December 17, 2012

Cookie baking birthday celebration was an event for everywoman

Brigitte is celebrating her
76th birthday.

Standing in the lobby of Liaison Kitchener, a klatch of women around Susanne Mikler erupted into laughter. Some of the two dozen women at her Annual Festive Cookie Bake were long-time acquaintances of her family, here to help celebrate her mother Brigitte's birthday. Some were new to the event, and to her lively sense of humour.

From the minute they stepped inside the door though, their intent was clear: have fun in the kitchen, sip some wine, share some laughs with sisters, daughters, girlfriends. Their tables were all set up ahead of time - mixer ready, recipes printed, ingredients measured. Each team worked up a different variety of cookies – chocolate-almond crackles, cherry cheesecake cookies, glitter balls - enough cookies, it seemed, to feed an entire neighbourhood.

Suzanne reminisced with old friends and got acquainted with new ones, topping up wine glasses as she made her way around the room. Like the serenity of sunrise disappearing with the awakening city, the quiet order of the early morning slipped into a cacophony of banter and laughter by the time the last of the batter hit the baking pans.

Liaison students and grads lent a hand, making sure everything made it into the oven and, more importantly, out again.  As the ladies made their way into the dining room for lunch, their support team in the kitchen finished up, cleaned up and packed up. A mixed tin of cookies was each baker-for-the-day’s reward. 

What started out as an event to honor one woman's journey is evolving into support for women in the larger community. In the past, the entry fee for the Cookie Bake covered the cost of supplies and lunch. This year, though, the bakers paid a little more and brought a non-perishable food item too: At Chef Elaina's request donations and proceeds went to food banks. The extra baking was destined for Anselma House (a refuge for mothers and children at risk) so they could have something to enjoy through the holidays. 

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