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by Mari Janecek

 My gramma loved to bake.  Her homemade bread hot from the oven made my mouth salivate.  I couldn't wait to slice the heel of the loaf, spreading soft butter all over it and shove it quickly in my mouth before gramma started to holler at me.

 Gramma hated to share her baked goodies.  The butter horns, date bars, and cookies she guarded with her life.  She would take them into her bedroom and hide them.  I never entered her bedroom without permission.

   I would try to help her but she didn't want anyone in the kitchen with her.

 Gramma would take the cookies off the cookie sheet, cool them on the racks and stack them in piles of from six to a dozen of these treats.  I remember when she had over a dozen piles on the table.

 Gramma would tell me that I could have only one cookie, but I wanted one for each hand so I would take two.  (I hated anyone telling me what to do).  She would see that two were missing from her stack and get really irritated with me.

 When I turned eight, I figured out that if I took the whole stack of cookies, she wouldn't know that any were missing.

  My secret to getting out of the kitchen without gramma seeing me with the missing cookies was a godsend.  When gramma went into the pantry to put the ingredients away,

  I grabbed one stack of cookies and shoved them quickly and carefully into my undies, carefully walking away so as not to make crumbs come out all over the floor.