Cookies loved and lost

I invited some ladies who bake over to my house last Sunday for a cookie exchange. We drank mulled wine on the front porch in the afternoon sun. December in Ethiopia is very pleasant, just like all the other months in Ethiopia.

Each person made cookies for everyone else to take home. We oohed and aahed at the spiced and sugared creations. We shared our recipes and tasted a few samples.


After everyone left, Alekka and I arranged our share of the gingerbread animals, peanut butter kisses, baklava, jammy ribbon cakes, and lemon balls on big plates. There were lots and lots of cookies.

Although I am sure we could have managed if we had to, there were certainly more treats there than two people ought to eat. The next morning I left a note for the housekeeper to take some home to her family.

When Alekka and I got home from school, there was not a gingersnap or a Nanaimo bar in sight. In disbelief, we checked inside every cupboard in the house.

“And the one speck of food that he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.”

one speck

Then I saw the note.

cookie note

It was one of those Amelia Bedelia second-language moments that we occasionally have, especially when communicating via notepad without any contextual cues. The word “full” sometimes does mean “all.”

But that’s OK.  Etsegenet is a great housekeeper, and I am sure those cookies are a rare treat for her kids. And I have the recipes now, so I can just make more!


About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Bangkok, Thailand.
This entry was posted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Expat experience, Food and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cookies loved and lost

  1. isbergamanda says:

    LOL! Last year we wrote a note telling the maid that she was welcome to a “piece” of cake and she took half the cake home with her! We had even tried to write it in her native language. These things happen and make me laugh every time!

    -Amanda at

  2. Andreas says:

    I think the story has a happy ending except for the mouse who if we had them in the house would have gone hungry.

    It still is a good story just the same.

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