The last post talked about the struggle to clean up during and after the making of delectable treats. So on the final day before the holiday, we invited the Abromies into a sugar cookie making offering. But we decided that this offering would need to operate differently.

At breakfast (the name for our morning meeting) we noted that two of the Abromies had plans to open a bakery together someday. So we asked, what is necessary for a bakery to succeed? Yes, excellent baking. What else? Sanitary conditions. Yes. And what was needed to make great creations? Preparation. What else? A clean work area, which means cleaning as we go. And creativity! We decided to set a couple of temporary rules for those who wanted to participate: (1) one needed to participate throughout the entire cookie making process, from prep to final clean up, and (2) we would clean up along the way.

Because of time constraints, before the Abromies arrived that morning we helped out by first covering the table and scrubbing down the countertops. And we organized the ingredients for the cookies and icing mix. Then when it was time to begin, we took down the tape that was blocking entry into the kitchen for everyone to come in. The Abromies were eager to dive in, but we first had to wash our hands. The first of many times.

Then the Abromies went step by step. Steps such as pouring the ingredients into the mixing bowls. Softening butter, breaking eggs, and mixing ingredients. Cleaning the work area. Washing hands. Rolling and cutting the cookies. Cleaning the work area. Washing hands. Baking. Coloring the icing. Washing hands. Decorating the cookies. And cleaning some more. With plenty of breaks in between for taste testing outside.

It was a fun run. Importantly, the Abromies got to experience the joy of baking in a way that took care of other people and that took care of the space. Although cleaning up as we went slowed us down, it made the final experience better. And the Abromies will try to build off of it in their future bake sessions, even those that are impromptu.