Pinwheels, makes me think of little kids with spittle flying out of their over-puffed cheeks, blowing on shiny metallic plastic. And then it makes me think of a pastry confection that real almost only in my mind
My mother used to make pinwheel cookies. Pastry dough, measured, and cut into perfect squares. Then with precise cuts, and folds, she made pinwheels. With ground walnuts, apricot jam, and sugar in the center, baked, and then dusted with confectioner’s sugar, they were a beauty to see, as well as eat.
Memories of my mother making them are vague, I remember seeing them on the counter, waiting to be baked, as well as a faint whiff of baked nuts and pastry dough as I bit into them. I don’t know my mother as a woman who patchkes, my older sister remember this side of her, down to the ruler she used to measure the pastry squares. To me my mother will always be practical. Go to the bakery practical.
I always saw women who patchked as otherworldly. Who were these people the time and patience, and most of all, the wherewithal to make these things. Make things like wrap their own gifts like a department store, make Royal Icing cookies to rival the professional designs, make their own techina and tomato dip that tasted right and real. I was always in secret awe and envy of these women. Superwomen I called them.
And slowly, slowly, the longer I am married, I find myself becoming my own dream. Not because I chose to pursue it, but pressure and necessity brings out the best in me.
I make my own techina and tomato dip (the tomato dip is awesome, techina, not so, my husband still prefers Golden Taste). I wrap my own gifts, and while there’s a way to go, I’m not embarrassed of them. And then this past week – I succeeded fully in one endeavor. I created the pinwheels.
I called my mother and asked her for the recipe and instructions. And took what was a childhood memory for me, and passed it on to my own. They came out beautiful, and the person whose Shalom Zachor I sent them to, asked me how it was done – she had never seen something like it (that really made me feel like I was achieving Super status).
It’s empowering, to take a challenge, like a lack of financial resources and do something you never thought was in your lazy-self’s realm. My cape is on backorder, but my superpowers are here to stay.