Since I haven't cooked much since being here I will rewind to a Friday right before the "Holiday Rush" began.
So many of us get wrapped up in the rush, and how we're going to get this and that, how will we get where we are going, and how soon will we get there (which was my big worry). Yes, these things may be forefront in our minds, but take a moment to shut it off and think. Unfortunately, some who read this may be jaded enough to write this off as being cliche, but it is good to be reminded that the Christmas season should not be one big commercial about what we can get out of it, but what we can give, and who we can give to. It is even better to realize that not everyone gets to gather with family, in a warm home. Some people don't have a "Merry Little Christmas" or any kind of warm holiday. Those of us who are in more fortunate situations (even if we only have a little more ourselves) should not only be thankful, but we should try to ease the burden, or even bring a little cheer to those who don't have any.
On the Friday before I left: My amazing friend, Crystal, (from The Mum Life) had invited me over to bake cookies with her (and a few others) for the parents and staff of the Pediatric Acute Care Department of UVA. We also made cards for the children who are patients there. These people who spent Christmas in the hospital, staff members working through Christmas, children who are ill, and parents who are worried, were alone for the most wonderful time of the year. Nothing quite takes the chill out of spending Christmas in the hospital, but we could at least try! Crystal came up with the idea and got us (well me anyway, I may have been the only one hustling and bustling) to stop our hustle and bustle for a few hours and work on the cookies and the cards. We ended up with about 16 dozen cookies and 37 cards; a small token of our love and our wishes for their well being. We hope to have brought these people a bit of warmth and cheer in their circumstances and we wish each precious patient a quick recovery.
On to the cookies: Crystal surprised me. She said that she was going to bake Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies with no sugar added applesauce.
I am posting pictures here but you can find the recipe here on Crystal's blog!