Wednesday, December 27, 2006


The scale said 202# yesterday, and I knew I was in trouble. Normally I'm thrilled whenever I top 200, but that's in Ordinary Time when I'm going to the gym and eating healthy and only drinking socially. But this isn't ordinary Time and these aren't Ordinary Pounds. I've donned the Royal Purple, and these are Advent Pounds composed of bourbon and cheese and cookies & not much else.

Mostly cookies.

I got inspired last week, and decided at the last minute to bake cookies for Christmas presents. Which was a good idea, except for the fact that I figured it would be better to do it all in one mad rush rather than linger all weekend in the kitchen. I went to the co-op after work to stock up on eggs, butter, cream, & sugar, and then went home, toked up a bit, threw on the house music, set my ambition level to 'Martha,' and got down to it.

By 4am I was semi-delirious, but had enough cookies to feed fifteen small families - and seven different and unique kinds of cookies at that. I wanted to do eight, but I never did get around to the amaretti [though I have the dough made and in the fridge].

Some things didn't quite work - I doubled the bourbon and yet my bourbon balls were still too dry, and the ginger snap recipe I used wasn't gingery enough at all.

Two of the cookies - malouines, an orange-cinnamon wafer, and a mint-chocolate cookie, were really good, but at the end of the day they were just cookies. I'd do them again for Christmas, but probably not during the rest of the year.

The other three, though - gh'raybeh ( a Middle-Eastern shortbread flavored with orange-flower water), a Persian baklava with saffron butter on top, and cuccidati (a Sicilian fig-filled cookie) - were good enough to merit their own post ... and I've got the extra pounds to vouch for 'em.

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