Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Baking Blog

Recently, in The Food Blog, I said I don't cook but that I bake. Well, I fear I may have spoken too soon.

Today's goals were simple enough: Bake some gingerbread camels and some sugar cookies in Christmas shapes; if there's time, bake some pumpkin and/or banana bread. The camels are in honor of Mike's family. The kids were all born and raised in camel country. I had to special-order the camel cookie-cutter years ago. I had the vague memory that I'd tried it before and that it was too hard. Indeed, the cutter is too shallow, with too many details. There are tassels on the camel's blanket, for pete's sake.

Still, it's Christmastime, and that means going the extra millimeter for the sake of warming someone else's cockles.

I listened to Car Talk on NPR when I started. I just love it that my dad used to listen to the Tappet Brothers, although I didn't know it until he was dead and my youngest brother told me about it. In any case, the gingerbread-boy-not-girl recipe listed these two ingredients thusly:

2/3 c. cold water
1/3 c. shortening

I had just dumped the second third-cup of shortening in when I realized that it was supposed to be only one. Small matter. I just fished out the second blob of shortening. It was only later, when I was left with a huge bowl of large crumbs instead of dough, that I figured I had put in only a third-cup of water; that is, I used only half the water called for.

That's the second semi-colon I've used and that's about two too many; my apologies.

So while the first sheet of cookies was baking, I tried adding a third of a cup of water to the remaining crumbs. It actually helped a little. Still, I'm only going to bring the camels to Mike's parents' house. His family is gracious. Perhaps they'll treat the cookies as if they're miniature sculptures. Mike himself will be the recipient of the rest of the batch, which is nothing to write home about, yet apparently something to write a blog about.

The first camel attempts were failures, so I turned to other animals. I have a sheep cookie-cutter and hey! shepherds were guarding their sheep by night! I decided to simply add all the critter-cutters I have, so, as you see, I made

  • camels
  • sheep
  • ducks
  • cats
  • bears (teddy)
  • bats

I'm sure the Baby Jesus would have loved them equally.

Speaking of warm cockles, check out this link that SueBski sent. This really moved me.

What I'm listening to right now, though, is the ice cream truck! It's Do Your Ears Hang Low over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Ho ho ho.

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