Oh, Martha! I Do! I Do!- Mexican Wedding Cookies! -187 eggs, 146 3/4 cups of sugar, 139 1/4 sticks of Butter, and 178 1/2 cups of flour used so far- 70 recipes to go

February 19, 2011


Martha's Mexican Wedding Cookies

André's Mexican Wedding Cookies

Weddings are wonderful things. My partner, Dan and I certainly want one. Mostly for the gifts but also for the validation. There’s something really powerful in standing before friends and family and professing your love, devotion and commitment to each other… of course followed by a kick-ass party with excessive drinking.

I have two friends that recently tied the knot… covertly. They invited a small group of friends to join them for a fun-filled weekend in Las Vegas. When their friends arrived, SURPRISE! They were there to witness a wedding. Liz and J.J. joined hands and hearts under the Welcome to Las Vegas sign just outside of the Strip. When they returned to Kansas City as man and wife, we held a small shower for them and I whipped up an apropos cookie for the occasion.

Mexican Wedding Cookies are a long-time favorite and the basic recipe is quite simple. Martha actually makes a couple of really good suggestions for giving them an extra pop of flavor. Before grinding the almonds and incorporating them into the shortbread-type batter, give them a good toast in the oven. This releases the oils in the nut and really brings out the almond flavor. Also giving the cookies a brush of egg-white before baking keeps the decorative almonds on top from pulling loose and gives a nice textured base for the powder sugar to stick to.

My newly married friends said they were absolutely magical and they enjoyed them throughout the week before they left for an extended honeymoon in Thailand.

I’m a bit jealous. Married in Las Vegas and honeymooning in Thailand. I hope that when Dan and I finally get our act together we can make our wedding just as special.

In the wake of Valentine’s Day I’ve been thinking a lot about romance and the smoochy points in my life. Everyone remembers their first kiss. I can do two better. I remember my first three kisses.

It was fifth grade at Saint Thomas More. I wore the uniform of parochial conformity. Navy blue slacks and a poly-blend, white, knit shirt with a blue eagle emblazoned in deep blue over my heart. The girls wore navy blue and gold plaid jumpers with a yellow triangle over their hearts. On the tiny triangle was our school’s insignia finely embroidered with dark blue thread. Most of the girls appeared awkward and sexless in these jumpers. Anna was no different. She was a sixth-grader who, like me, was less than popular among her peers. She was inordinately tall for her age and sported a full head of hair in a Dorothy-Hamill-esque bowl cut. On Dorothy Hamill, this was a terrific signature look. Unfortunately, on Anna, the effect was more prepubescent lesbian than graceful figure skater. Her large, red-plastic-framed glasses didn’t help. Nor did the size of her prominent mouth accentuated with the gleaming machinery installed by, who I imagined, was a sadistic orthodontist.

She was not an attractive girl. She began her awkward puberty sometime around second grade and it just got progressively worse as the years went on. This also made her mean. Like a dog kicked too many times by the cruel neighborhood kids, she learned to bark loudly and bite when needed. My little sister referred to her as Frog-Face. I could see her point. The large glasses, the bowl cut and the enormous mouth did give her an aura of amphibiousness.

Like a frog, she had her eyes set on a fly…me. And on one Spring afternoon she cornered me in one of the dark breezeways on Saint Thomas More’s campus and took me by my hands. She looked at me with great seriousness and said, “I know everyone picks on you, André. They pick on me, too. They do it because we’re different. I know that I’m in sixth grade and you’re just a fifth-grader, but you are so much more mature than the guys in my class. I think you’re sweet and cute and I want to give you something.”

She then leaned in and planted a big froggy, metallic kiss right on my lips. She then burst into tears and ran away leaving me confused and a little titillated. I had kissed a girl! Even better, a girl kissed me. Sure, she was STM’s notorious frog girl but I was in no position to be choosy.

Later that afternoon I told my sister, who was in third grade what happened. Even in third grade, my sister had a remarkably developed sense of smart-assyness. She looked at me and dryly responded, “Well, did she turn into a princess?” I giggled and told her no. She then shrugged and said even more dryly, “Did you?”

Anna never approached me after that and last I heard, she became a rough-and-tumble lesbian and avid Lillith Faire enthusiast. Maybe my kiss turned her into a prince, after all?

My second kiss came many years later when at the age of fifteen I was invited to join a Southern Baptist friend’s daughter, Liz at a church banquet. I didn’t think of it as a date. I thought it was an attempt to convert me from Catholicism. I picked Liz up in my tiny, white Plymouth Horizon with black, orange and yellow racing stripes and whisked her gallantly to the tiny church five blocks from her house. It was a youth banquet. While Southern Baptists don’t dance, drink or talk about sex, they do eat. They also pray a lot. I had never sat through such a long prayer before a meal. Catholics can usually get through saying grace in a few seconds. Not Baptists. They were praying for forgiveness and everlasting life. I was praying the prayer would end soon and that the evening would soon end.

After the meal, the youth minister performed a series of monologues and dramatic reenactments from the New Testament. He was quite handsome. He had sparkling blue eyes and a killer smile. He emoted wonderfully with his deep country twang. He’d fling his blonde-highlighted mullet from side to side as he reenacted the torment of the crucifixion and the divine ecstasy of suffering. To my disappointment, he kept his shirt on. I was quite sure if he lost the shirt the whole crucifixion-effect would’ve been far more vivid. It’s difficult to picture our Lord on the cross wearing Izod.

The evening concluded and I drove Liz home feeling a bit antsy after listening to The Sexiest Story Ever Told. I pulled into her driveway and parked the car so that I could walk her to the door. Paul Young’s No Parlez softly echoed its scratchy side A selections from my old Plymouth’s cassette player. Liz stared at me with a look I had not seen her make. “Did you learn much about Jesus?”, she asked. “No. Not really.”, I answered. “Me either. Let’s make out.”, she offered and slid over to me with open lips. She grabbed me by the back of my head and slammed her face onto mine. She had converted from a sweet and innocent Baptist girl to a horned-up Pez dispenser in less than five seconds. Looking back, I think there are probably a lot of sweet and innocent Baptist girls that are really horned-up Pez dispensers in disguise.

This was the first time I had ever experienced tongue and I found the whole thing a bit uncomfortable and a little unsanitary. Still, I obliged out of deep curiosity and ambient horniness. I closed my eyes and thought of Izod Jesus while Liz’s tongue darted about in what felt like some sort of extraterrestrial dental exam. We never really saw each other after that. Strangely enough, I ended up dating her much older sister, Cecilia a few months later. Incidentally, Cecilia was a French Horn player and had a far better umbrature than her sister.

Randy was not technically my third kiss. He was, however, the first kiss I received from a boy and the first kiss that made me see stars. Well, if not stars, flickers of hope.

I was just about to turn eighteen and had bonded with a friend of a friend, Randy. He lived in a subdivision on the other side of Baton Rouge and went to a Fundamentalist Christian Academy. He, like me was the oldest of four. He had wavy, light brown hair and fair skin. His eyes were large and steel blue. He had no eyebrows to speak of and his voice sported a gentle Southern twang. He was tall and lanky and often wore paisley printed shirts and listened to The Smiths and The Cure. By today’s standards he would be considered Emo, if Emo kids wore paisley instead of black. He also had a girlfriend, a beautiful redhead with full and pouty lips and a god-like control of Randy’s every move.

I quickly developed a crush on Randy. I had never hidden the fact that I was gay from him. He never let it become an issue in our relationship. In fact, he kind of liked having a gay friend and often plied me with awkward questions about what it was like to kiss boys. I couldn’t really answer him. I confessed that I’d never actually kissed a boy before. He found this strange. A few weeks later he called me to pick him up from a local restaurant. He and his girlfriend had a falling out and she stormed out of the restaurant leaving him stranded. I picked him up and drove him home. He was sniffling and whining about the evening’s events. I parked the car and he gave me a hug, then he pulled me very close into a make-out session that lasted a good fifteen minutes.

It’s one of my fondest memories.

Randy and I never did become boyfriends. In fact he is now married and a a father of four. He’s returned to Fundamental Christianity and is a registered Republican. Although I’m quite sure he doesn’t look back on this time with the same fondness I do, I’m thankful he was my first. His kiss was that elusive first kiss I’d always heard of. The one that set the stage for many, many loving kisses to come. It validated who I was and gave me the boost of confidence I needed to move forward with my life.

I know a gentleman is not suppose to kiss and tell, but I’ve never really been much of a gentleman and a blogger has to write about something.

So, there you have it.

First kisses.

The Frog Princess.

The Baptist Pez Dispenser.

The Curious Friend.

I hope this story put you in a smoochy mood. I’m going to go plant one on Dan right now.

Hope you plant one on someone, too.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to offer your kiss of support- please feel free to contribute to my AIDS Walk fund here!

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One Response to “Oh, Martha! I Do! I Do!- Mexican Wedding Cookies! -187 eggs, 146 3/4 cups of sugar, 139 1/4 sticks of Butter, and 178 1/2 cups of flour used so far- 70 recipes to go”

  1. Rachael Says:

    I like this. A lot.


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