Earlier this week Ruth spilled a glass of red wine on a carpet in our home necessitating a pre-holiday cleaning. The carpet cleaners, long time family friends, told us a great story when they responded to our plea for help. After they dealt with the stain, they told us the following story. When they were in Minnesota recently, they went to the State Fair near St. Paul with some local residents and indulged in Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar, a critically popular attraction at this fair. Martha specializes in house-baked mini chocolate chip cookies that she sells literally by the bucket to a long line of happy customers. A St. Paul native, slender Martha Rossini Olson has been selling her special cookies at this fair for many years, long enough to establish a stellar reputation. She has been making her minis for more than 40 years and now sits atop an empire.
She makes enough at her fair booth each year to pocket more than $3,000,000 in 12 days. Her only other customer is NASCAR. What a sweet deal! A full bucket of Martha’s delights sells for only $17. Because Martha heaps the cookies in the bucket while you watch, our carpet cleaning friends had enough mini chippers left to bring some home to share. We did not need their services at the time so are now planning a trip to the Minnesota State Fair when travel is possible again. According to Vanessa, every food item they sampled but these cookies was served on a stick. This sounds like fun and similar to the Iowa State Fair that we attended a few years ago and I wrote about with the title “Is Iowa’s the 2nd Best State Fair?”
Because we had not needed carpet cleaning for a few months, we were not aware of the other news in their lives. Vanessa and Jimmy might move to Montana in 2021. They are not the first or only West Coast people we now know who are planning to head for Montana, a cheaper place to live. This is becoming such a common moving destination that I wonder how long it will be before the State of Montana must put up “We’re full” signs at every entry point into the state.
In the meantime, with Christmas approaching I began wondering what is the most popular cookie to make for this holiday. Christmas has become cookie time in our family and probably yours too over the years. Tis’ the season to eat cookies. Ruth & I are trying to pass on desserts for now, so we won’t be making any of Ruth’s favorite cookies this year. But I learned a lot about Christmas cookies as a result of this interest and will share what I learned tomorrow.