Teaching Year 10
It has been a long-standing tradition for me to fix computers in exchange for food. My favourite payment comes in the form of homemade cookies. One year, new computers at school had kept me particularly busy, and I was getting batches of homemade cookies from various teachers several times a month. I owe a special debt of gratitude to our Mac server for this.
Two of my grade six girls had noticed that teachers were giving me cookies, and they asked why I was so lucky. I explained that I spent extra time helping them and that they were repaying my helpfulness with the generous gift of cookies. The two girls said a quick goodbye and whispered all the way back to the coatroom. The next day, a Friday, one of the girls casually slipped this question into the conversation: “Mr. Martin, do you like gingersnaps?”
Being somewhat of a cookie connoisseur, I replied that I was quite fond of gingersnaps and the two girls left again, whispering to each other. A weekend surprise was in the making.
Monday came, and the two girls hung around after school, after everyone had left. Smiling and pleased as punch they presented me with a container with 10 white cookies in it. “We made you cookies,” the one said, “because you help us with the computers all the time too!”
I was touched, really, and I thanked them profusely for their generosity. I was about to bite into one when the other girl added, “we made them because we know you like gingersnaps. We found the recipe on the Internet!”
This caused a pause on my part. I think I mentioned that I am somewhat of a cookie connoisseur. I had never encountered a white gingersnap before. “Gingersnaps?” I asked.
They nodded, their faces showing their anticipation. “I sure hope you like them!” they both said.
I bit into the edge of the cookie. It was tasty, yet bland. It had none of the flavor that you would associated with a gingersnap.
“Tasty,” I said, much to the relief of the two young bakers.
“Oh, good. We worried you weren’t going to like them. We didn’t have all of the ingredients we needed.”
“Not enough ginger,” added the other.
“Ah!” I said, confident that I was eating Gingerless “snaps”, I took a larger bite of the cookie. I am a bachelor after all, and we are known for our particularly strong stomachs. Bland, but made with love and kindness, the kind of thing that makes any cookie edible.
“So we doubled up on another ingredient.”
I had by now popped the entire cookie into my mouth and was chewing when I felt a little explosion of scent pop out my nose. I had bitten into a clove. A whole clove. My sinuses were clearing and my eyes were watering.
“Extra cloves,” the other lady explained.
Gingerless snaps with extra whole cloves. But made with love and care. I smiled.
“They kind of explode in your mouth,” said one girl helpfully.
They were so happy that I was enjoying their cookies. So I did what any guy would do. I ate each one. . . . gingerly.