Unlike her mother, one of Pia’s greatest passions is cooking. It combines many of her favorite things into one pastime. She has her own set of cooking utensils (she is a bit obsessed with things being ‘hers’ and not the family’s, I don’t know what this is about and I’m not sure I want to know), she gets to get very dirty, she gets to make an enormous mess, she gets to create things, and she gets to do dishes afterwards (which is really just another form of mess-making the way she does it). Mostly I love this passion of hers, but she very, very rarely wants to follow a recipe and this results in lots of ‘creations’ that are completely and totally inedible. But, who needs things to be edible when it is Christmas and everything under the sun can be turned into ornaments? Hurray!!
Pia made a lovely dough (“what am I making mama?”) which was some combination of flour, salt, cinnamon, powdered sugar, water, and lord knows what else, but it was kneadable and cut out-able and baked up into rocks. So we cut out shapes… the usual beheaded gingerbread men and kangaroo birds and garlic bulbs… and baked away. There is a certain beauty in cooking for crafting instead of consuming. All rules can be thrown out the window. Bake at 350? For 48 minutes? Sounds good to me! Whatever!
After Pia’s culinary art (can we apply the term culinary to items that are not intended to be eaten but are made with edible ingredients?) came out of the oven we let them cool and busted out the paints. The results now hang proudly on our tree.
The last one is my favorite. A simple, unpainted quail kangaroo with a bunny tail. A true symbol of Christmas.