Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ruining Christmas one cookie at a time: Countdown to 2015 Part 1

I promised I'd make cookies in my last post, and I have! There is, however, a confession that I'm finally going to reveal after a few years of quiet denial. I have come to realize over my long culinary life, that although I can cook quite well, I cannot bake worth shit.

I have tried and tried, and it almost never comes out the way I hope. Oh sure, there'll be winning moments, far and few between mind, and those moments are sometimes followed with: "Ya know Steve, this (insert baked item here) tastes pretty good" or if I really hit the jackpot, " Wow Steve, that must have been a lot of work, can I have the recipe?" Yes, that actually happened.

But then I go and get confident about my baking skills, and this happens:

From left to right - Mocha sugar cookies dipped in dark chocolate; Ina Garten's jam thumbprints - I'm so sorry Ina if you see this picture, this is NOT how your tasty recipe is supposed to turn out, and finally; the last row is Lemon Thyme cookies with an icing sugar lemon glaze. Sound delicious doesn't it.

But look at those things, would you eat that? Don't answer that yet. In its (and my) defence, although it may not be aesthetically pleasing, it really does taste pretty good. Oh well, I'll crush whatever is not eaten and use it as the base for a cheesecake or whipped dessert. Waste not, want not.

Maybe the cookies turned out that way because my mind was elsewhere while I was baking. Christmas is just about here, but for most people including myself, thoughts turn from Christmas cookies, to New Year vows and resolutions. Promises to make, commitments to write down, all that jazz.

This year, after ruining the second batch of cookies, I decided that I'm not doing any of that vow or resolution crap because frankly, I pretty much veer completely away from whatever I promised myself I'd do for the New Year. My attitude for 2015 is whatever will be, will be.

One thing I will have to keep in my head though, particularly when things get rough, is to remember to calm the hell down and relax for God's sake. My intensity, whenever I work on projects or cooking or whatever, can be, well, intense.

So again, a friendly reminder for 2015? Steve, keep cool. And you all have permission to tell me to keep cool if I seem to be heading into intensity lane. Now, the question is, will I listen?

Oh wait, did I not just write that I wasn't planning on making any promises for the New Year? I won't think about that now, I've got cookies to crush.

Next post: Part 2!

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