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A not-so-sweet saga

Let me preface this by saying, there are a few things in the world I am very good at, and I *know* I am very good at them.

I think we all have these things. Like, your thing might be painting, or you always seem to pick the best books out of the library even though you know nothing about them like you have the best radar at it, or you just know which line in the grocery store will move most quickly even if it’s not the one with the fewest people in it.

We’re brought up to hide our lights under bushels. Bragging is seen as wrong and rude. Well, I say fie on that. If you have weird talents, CELEBRATE THEM. Sing your praises to the high heavens about your weird talents! It’s not like anyone else is going to do it!

I am passing average at a lot of things, I am downright terrible at MOST things, but I am very good at a few things. Those things are:

  • somehow winning people (and animals) over with my quirky charm and making them laugh even when I’m not trying to (ok, the laughing only applies to the humans, here, and I guess it might apply to hyenas but I don’t know any hyenas);
  • crocheting (I know, this is totally my apocalypse skill, I can make you all very warm blankets);
  • shopping for the best, most appropriate gifts for my loved ones for special occasions, and
  • baking cookies.

My mother taught me the crocheting and the baking when I was young and I randomly carried these skills over with me into adulthood. I think the winning-people-over thing came from Dad. We’re very good at being sociable, even though we don’t like it much. No idea where the shopping thing came from. Guess that’s all me.

I taught myself cookie-making tricks. There was a lot of trial-and-error. I learned things like good ingredients really do make all the difference, and that parchment paper saves the bottom of cookies and makes them look like restaurant cookies and you need to check on the cookies quite often to make sure you take them out of the oven at JUST THE RIGHT TIME! and refrigerating the dough beforehand stops them from spreading too much so you don’t have these weird flat crunchy too-thin cookies. There were a lot of fails. But sometimes, fails lead to wins.

DELICIOUS WINS.

I promise I never look like this. I'm usually covered in flour and/or chocolate and who has time to curl their hair? Good grief.

I promise I never look like this. I’m usually covered in flour and/or chocolate and who has time to curl their hair? Good grief.

I have a number of tried-and-true cookie recipes that I fall back on time and time again. Every now and then, I’ll find five more or so, and try them all, and if they work out, I’ll add one or two more to the repertoire, but mostly I make the following:

  • Chocolate Rads (these are the most labor-intensive cookies you can imagine, and involve melting chocolate and a double-boiler and letting the dough rest in the refrigerator until it’s a rock-hard chocolate block and making them into little balls by hand until you’re so covered with chocolate you look like maybe you’ve murdered someone that works at Hershey but it’s SO WORTH IT because they taste like brownies mixed with cookies and also have espresso in them so they make you VERY SPEEDY)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (but before you’re all “duh, who can’t make these, mine are like the ones you get in restaurants, only better, and involve many steps, very expensive chocolate, and Paula-Deen-esque levels of butter)
  • Rum Balls (I only make these for BFF, because he loves them to distraction, and even getting too close to them gives you a contact high, whoo!)
  • Maple Shortbread (imagine the butteriest shortbread ever, but it tastes like maple syrup. But not so much that it gives you a sugar high. Just enough that it’s like a hint of pancakes. AMAZINGNESS)
  • Anisette Toast (forget the Anisette Toast you can get in the store that’s all stale and crunchy; this is moist and licoricey and slightly sweet and very dense)
  • Peanut Butter Kisses (yeah, I know, boring, but they’re Dad’s favorite, and whenever I’m bringing cookies home, he says, “I wonder if there will be any of those cookies with the kisses in the middle because they’re really the only good ones,” so it’s not like I CAN’T make them)
  • Nutella Cupcakes (these things frost themselves with Nutella. They’re like magic. MAGIC, I TELL YOU!)
  • Gooey Butter Cookies (these are embarrassingly good and involve a ton of cream cheese and butter and a box of cake mix. Don’t ask. They are chemically delicious heart attacks.)

I know I can go back to these time and time again and they’ll work out well. I’ve made them over and over; I know the quirks of the recipes and I know they’re crowd-pleasers. (I like to be the one that brings the best thing to a potluck. I like people to say, “YOU MUST GIVE ME THIS RECIPE.” I like to hear from across a room “who made these cookies?” when their mouth is FULL of the cookies and it’s like they’re having a mouthgasm. These things are really pleasing to me. I like the plate to be empty when the night is over, even if it means I don’t get to bring home leftovers.)

This is all leading up to an EPIC FAIL. Stick with me.

So. In news of things that are out of the ordinary…I was invited to a party. A REAL PARTY THAT IS OUTSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

You know my theory about parties, right? That theory is no, hell no, OH hell no, and I think I have to wash my hair all night long sorry nope uh-uh nope nope NOOOOOPE.

To add to this, it is a SUPERBOWL PARTY. This is a party REVOLVING AROUND SPORTSBALL.

However, sometimes things happen that are out of your control, like, the party is being thrown by one of your most favorite humans, who has been so kind to you the entire time you’ve been new in town, and makes you laugh so hard you sometimes almost cry, and one time you yelled at this person because you were having a REALLY BAD MOMENT and it was forgiven, like, immediately? And some of your favorite work people will be at the party, so really, how bad can it be? And the fact that you were invited at all was SO, SO NICE? And there will be food there! Delicious snacky sportsballing food! And you’ll just have gotten out of work and you’ll be starving and all that delicious food will be there and your work friends will be there happy to see you!

So I grudgingly said, “So, I was thinking of going to your party” and got a “YES YOU SHOULD COME!” response so how could I not go, you know?

So we were all asked to bring something. Of course, cookies, I mean, it’s not like I’m going to bring a meatloaf. (Yes, I make a kickass meatloaf, but that’s not the point, because that’s not really the thing you bring to a party. It seems like an odd thing to bring along. “HEY HI THANKS FOR THE INVITE I BROUGHT THE LOAF OF MEAT,” you know?)

No, not YOU, Meatloaf. Put that madface away.

No, not YOU, Meatloaf. Put that madface away.

So! I got up early. I was out of baking soda, of all things. I ran to the store. OUT OF BAKING SODA. Another store. OUT OF BAKING SODA. (SIDE NOTE: is this a thing used to make the drugs? Why are so many stores out of baking soda, of all things? There’s a lot of meth being made here. Are people using baking soda to make meth? I suppose I could look that up, but then Time Warner might think I was a drug addict on top of a terrorist.)

HOLY CRAP! Does anyone KNOW about this? I JUST CURED CANCER BY USING THE PAST!

HOLY CRAP! Does anyone KNOW about this? I JUST CURED CANCER BY USING THE PAST!

So I finally got the baking soda and I came home and did a million things and then it was cookie-making time and I made the dough and and and…

…somehow, it did not work.

It wasn’t dough. It was sand. There was not enough liquid. I followed the recipe to the letter. I thought, oh, well, I will cook them. Maybe that will help. NO! They turned out like little rock-hard hockey pucks. Little chocolate-studded hockey pucks. I thought, “maybe they will be ok?” but after they cooled I’m pretty sure they could have been used as weapons if hurled at an intruder. You cannot bring these sorts of things to a party. Well, you could, but you’d get a lot of fake faces and “oh! Aren’t THESE good!” and I can’t even deal with such things.

I would take a photo but you can’t tell from looking at them that they are filling-destroying cookies. They just look like cookies. It’s misleading.

So. 9pm. ANOTHER BATCH OF COOKIES. The solution seemed to be COMPLETELY MELTING THE BUTTER. This has never been an issue before, I have no idea why this time the recipe decided to be so touchy.

You will be pleased to know the second batch is lovely and not at all too hard. Just right. Something I’ll be proud to arrive at the party with. (Whew.)

The moral of the story is: even if you are very, very good at something, sometimes you can fail.

Doesn’t mean you can’t shout from the rooftops how good you are at it. Just means that sometimes you have to scramble to do it over again when it fails.

(And you have an extra batch of VERY HARD, yet very chocolately and still edible, if you work at it, cookies, all for you. So, not a total loss, then.)

Wish me luck, jellybeans. Go go sportsball teams. Win kick run. Fully inflate your balls. Rah rah sis boom bah.

ME AT THE PARTY. Note that I'm not paying attention to the sportsballing. But I WILL be eating all the foods. YUM.

ME AT THE PARTY. Note that I’m not paying attention to the sportsballing. But I WILL be eating all the foods. YUM.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

31 responses to “A not-so-sweet saga

  • Anonymous

    I am so sad for your briquet cookies! I hope the second batch holds its goodness long enough to be consumed!

    I’m glad to know you don’t admire pies in quite that way. I would be a little creeped out, frankly.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I had to research who you were, Anonymous Commenter. And you are ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE PEOPLE! DUN DUN DUN. I am a very good stalker.

      Fingers crossed about the cookies. Otherwise, I’m going to be the person who people look at sadly when I say, “I’m bringing cookies!”

      Oh, no, I don’t look at pies that way. Now, tiramisu…that’s a whole different story…

      Like

  • Charleen

    There’s also commercials. Just watch out for that damn Budweiser horse and his puppy best friend.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Since I don’t get out of work til 8, and won’t get there til 8:15 or so, I’ll probably miss (sniff!) Budweiser horse and puppy. Hopefully they’ll save some of the good commercials for the second half of the game! (The commercials are really the only thing I’d ever watch it for, anyway!)

      Like

      • Charleen

        And you can see all of those online these days anyway.

        (I actually saw the new Budweiser one a few days ago… I thought “Super Bowl Commercials” generally made their debut during the Super Bowl, but I guess there’s just no mystery anymore.)

        I’m generally a football fan, but I’m not even watching this one – for the first time in YEARS – because I don’t like either team playing. And I don’t care about Katy Perry. If I actually had real TV, I’d turn it on at the beginning just for Idina Menzel, but I don’t, so… shrug

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        • lucysfootball

          I saw most of the commercials in the second half (and halfway saw the ones in the first half – we had the game playing in the newsroom tonight.) I did miss the Budweiser one, but saw the strange and wonderful Brady Bunch one, and the similarly strange and wonderful Jeff Bridges one.

          There was a lot of cheering and booing happening at the party and one man kind of bobbled the ball and then caught it, so that was exciting. Oh, and at the end, there was a big fight, which was kind of the most embarrassing. That’s my takeaway from this game. Grown men acted kind of embarrassing. And Katy Perry rode a big star. And some people don’t know who Missy Elliott is anymore, which makes me sad. (Idina was wonderful – I did make sure I watched her!)

          Like

  • earthandink

    If you are at a different um height of the world? that can make a difference. Altitude.
    I want all of these recipes. Although I actually hate rum balls (sorry BFF, but on the other hand, more for you) I love having a recipe like this, incase someone decides it’s their favourite.
    I saw Meatloaf in concert. (Don’t ask.) And all I can say is: yikes.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I don’t think there’s a height difference (we might be a little lower, if anything, but not much) so I don’t think it’s altitude. I don’t think it’s the oven (this one seems to work so much better than my old one, which I had to compensate for since it was 50 degrees hotter than the dial)…just no idea. I guess if I try these again, even less flour? So weird!

      I’m definitely going to remind myself to post recipes later in the week, when I have free time. And I totally agree, I hate rum balls – but the things we do for the people we love! (I actually haven’t sent him any in a long time – the last two Christmases have been nightmarish. I should really just surprise him with some one of these days!)

      Hee, Meatloaf! “Bat Out of Hell” was one of the first albums I bought for myself. I still kind of love it!

      Like

      • earthandink

        Huh. I haven’t a clue. I have an ex who loved angel food cake. I really dislike it, more the devils food, personally. I have made a great many angel food cakes. Yuck.

        I don’t know what the first album I bought for myself was. But probably musicals. I really liked musicals. (I have an inner-gay man.)

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Ooh, I like angel food cake! With a little chocolate syrup drizzled over. And some whipped cream. Yum!

          I didn’t discover musicals until college. Oh, wait! I take it back. I loved “Little Shop of Horrors.” But then I got to college and fell in with a TERRIBLE group of people. SUCH bad influences. Took it upon themselves to educate me in the ways of musical theater. grin

          Like

  • Linda Tharp

    Yum! Would you consider posting some of the recipes? Then I can add them to the Pinterest ones I drool over and have every intention of trying. Some day.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I didn’t even think (I had failed-cookie-brain last night) but yes, I’m sure I can find the recipes somewhere, and if not, type them up – I’ll have a little free time later in the week, so I’ll either amend the post or post them in the comments! (I have a ton of recipes/crafts/crochet patterns saved for future use, as well. I’m sure I’ll die before I get to them all, but I have the best of intentions!)

      Like

  • Margaret

    OK…now I am totally hungry for cookies- any kind ( OK..not Freihofer’s chocolate chip) so next time you’re back this way…bring ’em! Or, publish a mini cookbook and I’ll buy a lot of them…hope you’re warmer there than we are here…

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      They turn out really well in Albany – apparently in Watertown, not so much! I might’ve left my cookie mojo in the Capital District! Once the weather gets better, I’m totally planning a trip “home” (going to try to time it so I can get as much theater-going into a few days as I can) so I’ll see what I can do about packing some cookies with me!

      (And nope – not much warmer here – -20 when I woke up this morning until about noon-ish today! BRRR! Stay warm there! Only a couple months til spring, or so they say!)

      Like

  • Dana

    I am going to call all sporting events “Sportsball”, from now on! Superbowl? Sportsball! Olympics? Sportsball! Wimbledon? Sportsball!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Hee! That’s why it’s the best word. It covers everything with a ball! And once people know you know nothing about sports, you just have to say, “Nope, because sportsball,” and they totally get it. I did that tonight about hockey. It was a stretch – I mean, a puck isn’t really a ball – but my coworkers know me. They just nodded sagely.

      Like

  • ScorpionGlow

    Everyone has an off day. Mine usually involves burning myself on the oven (because I idiotically think bare handing anything under 400 degrees is acceptable!) or damn near chopping off a part of one hand or another while in the midst of a vegetable invasion. One minute I’m a knife pro, the next minute I’m standing there staring at my hand like this: “Oh, blood. When did THAT happen?” I’m a hazard, and yet, the only one qualified to be in my kitchen. ;)

    Have a good time sweetie! Enjoy!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’ve done ridiculous things like that, too. I went through a “I’m breaking everything” phase where I broke two of my favorite plates, one of my favorite measuring cups, and one of the retro drinking glasses my mom gave me, and I once almost cut the end of my finger off with my roommate’s Cuisinart blade. I’m not really always the most dainty.

      Thank you! It’ll be a good time, I think. Really good people. I’m looking forward to it!

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Your failed at cookies? YOU failed at cookies? What’s going on in the world?

    Glad to hear proper world order was restored by the second batch. And your can always send the first batch to someone you don’t like. Perhaps they’ll break a tooth or something…

    Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I was going to be obnoxious and not knowing what sport this super bowl event is about, but then I accidentally learned yesterday it’s to do with American football, right? The one with the rugby ball? And not much actual kicking with your feet at all?

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, there’s lots of kicking. And running with it tucked under your arm, I think. And…um…fumbling? And throwing? You have reached the end of my football knowledge, I’m afraid. I know the basics of both basketball and baseball, but football just baffles the hell out of me. I’m going for the food, the people, and the very-expensive and sometimes wacky commercials. Oh, and the halftime show, if I get there in time (I have to work for a little over half of the game, so I’ll probably miss most of that. It’s only Katy Perry, though. I don’t care about her that much.)

      Like

  • The Bold Bluebonnet

    You did the sportsball right this year! Rooting for Seattle, the best part of it was the cinnamon whiskey someone brought and the viagra fiat commercial. Here’s to the food and commercials!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I wanted Seattle to win (well, I didn’t care that much, but if someone had to win, I’d rather it be them.) There was homemade mac & cheese – how can you go wrong! And Katy Perry on a shooting star! Whoo, sportsball!

      Like

  • chococat78

    I have cookie phases where I feel inclined to make them, but then I have so many that Im scoffing them so they dont go to waste. Which I really should just think outside the square and maybe share with friends, colleagues etc.. nah.

    That being said I have recently just added a cookie recipe to my repertoire that is like the best thing ive ever tasted fudgy brownie yet crisp and crunchy outside.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      My coworkers LOVE cookies. They actually have started randomly asking me “cookies today?” So I’m going to have to start making more of them, I think!

      Ooh, that sounds like my chocolate cookie recipe – fudgy inside, crisp outside! Perfection!

      Like

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