What goes around comes around ...
Published: November 22, 2010
With a nod to children's author Laura Numeroff:
When you give a neighbor a plate of cookies, she’ll probably give some to her family. If her family likes them, chances are she will ask you for the recipe. Then she might make some too.
When she bakes her own batch of cookies, it’s likely she will give some to another neighbor, who will share them with her family, who will probably request tall glasses of milk to go with their cookies. After she finishes pouring the milk, she will probably call and ask for the recipe too.
When these neighbors get orders to other assignments, possibly they’ll take the recipe with them. After unpacking their mixers, pans and spatulas, they might make plates of cookies for their new neighbors who will then get busy pouring milk and asking for the recipe too.
When they ask for the recipe, these neighbors might ask each other more questions, like “How old are your children?” and “Who’s your dentist?” and “Want to come over for coffee?”
If the answer to the last question is “Yes,” then it’s likely someone will bake cookies to go with the coffee.
If you repeat this process many times, in many places, with enough military friends, your recipe could travel around the world, even to places you’ve never been.
Then one day, years later when your oldest son is far from home – across the ocean, in fact – someone whose mother got the recipe from you might just show up at your son’s door with a plate of cookies – for his birthday.
At least, that’s what happened to me.
When I wrote about baking pumpkin cookies and searching for canned pumpkin in October, I received messages from as far away as Pearl Harbor and Dubai. Some were about the search for pumpkin, but most were about the cookie recipe, which I’ve shared countless times over three decades.
Here’s a taste:
Linny in Nebraska: “I tripled the recipe and made cookies for the neighbors. Everyone loved them and asked for the recipe. Thanks for sharing your fall tradition with us.”
Linny’s daughter Gwynne in Virginia posted a picture of her cookies on her Facebook page.
Leslie in London: “Making the cookies today.”
Nancy in Louisiana: “The pumpkin cookie recipe is going international! Friends I shared with wanted the recipe too. One friend said they were so good I could sell them, but I only bake for love not money!”
Dawn in Germany: “Made your pumpkin cookies for my stairwell today. Yummmm-o!”
Joanne in Korea: “We were talking about cookies at work, and mentioned that I had seen a pumpkin cookie recipe … I am headed to the commissary to get the ingredients to bake pumpkin cookies this weekend for my staff!”
Sheila in Georgia: “I am cooking them now …”
Vickey in Germany: “I've heard so much about these pumpkin cookies that I'd like to try them also. If you would like to pass along the recipe I'd be a very happy gal!”
Joel in San Antonio, Texas: “Forget the recipe, can you drop some by my house?”
College son in Waco, Texas: “Send cookies.”
Sad mom in Stuttgart, Germany: “If I mailed these cookies you’d have to eat them out of the box with a spoon.”
Dana, also in Waco, Texas: “YAY!!! I am going to make some for your son!”
Like I said, when you give a neighbor a plate of cookies, you never know where they might turn up.