Lovely Labels


Between the 45 yard gulf that separated the exhibit hall and the corndoggy food stands, a lithe, wrinkled, hippily dressed and adorned African American woman busied herself beneath a small white tent preparing two pigeon grey card tables. From a distance her baked wares were visible against the merlot fabrics filling her wide wicker nests. Cookie “cakes” the size of a small child’s head fanned out in old flavor combinations like banana pecan and ginger molasses. As I accepted her invitation and ordered two sweets, I was struck by the tiny, hand-made label she’d fashioned like a pen and ink for each good. A sea of white adhesive squares were laced with what may be her home address, the name of the cookie, the date it was baked, and a price. $3.00 for the extra loops and curly cues that filled in the lonely white space. Cookies from scratch I can get, but handmade labels on cookies from scratch seemed slow, sweet, and the work of someone who took a lot of pleasure in the tiniest of details.