From Where I Sit: Visions of Otterbeins Sugar Cookies dance in my head

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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When we are children the memories we form seem to be more meaningful, more lasting, perhaps because we are still in the process of experiencing the world in new ways. As we get older, a lot of things become old hat – we’ve already seen them, heard them and experienced them.

For me, this especially comes out during the Christmas season. My formative years produced many happy memories whose clarity remains to this day. I remember my grandfather ordering a tin of leckerlie every Christmas from his homeland of Switzerland. Another major memory from those Baltimore days was a local, family-owned bakery called Otterbeins.

Otterbeins began in 1881 with German immigrants. By the time I was born, they had moved to a location about a quarter mile from our house. Many times I would arrive around 6 in the morning, after finishing my paper route, and the chocolate donuts would just be coming out of the oven.

I can close my eyes to this day and bring back memories of that sugary scent. It was a sad day in 1996 when the Otterbein family shut down the bakery. However, they continued baking and selling their goods in local grocery stores.

At Christmas time, one local favorite is their paper thin sugar cookie. They are buttery sweet, crispy and come in shapes of snowmen, Christmas trees, reindeer and ornaments.

Well, in these modern times, they now have a web page. Come to find out, I can still order those very same sugar cookies. A one pound tin costs $21, which gave me pause but not enough to stop calling Baltimore. But then they told me the shipping fee added $15 to the total.

I didn’t order them that day. But the next day, the temptation was too much to resist. Cookies for $36 total? Yes, but they are Otterbeins sugar cookies! In three days, a big box arrived. I knew what it was before even opening it. Oh, the anticipatory excitement. I opened it and out wafted that familiar buttery smell, giving me chills even now as I type these words. Oh no, you don’t eat these glories, you savor them.

Every morning I pull out two sugar cookies – one for me and one for Carol. After a small bite, I close my eyes and take a wonderful flight of fancy. We will run out by Dec. 14, if I don’t sneak one or two right now.

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