Guests Mean Baked Goods… And Guests

Helaine's baked goods

Guests are arriving tomorrow. My sister and brother-in-law are flying in from the ‘burbs of Milwaukee. Brutal winter. We’ll reintroduce them to the Sun.

Their trip from Milwaukee to Orange County will take nine plus hours.

I’ve done my part. I’ve been to the store to pick up my sister’s favorite goodies.

Helaine has been baking. Oh, my. I was skinny when Helaine and I met.

There are baked delights so delicious and unhealthy they can only be baked to convince a recalcitrant boy not to be scared of you. I don’t get those anymore.

“I don’t think these came out right,” Helaine offered as I walked into the kitchen earlier today.

I’ve heard this before. She’s so wrong.

Pastry. I heard the word “almond” float by. Slender, twisted, pale in color. I took a bite. Flaky. Oh. My. God. Nirvana.

I offered to take them off her hands, no questions asked.

Also appearing on tonight’s show… chocolate chip and thumbprint cookies. Both killer.

The cool thing about Helaine’s baking is how much she enjoys it and how good she is at it. Where is my 21 year old metabolism when I need it?

Beside eating, we plan on showing Jeff and Trudi around. It’s a nice place and we have access to the Sun.

No Place Like Home


Stef and Roxie just arrived. Our little family is together in the OC for a few days.

Even if you didn’t know Stef was expected, you’d know something was up based on the state of the kitchen this afternoon. Every pot was out. The sink was full. The aroma of fresh food was everywhere.

Homemade soup tonight. Pasta with a homemade sauce too. This is the good life.

We brought homemade cookies to our neighbors yesterday. Today they reciprocated. No wonder people complain about Christmas weight gain.

I was skinny when Helaine and I first met. Consider me living proof of her expertise in the kitchen.

Last year was tumultuous for us, culminating in a 2600+ mile move. Things have started to calm down. Home cooking and baking are signs of stability.

She’s Helaine’s Child

When she lived here Stef needed a map to find the kitchen. It’s been established beyond a reasonable doubt she didn’t know where the sink or dishwasher were nor the purpose of either.

My phone rang as I was leaving the station tonight. It was Stef with cookies baking in the oven. Roxie was supervising.

When she lived here Stef needed a map to find the kitchen. It’s been established beyond a reasonable doubt she didn’t know where the sink or dishwasher were nor the purpose of either.

That was then, this is now.

She’s seeing people tomorrow night. Tonight it’s bake to impress.

Butter cookies with raspberry jam centers were rising in her kitchen at the base of the Hollywood Hills. She will impress! Even I was tempted to drive to Hollywood Blvd. for a taste!

It’s interesting to see how as Stef gets older traits from Helaine and me (mostly Helaine), well hidden during the tumult of her teen years, are beginning to show.

Sorry Stef, you’re powerless to stop this. They’re in full bloom now. Baking cookies is something you do because it was something Helaine did. You’re Helaine’s child! Nothing wrong with that.

At one point the timer on her oven began to beep. This is intense work performed with surgical precision. The cookies needed her attention. Stef removed the baking tin. The clock continued to wail.

“Hey, MacGyver, defuse the bomb,” I begged hoping she’d silence this ‘successfully designed to annoy’ noise.

We spent most of my ride home chatting as she baked batch-after-batch and Roxie looked on.

“Roxie’s not sure what’s going on,” Stef said.

No, Roxie knows. I’d be attentive around that scent too!

It’s a good night to be a dad. It’s a good night to be Geoff.

Whomever gets those cookies had better appreciate them.