When I was a little kid, my mom used to bake pies all the time, pies made totally from scratch. She would carefully mix the ingredients, turn the kneaded ball of dough onto the kitchen counter sprinkled with flour, and roll the dough into a thin circle with a rolling pin. It was a process requiring time and precision and waiting for the final product was hard to do with any amount of patience. For me, my favorite part of baking pies was not eating the pie itself. It was the excess, the dough cut from the edges once the pie was in the pie pan, before the crust was crimped to seal in the juices. You see, with a family of seven children, my mom never wasted one thing. She took that surplus dough, cut it into thin strips, sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar and baked it. We called them "pie dough cookies" and they were a favorite snack for as much of my early childhood as I can remember.
The older I get, the more it seems as if time just flies by and sometimes, it’s easy to feel as if I’m just wasting away my days. But it’s important to remember that true joy is in the smallest, simplest, most insignificant moments of everyday life. Things like sitting on the bleachers watching my grandson’s baseball game, grilling burgers with my kids, seeing a movie with a friend, or sitting quietly on the deck reading a book are some of life’s greatest pleasures.
Auguste Rodin, the French sculptor said “Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” I think that making memories with the people we love is one of the wisest, most important things we can do for ourselves. Even though it’s been over 40 years since I ate a pie dough cookie, that simple act performed by my mom remains one of my fondest childhood memories. I hope you can make some safe and happy memories of your own with the people you love most this Memorial Day Weekend!