Smart cookies


A rap on my kitchen door told me that our neighbor Zoe was outside. She’s developed a bold, persistent knock, probably because there is such a delay before one of us answers. Heaven forbid my daughters should have to stop what they’re doing for this. Mark is usually trying to sleep because of his ever-changing work schedule, and I often have either wet hands or a lap full of something – paperwork or otherwise – so it takes me awhile to get there.
This day Zoe was holding a glossy, full-color brochure depicting this year’s offering of Girl Scout Cookies, as she flashed her gamin smile. In years past, we’d handled our share of those order forms. Kathie carried them door to door in our neighborhood and took them with her to church. Mark took them to work where he chalked up the largest portion of our orders. This committed us to the sorting, packing, and delivering when the order arrived, and locked us in for hauling around car-loads of boxed cookies in the weeks that followed.
I reached for Zoe’s pamphlet exclaiming, “It’s time for Girl Scout Cookies again!” I hoped that I sounded upbeat since I was confident we didn’t have any tucked away somewhere, left from last year. Though the waistlines at our house didn’t need another temptation, I imagined the creamy crunch of thin mint cookies as I took the paper from Zoe’s hands. I’ve often heard that these cookies sell themselves, and it’s so true. Zoe didn’t have to say a word since she was holding the familiar order form.
Looking for anything different this year, I noticed something new in the eight varieties listed and decided that’s what I’d try. Thanks-A-Lot Cookies, a recent addition to the list, are shortbread cookies dipped in fudge and embossed on the top with a thank you message in one of five languages. I made sure I was to pay her later when I got my cookies, and she was on her way. Now, I’m waiting for my cookie order, along with millions of others who take part in this tradition of nine decades.
The Girl Scouts turn 93 this month. The earliest mention of cookie sales dates back to 1917 when an Oklahoma troop sold them as a service project in a high school cafeteria. In 1922, Florence Neil, a Chicago scout director provided a cookie recipe that was given to the 2,000 Girl Scouts in the council. Girl Scouts in different parts of the country, along with their mothers, baked their own simple sugar cookies. They packaged them in waxed paper bags, sealed them with a sticker, and sold them door to door for 25 to 35 cents a dozen.
This money-making project has come a long way, with all profits directly benefiting local troops. Cookie trivia that I find interesting:


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