Many Happinesses with Martha… In Bed!- Fortune Cookies! -265 eggs, 198 cups of sugar, 201 1/4 sticks of Butter, and 247 1/2 cups of flour used so far- 19 recipes to go!
December 17, 2011
Three of my co-workers and friends recently retired. Every quarter our department has a pot-luck breakfast followed by a meeting. I wanted to do something special for these very talented friends, each a gifted writer and thinker. I had been putting off baking Martha’s recipe for Fortune Cookies. They looked like slow, tedious, pain-in-the-ass cookies to bake.
If you’ve read many of my previous posts, you’d know how I feel about tuiles. Tuile is a French word which means Tile. Supposedly these cookies are called tuiles because they resemble the clay roofing tiles you see throughout France and the Mediterranean. They are paper-thin cookies that, while still warm and pliable, are shaped into some sort of structured design. I believe this step is necessary so the cookies don’t resemble novelty barf.
Fortune Cookies, which, by the way, are not Asian in origin but completely an American invention, are French tuiles made mostly of egg white, sugar, flour, butter and vanilla, with an added paper treat inside. They can only be baked three at a time, otherwise you cannot shape them fast enough since they cool into a hard, crispy cookie very quickly. That’s the other issue I have with tuilles- you burn the hell out of your fingertips!
I filled each of these with quotes from my three colleagues procured by their friends through the years. It was a nice and tasty tribute to three fantastically talented ladies as they start the next and happiest chapter of their lives. I wish them nothing but the best with hope they’ll always stay in touch.
Speaking of new chapters, I promised news in my last post, so here it is. I was approached at work a few weeks ago about taking a temporary assignment with one of our subsidiaries in another city- Bloomington, Indiana.
Even though Dan and I have our wedding fast approaching and a million things to do, this opportunity seemed like a smart career move, and my company really needed someone to step in and hit the ground running with little training. After a long discussion with Dan, we agreed that we could deal with living apart for six months.
I just got back in town after training this week in Bloomington at our subsidiary. I’ll be living in a long-term stay hotel with a lovely kitchen but… wait for it… NO OVEN!
It’s very hard to bake cookies without an oven.
With only a few cookie recipes left in this challenge, I am going to attempt to bake as many of them before I leave as I can, photograph them, and then write about them from Bloomington.
I’m a bit sad that Dan and I will be apart. We’ve not experienced prolonged absences from each other since we first met and continued the relationship long distance between Kansas City and Jersey City.
I have an agreement with work allowing me to come home one weekend a month, and a two week allotment for the wedding, but still it’s all quite bittersweet.
I leave at the very beginning of the year so I have a couple of weeks to get through the 16 recipes I’ve yet to tackle.
So, that’s my big news- I’m going to be a hotel dweller for six months just like a bald, middle-aged, gay male version of Eloise.
Let’s move on from that subject now, shall we?
Here is the last installment of a series of poems I’m calling Dear Santa.
These poems are based on stories friends shared with me in response to a request I’d made for their recollections of toys or gifts they asked for or received from Santa when they were kids. The stories were marvelous and plentiful. I received over 40 responses and wrote these pieces to honor what my friends had shared. The poems are short and not necessarily very good. They are essentially little wordy stocking-stuffers. Pieces of fluff, for the most part to put a smile on the readers face.
Thanks to all my wonderful friends for sharing these memories with me. Memories are precious things. The older I get, the more I understand their value.
So, without any further ado, here is the last installment of Dear Santa.
Little Patty wanted…
I have a desire,
deep down in my core,
to own a wool coat
that just skirts the floor.
Black and white houndstooth?
Perhaps chevron stripe?
A maxi coat works
for my body type.
Little John wanted…
This toy was recalled.
Is this some sort of joke?
The parts are too small
and could cause one to choke.
My Christmas is ruined
’cause some kid from the South
thought the components
belonged in his mouth.
Little Christy wanted…
Yeah, blondes have more fun,
or so they say.
But every brunette
will have her day.
The jokes will be mean,
and blondes will disdain ’em.
Just as soon as
a brunette explains ’em.
Little Charla wanted…
Working through the quiet hours of the evening,
gentle, loving hands fashion
an exquisite dream
A young girl’s wish fulfilled, not by fictitious elves
but by one who knows her heart.
With each loop of the needle,
two hearts are
Little Susie wanted…
I’d prep and serve
like a perfect miss
and revel in
sweet domestic bliss.
I’d serve hors d’oeuvres
of carved polished pine
with a big mug
of my play house house wine.