Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baking: an essay.

Today I made panettone and baked and iced sugar cookies (I had help from singing son, soccer coach son, and the historian on the icing and sprinkling).  Here are some facts:  
  1. yeast does not last forever, even when it is refrigerated.  Shall I buy another economy size package of yeast?  I believe I shall, but after two years, I will consider it spent.
  2. farmer eggs are the best eggs.
  3. currants are cuter than raisins.  
  4. golden raisins are shinier and more glamorous than your usual raisin.
  5. gel-based food coloring makes very very very vivid icing.
  6. no matter how many kinds of sprinkles and sanding sugar and nonpareils and other assorted decorating doodads you happen to have in your pantry, you will always be missing some or another kind of doodad that would make a more perfect cookie.
  7. panettone is delicious, especially when the lemon zest you use in the dough is from a Meyer lemon.
  8. a pair of cookie cutters, a pear with a teeny partridge to sit atop it, bears only a metonymic, and yet still incoherent, relation to the partridge-in-a-pear-tree narrative. 
  9. at Christmastime, there is an ancient cookie economy that reasserts itself in seasonal fashion.
  10. some people would have it that one can substitute a candle, an ornament, even a Christmas cd for the traditional plate of cookies in the cookie economy.  This is a falsehood.  Nonetheless, there is a new and competing ancillary-Christmas-goods economy vying against the cookie economy.  
I fear for the cookie economy.  But I will be distributing plates of cookies, augmented by judicious scatterings of caramels, in my neighborhood tomorrow.  Also, the traditional almond-cardamom bread and butterscotch crescent rolls, but only to the very favored few.  Never let it be said that the circulation of baked goods faltered upon my watch.  Never!


  1. I am happy to report that we did our part to support the cookie economy, whipping up five batches and distributing them in fine ribboned boxes to colleagues and friends.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. Thanks for including me in the cookie/goods economy. I fear I will have to throw out some cookies...surplus goods, etc.



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