So this morning, I rolled over, feeling strangely well-rested, with the cat yowling for me to feed her (normal for the morning, she doesn’t like that I sleep, she’s pretty sure that I should be available, 24/7, for food distribution, as if we live in a little cat food sweatshop of some sort) and thought, hmm, it’s oddly light out, guess it’s going to be a sunny day!
Yeah, no. It was AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES PAST WAKEUP TIME. Because my power apparently blipped off, then on, last night, not long enough to cause any major problems like food spoilage or anything, but enough to turn off my alarm clock.
So I ran around like a lunatic, called work and left a panicked “ha ha ISN’T THAT JUST A HOOT” message that I’d be late, and finally got here, only to find out that the IT overlords have blocked social networking (again, it’s a weird on and off thing with them, I don’t know) so listen, if you’re trying to reach me via Twitter today, minions, you’re going to have to wait til my lunch break, because here all I get is a big old BLOCKED BANNED YOU LOSE page when I try to access anything fun.
Happiest of happy Mondays!
How was your weekend? Super-good? Good, glad to hear it. I hope you were all the most productive! I baked seven batches of cookies (no, seriously, SEVEN, I know), almost finished Christmas shopping, downloaded enough music (YES YES LEGALLY don’t assume I’m a pirate, arr) to keep musicians in business in 2012 and to give me things to listen to for the next six months (expect a music post soon, I got a LOT of good stuff and I totally want to share!), made presents for people, wrapped and packed up one gift which is winging its way southwest as we speak, and a few times, just sat on the couch and made the noise that Harry made in When Harry Met Sally when he and Sally were talking on the phone and watching movies. You know, that nasal sort of whiny noise. That’s my default noise when I’m overwhelmed.
So, let’s talk about cookies, ok? OK, first? I don’t eat cookies, because I can’t, because blah-blah-health reasons? But, in a CRUEL TWIST OF FATE DUN DUN DUNNNN, I’m really the most awesome at making cookies. So every year, I make and send cookies all over the country and bring cookies home and people nom on my cookies and say “Amy! You are the BEST AT COOKIES” and you KNOW how much I like to win, so how can I NOT make cookies?
So this weekend I made:
Gooey Butter Cookies (these, despite being a color of yellow not found in nature, are really delicious)
Nutella Cupcakes (cupcakes that you dollop and swirl with Nutella and then bake and they have a swirly Nutella frosting top)
Chocolate Rads (double chocolate chip cookies made with all Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate and they taste like a brownie, but they’re cookies)
Chocolate Chip Cookies (but awesome, it only took me about ten years but I finally found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe)
Peanut Butter Blossoms (you know, peanut butter cookies with a Hershey Kiss in the middle? These are mostly for my dad. He gets very excited about these every year. When I told him last night I made cookies, he said, “What about those peanut butter ones with a kiss in them? I mean, if a person were going to make cookies it would be a waste of time not to make those, in my opinion. DID YOU MAKE THOSE?” Yes, Dad. I made those. Merry Christmas. Oh, and BTW, if he didn’t like them, I would not make them. Unwrapping a whole bag of Hershey Kisses is a PAIN IN THE ASS and I find little pieces of foil everywhere for like EVER.)
Rum Balls (yuck, in my opinion, but these are W’s favorite, and W is MY favorite, so W! You are GETTING YOUR RUM BALLS. I love you.)
Canadian Shortbread (this is shortbread, only with maple syrup in it. It’s delicious. And a pain in the ass. You’re supposed to roll it and cut out Santas and reindeer and shit with it, and I usually do, but this year I thought, you know what would save you like a month? Rolling it into balls and smushing them into circles and putting colored sugar on top and baking them that way. And it DID save me like a month. And they turned out FINE. Go, me.)
I know, right? You totally wish you were one of my people. And you should, because my people are awesome and I love them so much that I want to put them into a sugar coma. YOU’RE WELCOME PEOPLE.
Casualties incurred in baking this year: my pinky finger (huge blister that I’m not sure where it came from, not from the oven, I think from mixing that goddamned shortbread dough? It’s the hardest dough to mix, ever. Also? I want a rich benefactor? Because if I had one, I would say, “I will have ALL THE SEX WITH YOU RIGHT NOW in exchange for a Kitchen Aid pedestal mixer.” My old roommate had one and do you know how awesome cookie-making was with that thing? THE MOST, is how awesome. It was like I was a cookie-making INDUSTRY, that thing made mixing dough so easy); and two dozen Chocolate Rads, because I left the kitchen for like TEN MINUTES to do something in the back of my place and then thought, “Hmm, that smells burny” and the entire batch went up in smoke. I have no idea what happened; I didn’t leave them much longer than I should have. So there are a LOT less of those than the others. Which is sad, because they really are the most delicious things. People ask for the recipe, they’re so good. (Then they read the recipe and say, “Um, no, those are a lot of steps, I have to use a DOUBLE BOILER? I don’t think so.” Psst…it SAYS double boiler, but in all honesty, you can use a saucepan if you keep the heat really low and stir a lot. I’m all about shortcuts.) Oh, also I cussed a lot. At the oven, at the baking pans, at the flour that was puffing all over, at the fact that I only have two viable mixing bowls. I’m pretty sure I should be on the Food Network, but at like 2 a.m. It would be a show for REAL people who cook the REAL way. And also have ADD. “These are the best cookies ever. Step one, open the effing flour. OH GREAT NOW I AM COVERED IN FLOUR. My music’s not loud enough. I LOVE THIS SONG. I just scared the cat by dancing like a lunatic. Do you think that when they say sift the flour, it’s just a recommendation, and not something that’s necessary? Well, I’m going with that. Who the hell has a flour sifter? What do I look like, my grandmother? It’s all going to get mixed in anyway, and then what does it matter if it’s all sifted or not. Shit.”
Also, here’s a fun fact: my oven is broken. Has been since I moved in. I found this out when it consistently burned everything I baked. I explained this to my father, who showed up with what looked like all the ghost-hunting equipment but was really a heat-testing thingamabobber and figured out that the oven really runs fifty degrees hotter than the dial indicates. That’s ok, oven. I run about fifty degrees hotter than my office thermostat indicates. We’re simpatico. (Also, I kind of wished that my dad had brought all the ghost-hunting equipment, how much fun would that have been. And! SIDE NOTE! I looked outside yesterday and a man who looked like a ghost hunter was wandering around my place with a meter and I was all “I’M GONNA BE ON TV MOM” and I was so hoping that it was a real ghost show and not that massive tool Bagans but come to find out it was National Grid and I think he was checking for a gas leak. But our place is all electric. So I decided he was probably a killer pretending to be from National Grid. Then he got in his National Grid van and drove away, and I thought, “Wow, he really is a well-prepared killer, with a fake National Grid van and jacket and all.” Also, why didn’t the killer come to my place? Is he cool with me dying of the phantom gas leak? Or am I just not high on his kill list? I am feeling kind of slighted. I watch a lot of Criminal Minds. I mean, why not me, killer?)
And then, halfway through cookie-baking, I realized I was out of four important things I needed to finish my day, so I thought, “I will run to the drugstore because I bet they have them there.” So I ran to the drugstore, and they had NONE of them there what the HELL Rite Aid that is totally annoying. Way to not be helpful. So I had to go to Target, which I normally love, but the weekend before Christmas not as much. There was a woman weeping in an aisle. WEEPING. I felt SO BAD. Also she was wearing bedroom slippers. Christmas makes people SAD, you guys. So I got my four things, and also some chicken because I was starving, and then got to the car all “I AM VICTORIOUS” and realized I had cookie dough in my hair and flour on my face and unidentified goop on my shirt and chocolate splattered in one eyebrow. I wish I was kidding. But I am not. I went into Target, where there were REAL ACTUAL PEOPLE, looking like a crazy escapee from some sort of cookie nuclear reactor explosion. AND NO ONE EVEN BATTED AN EYE. I might have been the reason Bedroom Slippers Sally was weeping, for all I know. This may well explain why the National Grid Killer didn’t want me, now that I think about it. Would have gotten cookie goo all over his costume.
(OH! Side note. Was everyone aware that there is now a product that looks like parchment paper for baking but it’s a big tricky trick and it’s really parchment paper on one side and aluminum foil on the other? Maybe don’t put this out all conspicuously and hide the parchment paper way far back so a person has to get on tiptoes like a peeping Tom, TARGET.)
ANYWAY. The cookies are BAKED. Now I start a wrapping frenzy, and get packages ready for mailing, and watch all the Christmas specials. Three and a half days left of work! Half a day of travel! THE NEPHEW THE NEPHEW THE NEPHEW!
(Also, PS FINAL SIDE NOTE. I have been informed, in a VERY disgusted tone from my father who watches a lot of children’s programming when he’s babysitting The Nephew, that Cookie Monster is no longer Cookie Monster but is now VEGGIE Monster. Who the hell do I talk to about this totally egregious change in my childhood memories? Veggie Monster? What in the holy hell, really? Were kids really throwing cookies in their mouth but not eating them like Cookie Monster was? And if so, was that such a bad thing? I mean, Cookie Monster never even ATE a cookie. Because he COULDN’T. Because he didn’t have a GULLET.)