking of us.

Categories: Personal

7 replies »

  1. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You have more will than any other three people I know. The cookie cutters are fabulous! The cookies are gorgeous and the plaid is wonderful.

  2. Those look fantastic! And Mike, the plaid cookie is YOU. Great job! Much better than the batch Jillian and I made up Sunday.

  3. Those cookies are true works of art, deserving their own pages in Kiki’s magazine. I was trying to pick out my favorite(s), but failed; they are all that splendid.

  4. I just showed Jessica and Joshua the cookies you made. Here’s Jessica’s comment: “I want them to come and make us cookies!”

  5. Those cookies are totally awesome, especially the plaid ones. I never had the patience for all that decorating – we just used food coloring to color the dough!