Wednesday, December 07, 2011

No 'Easy Bake' Christmas

When the girls were small it was common for us to make nine kinds Christmas cookies to share. We baked tea rings, the braided sweet bread Houska, cranberry loaves and whatever else caught our fancy.

Here in Mississippi it rained all day Sunday. I turned the TV to Christmas music, organized ingredients and cried homesick tears for familiar surroundings, friends and family and those who have gone on.

My fist venture was to empty a bakesale jar of pre-measured dry ingredients for oatmeal raisin cookies. It made forty. The second jar was for chocolate chip cookies. The dough felt right, but the cookies flattened into one giant, flat cookie. I wonder if some flour was left out because there wasn't room in the jar. That was flop #1.

I made chocolate Biscotti from the book "Jump up and Kiss me". I like to dunk it in hot green tea in the afternoon. Cayenne gives a little burn to the tongue and is good for the metabolism.

Boiled chocolate cookies called for instant dry oatmeal and 2 cups of sugar. I cut the sugar in half and used packed brown sugar. That would have been okay, but I should have used regular oatmeal. They were a waste of good Penzy chocolate. Most all went in the trash. #2

Next came double chocolate cookies. I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chips. The idea was good, but the chips were too bitter. I packaged them for the exchange anyway. Not everyone likes super sweet cookies. Who am I kidding? #3

My friend gave me green tomatoes for green tomato bread. I doubled the recipe filling four ceramic mini-bread dishes and one regular-sized loaf pan. Inspite of greased dishes, each little loaf stuck to one side. The large loaf baked an hour and five minutes. A toothpick came out clean, but when I turned it out, the center was raw! I salvaged the outside inch and threw away the center. #4.5

I really wanted 'decent' cookies for the exchange. I really did. In my worn recipe file I found the well-loved recipe for Goomba's. I bought the German Chocolate cake mix, a jar of caramel icecream topping and a $4.38 bag of Hershey's semi-sweet chips. I even lined the baking pan with waxed paper.

The mixture was stiff when I spread half in the pan. I poured the whole jar of caramel topping over and glopped the rest of the batter on top. It baked the required time and needed more. After it cooled, I tried to cut it and couldn't. The caramel was too gooey, and the cake wouldn't hold together. I stormed out of the kitchen in 'failure' tears. Monday morning I took a spoon and made a dozen gooey balls of cake and caramel and threw the rest away. Tuesday morning I threw away the balls.#5 and #6.

What am I doing baking???????

My disasters were matched by two other local ladies. We blamed it on the excessive rain. At least we had sense enough not to attempt meringue.

And a Merry Christas to you, too! Bah humbug!

2011 Red Convertible Travel Series

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