Tips & Ideas

Tips & Ideas


submitted by: Janell Carlson

Justin and I have known each other for over 19 years because we grew up next door to each other. Although we both fancied one another on the inside,
from the outside, it was merciless teasing back and forth. One fact that was known throughout the neighborhood, was that “Crash Carlson” (as many
referred to me due to my clumsy nature) could not cook anything without burning it. Not for lack of trying…….I tried everything, even “pre-packaged easy to cook” cookie dough….I ruined that too.

One day after attending Jr. High, High School and College together, Justin and I decided that we could no longer contain the feelings that we harbored
for each other. What was once teasing, began to make way for the love that was blooming inside each of our hearts. We have now been dating over 3 and 1/2 years.

Through the course of our friendship and courtship, Justin has become very familiar with my endless quest to surprise him with creative tokens of love,
at low cost. My creativity has spanned the list of random things, but I have NEVER attempted to cook anything since resigning to the fact that I
just can’t cook (not to mention that my cooking has brought on more humor to both of us, than romance).

One day, I was at the mall with a friend that is getting married and she wanted to check out Williams Sonoma as a registry possibility. From my
short history, as I am sure that you can tell….a cooking shop is definitely NOT on my list of favorites to visit. As she talked to sales people, I perused the isles. All of a sudden I spotted something that caused my creative side to flash an image in my mind. It was a tin can with each letter of the alphabet in 3 inch cookie cutters. My immediate thought was, I can’t do that, I can’t cook…..but, my curiosity won out and I purchased the cookie cutters.

I spent the next three days concentrating on baking and icing letters of the alphabet careful not to burn anything. Since St. Patrick’s Day was coming
up, and Justin being a firefighter usually works on holidays, I decided that each of the guys at the fire station needed their own green icing cookies.
I got together some flat pieces of cardboard and laid the cookies out on it so that the guys could read each of their names with ease. The cookies for
the fire station read “STATION 48”, “CAPTAIN ….” and each name. The shorter names each got a shamrock next to it. Justin’s message was on a
separate cardboard and said “JUSTIN – U R A DREAM COME TRUE, LUCKY ME” with Shamrocks all around.

Not knowing how they tasted, I nervously surprised the guys with their cookies. When I brought them into the Fire Station, one of the guys shouted
in jest “Hey Justin, I thought you said that she couldn’t cook?!?!” Others exclaimed “WOW Justin, your spoiled”, “I wish I could take a picture for my
wife to see!”. Within 5 minutes, the kitchen was swarming with guys looking for cookies. To this day, I feel that it wasn’t the guys who received the
gift, but I did. The pleasant response of the firemen and look of adoration from Justin was more than I could have hoped for.