Fantasy Cookie Swap

I tap the keys of my computer, waiting for inspiration. You see my muse, that sniveling little coward, has forsaken me for the party scene this Holiday Season. I am about to give it all up, and apply to be a Santa helper when suddenly the phone rings.
It’s Little Red Riding Hood on her cell phone, parked in my driveway with several of her girlfriends….and suddenly I remember. I flip my computer closed and go out to see for myself.
There they are waiting for me. Miss Piggy just off her second European tour and anxious for a little R&R is seated in the front with Little Red Riding Hood. Betty Boop looking totally curvaceous in a skin-tight body suit is seated in the back seat. I hear the excited screech of Dora the Explorer, her perky face grinning at me through the glass of the rear seat window. Last but not least, Carmen Sandiego, her hat tilted just so, her body glowing after all the radiation from the body scanners done in all the airports she’d been through over the past months, is sitting next to Dora.

 It’s almost Christmas and I’d forgotten all about our annual cookie swap.

These gals are just about the best friends I have. My best friends for life.

We’d agreed to spend a day together at Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house baking cookies and catching up on our adventures. Each one has brought her special cookie recipe.

“Wait for me,” I yell, tearing back into the house for my things, shutting off the computer and setting the alarm system.

As you all know Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother has left for her heavenly reward, thanks in no small part to Little Red Riding Hood’s misplaced trust in the big bad wolf. But that’s a whole other story for another day.
There wasn’t a lot of space at grandmother’s house, so we had to take turns cooking. We started with Little Red Riding Hood because she knew her way around her grandmother’s kitchen.
Once settled in and comfy I don my investigative reporter’s hat, and ask her why she played friendly with the wolf and let him take the food to her grandmother’s house, exposing granny to the horrors of the wolf?
As she beats the batter for her wolf-burger cookies, she offers little by way of explanation except that she felt sorry for the hungry wolf.
Word to the wise, oh silly girl—watch out for the next wolf in your life!
Just as Little Red Riding Hood is finishing her cookies, Miss Piggy pushes her way into the narrow kitchen, tosses her mane of golden locks and with a loud harrumph, she says, “I’ve always LOVED Kermit! Sure I was pursued by other more eligible men, but Kermit was mine all mine…a little timid, but oh so sexy! My cookies,” she flounced past me and put her recipe on the counter, “are called ‘It’s not easy bein green’ and they’re named just for Kermie who is always talking about his plight as a frog.”
“Is that right?” I ask, dumfounded by her comment.
“Of course! I first met Kermit and the other Muppets when I won the Miss Bogen County Beauty
Contest. Oh, my, but I was a beauty back then…still am.” She rolls her eyes and winks.

Suddenly Miss Piggy stops stirring and waves her pinkies at me, licking each as she checks them out. “This green dye is SO hard to get off lovely piggy fingers.”
We listen fascinated by Miss Piggy’s stories of her days on the Muppet Show, her exploits as one of the world’s most famous pigs. When she finishes baking her cookies, she has to lie down on the living room sofa, exhausted from all the effort.
Next up is Dora the Explorer, otherwise known as Dora Marquez, a world traveler and champion of anyone who needs her. And so sweet! She sidles up to me, clutching her recipe. “I hope you don’t mind, but I really need to get these cookies made as I’m about to catch a flight to Sydney Australia. I know it’s Christmas and all, but I really must go. I brought my favorite cookie recipe, which comes from my gram—the best cook I’ve ever known. I changed the recipe in honor of my dear friend Boots the monkey. I call them Red Boots and they’re made with bananas and real oats just the way Boots likes them.” She gives me a demure grin as she begins to organize her ingredients.

“But Dora, why do you travel so much?” I ask, fascinated with the way she dumps all the ingredients in the bowl together, flour wafting around her head.
“I love to travel, and so many people need me, especially this time of year. But I’m not the only one who travels. Carmen Sandiego spends a lot of time away.” She points her spatula at the woman perched on the edge of the sofa listening to Miss Piggy’s story that seems to be made up mostly of hand movements.
“I suppose…you’re both famous for helping people in trouble.”
“Yeah, except I’m not a detective like Carmen.”
“But you’ve both helped a lot of children learn more about the geography of the world, right?”
“We sure have.” Dora’s smile is adorable. “So, Stella, what kind of cookies are you making?”
“After everyone is finished, I’m making Bear Paws. They’re my favorite molasses cookies made the way my gram made them.”
“We both learned something special fromour grams,” Dora says, her voice sugary.

“So true.”
Just then, Betty Boop arrives in from the van, struggling under a large cardboard box. “Help!” she exclaims, her Betty Boop eyes wide. “I’ve got to hurry! I’ve already started my cookies because I can’t stay long. My agent called and I’m to be recognized by the Academy as the sexiest cartoon star ever! I can’t wait! And oh the dress I’ll need…why I will be shopping for days.” She puts the box down on the counter with a thump.

“Congratulations, Betty. This is so exciting for you.”
“No kidding!”
I help her open her box and pull out a package of sparkles and a can of Betty Crocker chocolate frosting. “What’s the story on your cookies?”
“Oh, they’re nothing special, just sugar cookies coated with chocolate frosting with sparkles. I call them my Bimbo cookies.”
“That’s because you’re a bimbo,” chimes in Miss Piggy who hauls her butt off the sofa and prances over to the kitchen.
“I’ll have you know they’re named for my boyfriend, whose name happens to be Bimbo.”
“You’re putting me on!” exclaims Miss Piggy.
“Okay, girls, we’re running out of time,” I say, hoping to avoid an argument between Betty and Miss Piggy. Last year they got into a hair-pulling match that nearly ended our cookie making time together.

“We still have Carmen Sandiego’s cookies….”
“Not to worry,” Carmen says in her deep throaty tone, her signature hat tilted at a rakish angle on her head.

“Is it true you just got back from Kenya?” Dora asks eagerly from her perch on the stool next to the counter. 

“I did, and it was pretty scary. My gumshoes and I were trying to solve the mystery of who the bandits were that were trying to link up with the pirates in Mozambique.”

I want to hear more about her adventures, but there isn’t much time. I clutch my notepad ready to hear more cookie stories. “Carmen, tell us what cookies you’re making today.”

“Well, you know those wonderful gumshoes that I work with are always hungry. No matter where we go in the world, or what case we solve, they are always after food. So, while I was in Scotland solving the mystery of the missing tartan, I came up with a cookie recipe made with Gummy Bears, or you could use jujubes.” She pulls a large bag of Gummy Bears from her satchel. “I call them gumshoe cookies. I presumed the other ingredients…you do have them, don’t you Stella?”

“That I do,” I say, feeling so much happier with friends rather than my lonely computer. Who needs a muse when you got friends like this?

As I watch these ladies, I’m reminded of how Christmas is about sharing our lives and caring for others.

Merry Christmas from Little Red Riding Hood, Carmen, Betty, Dora, Miss Piggy and me as we share our time together at Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house.

Stella MacLean


  1. What fun, Ruth! Can I come, too? Thanks for the great reminder that friends and family always come first. Happy holidays!

  2. Hey Ruth - great story. My favorite part was Miss Piggy and Betty Boop nearly getting into a hair pulling match. How true to character for Miss Piggy!

    I may go bake some cookies now :)

  3. Hi Ruth - fun story! How did the cookies taste. And what did you end up baking- or did I miss that part?

    Have a Merry X-mas!!!


  4. Hi Ladies,
    I just got back from a lovely trip (not along the milky way!), to a friend's house for brunch, and she had every surface in her living room, dining room and kitchen covered in various dishes! I'm home and waddling around the house looking for the phone so I can call a friend and go for a walk! One more deep breath and someone's going to get pinged with my waistband button!
    Joanna, I made my bear paw cookies, but they didn't get enough oven time, and now they're damp blobs on the counter.

  5. I always wanted to do a cookie swap. Great story, Ruth!

  6. Enjoyed the story, Ruth. It's the fun stuff with friends that makes the season special, and often I rush too much and forget that! Merry Christmas.

  7. Hi Ruth,

    You're so creative. I made cookies this afternoon but my kitchen was much less exciting than your cookie swap!

    Have a great holiday,
    Judy McLellan

  8. What fun, Ruth! Much as I love cookies, I stopped baking from scratch long ago. Pillsbury is my cookie friend!

    Yep, it's all about connecting with family and friends, isn't it?

    Happy Holidays!

    Nancy Haddock

  9. Love your fantasy cookie swap. I've been in the kitchen all day making cookies..( actually to share with a friend who is going through a rough time this Christmas) As I believe all good writing draws grains of truth from personal experience, and as a life long friend of yours, I am, in my mind putting names on the characters you have at your cookie swap... and having a great chuckle as I think of old friends! Happiest of Holidays to you and yours ! fondly,
    Marg Dorcas

  10. Interesting story Stella. Reminds me how much I look forward to bake this week. ALL WEEK too. Not sure what I'll be baking yet, just in the mood to putter around in th ekitchen and cookies sound just as great as anything else. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    I have to get back to my blog too. It's been too long since I jotted anything down!


  11. Marg, Nancy, Judy, Bev and Kelly, thank you for your great comments. They are SO appreciated.

  12. The big question is: were the cookies any good?

    Thanks for the Christmas smile. Today was Cookie Day for me, too, and I made approximately 400 of the yummy things. Good thing Miss Piggy isn't here!

    Wishing you a Joyeux Noel!

  13. Ruth,

    How creative. I loved it and I understand about forgetting all the other things that come with this time of year.

    Never being a cookie person, I do my share of pies and cakes along with the holiday meal, family coming and going and lots of time spent laughing and talking about who we used to be and who we will be in the future.

    Thanks fo the reminder.

  14. Ruth,

    How creative. I loved it and I understand about forgetting all the other things that come with this time of year.

    Never being a cookie person, I do my share of pies and cakes along with the holiday meal, family coming and going and lots of time spent laughing and talking about who we used to be and who we will be in the future.

    Thanks fo the reminder.

  15. Thanks Tory, Renee and Shirley for your wonderful comments. Yeah, the fantasy cookies all turned out perfect, but isn't that how a fantasy works? You choose the outcome? Oddly enough I'm not making cookies this year as I'm going to be making cookies with Estela this winter and she LOVES to cook!

  16. What a clever and fun post. It made me hungry. How were the cookies?

  17. Ruth, you crack me up! Thanks for the laughter.


  18. Your story was fun to read. I bet it was fun to write!

    Merry Christmas!


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