Making half-moon cookies is generally a three-day process at our house.
My mother and I mix them up one day and put the bowl in the refrigerator. We bake them on a subsequent day and, on yet another day, we frost them.
Given the right crowd, though, it doesn’t take nearly that long for them to disappear.
When my aunt died recently, my mother decided we should make half-moon cookies for the funeral. My aunt liked them, as did members of her family. I pointed out that the church bazaar was scheduled for the day after the funeral. Maybe we should bake some cookies a week or so in advance and freeze them and then mix up and bake another batch closer to that weekend.
So that’s what we did.
The funeral was scheduled for a recent Friday morning. My mother and I frosted cookies the day before. My youngest sister arrived that night to attend the funeral and spend the weekend with us. On Friday, my next-younger sister came to pick us up and we loaded a large container of cookies and a silver tray into her car and all climbed in to head for the church in Jordanville. One of my cousins took the cookies and tray when we arrived and delivered it to the fellowship hall. We made our way into the church and found seats. It was just as well we arrived a bit early. There was standing room only by the time the service started. We spotted cousins and their kids and grandkids, relatives, neighbors and friends.
Many of the stories told were ones I hadn’t heard before — like the ones about her tractor driving days and about how she taught Sunday school using a flannel board to illustrate the lessons. A woman who had become a pastor talked about the impact those lessons had on her.
While I was standing in line for the buffet luncheon that followed the service, my cousin’s younger daughter came over to tell the people in line ahead of me that there were half-moon cookies and they should get them before they were all gone. The cookies on the tray were disappearing quickly, so my sister took some more out of the large container and set them out.
By the time we left for home, the cookies in the container were all gone.
The following day, my youngest sister and I headed for church with another large container full of half-moon cookies plus four jars of elderberry jelly. We planned to deliver the items to the baked goods table, look around at the vendors’ offerings and then run home to pick up my mother to have lunch at the church.
A couple of the women at one of the tables had long been fans of my mother’s half-moon cookies.
"We brought half-moons," we told them.
They wasted no time going to purchase their share. My sister and I visited the various tables and explored the gym, which serves as an annex to the church thrift store. By the time we walked back through the fellowship hall to head for the car, all of the half-moon cookies were gone. We took the empty container home with us.
A few days later my cousin called to say she had retrieved the platter we’d left at the church and would deliver it when she was in the neighborhood.
She also informed me that her husband ate the last half-moon cookie from the funeral. He had taken it home and eaten it there.
"He was very happy," she said.
Donna Thompson is the trends editor of the Times Telegram. Email her at email@example.com or call her at 315-866-2220.