Monday, May 11, 2009

cookies, 2.0


a slightly-strange mother's day tableau.
Originally uploaded by slothmuffin

My second batch in two weeks! I'm starting to warm up to this baking thing. A little. Mostly, I think, because of the advent of the hand mixer. Whenever I tried to make cookies in high school and college, I was trying to mix everything by hand with a whisk, which made that "cream butter and sugar" direction that starts so many cookie recipes seem impossible. So it's nice to have mastered the art of plugging something in and letting it do the mixin'.

It's kind of pleasantly weird, really. Being used to mixing stuff by hand, it almost seems magical to just sort of...hold the mixer and pivot it around in the bowl and watch some flour and eggs and butter and sugar turn into dough. And then later on, the dough bakes and turns into cookies! My mom has been extolling the semi-magical virtues of cooking to me forever, so maybe I'm catching on.

I actually haven't eaten any of this batch of cookies, since they were a Mother's Day present and made with cranberries, of which I am not a fan. I also baked them for longer than I would have liked them baked, since my mom likes everything super-crispy. (Which is the reason I thought I didn't like toast for years and years. I don't think I knew toasters had a "light" setting until I was in college. But they do, and it is delicious.)

I don't know what's up with all the food talk recently, but I'm not even done with it. This Thursday is the season finale of Supernatural, which always requires some kind of faintly thematic dessert. Last year, we did I Sold My Soul For You pudding-and-cherries parfait. (The cherries represented love. And blood.) This year, I want to create something that will possibly be called "Narratively Ineffective Apocalypse Cake [or possibly pie]." I think it's going to involve meringue.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

may, with flowers.



Originally uploaded by slothmuffin

...but also more showers. I think it's been raining for all of May, actually. Or maybe it wasn't really raining on Saturday? I can't even remember, which is a sure sign it's been raining too long.

One thing I do like about the rain, though, is how electric green everything new---grass, leaves---looks in the grey rainy-day light. I went out to refill bird feeders today and I was how shocked at how green everything looked, all of a sudden. The grass and weird clover-y ground cover is sprouting up, and the trees are just starting to leaf out. (Especially the maple trees.) Oddly enough, while the lilac trees in my yard only have leaves so far, the ones in the yard of my grandparents' house (which is only about forty-five minutes away) are in full, pretty-purple bloom. It tends to be warmer as you get further west on this island (toward New York City), though, so I guess that explains that.

The other nice thing about cool, rainy weather is that sometimes, I get prodded by my own brain into baking something. I always feel like I should like baking more, like it goes with being crafty, somehow, but it's not really my thing. But I do it ever so often, just to remind myself that I am capable of following a recipe (and because I love eating baked goods). Last night I made a batch of ginger puff cookies, which came out pretty well. They're the kind of cookie that get rolled in sugar before baking, and I rolled them in sugar while wailing along with "Benny and the Jets" and "Sweet Child O' Mine," on the radio, so it was clearly an all-around success. I even wore an apron.