It’s comforting to know that a plate of cookies holds the same universal message. When one looks down and sees hands extending homemade goodies piled high, generally the feeling received is one of warmth, kindness, and friendship. After working some serious overtime hours in the kitchen during Christmas, my mom and I would always create plates of assorted holiday treats and go door-to-door passing them out to our neighbors and friends. Upon hearing our knock, the door would open, smiles exchanged, invitations inquired, and conversations shared. Hearts were blessed and stomachs tastefully filled.
Would I have gone door-to-door without the plate of cookies? Most likely not. See, I have this strange fear of being received empty handed. It’s as if I need an excuse or peace offering, something to hide behind. A reason to be standing outside your door other than “Hi, will you ask me inside so we can connect and get to know each other better?” Yeah. Not so much.
So, I bake cookies and present them as my plead for friendship. It’s like a secret password. A magical spell. I have yet to have the door slammed in my face when holding this symbolic offering. Really-who can turn down cookies? Well, I know Americans can’t. Time to test it out on the Turks!
With the confidence sourced from our freshly baked ginger cookies, my roommates and I climbed to the 3rd level of our apartment complex, took a deep breath, and knocked. Will it work? Thankfully, the traditional plate of cookies powerfully transcends time and culture; not only did 3rd floor accept our gift, but 2nd floor did as well! We were invited inside for tea and conversation with our Turkish neighbors!
Three hours later, we scaled back down to our 1st floor dwelling with happy hearts and new friends. Ironically, we didn’t even leave empty handed. On the plate where the ginger cookies used to be, Turkish treats now resided! Never will I doubt the power of a cookie plate. We emptied it only to have it be filled. Hmmm. Do I sense a metaphor here?