Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Baking Fool





















  Thunderation! Christmas is rapidly approaching and I still haven't wrapped present number one. I'm still waiting for a few things to come from Amazon and a present for Jan that I had my daughter pick up in Anchorage. There's a lot more variety in the stores there than what I could find at Hoonah Trading.  I just hope the gifts get here in a timely manner.I don't know what's going on with the mail service. In the past six weeks I've had two packages disappear once they arrived at Federal Way Washington. The packages have to be around somewhere, they didn't just evaporate, although I do wish they could translate like the guys on Star Trek. Can you imagine how drastically that would change every aspect of the transportation industry? Food for thought. Speaking of food,  a couple of weeks ago I had my first experience making fudge.   One of my sons-in-law is overseas for the holidays and had expressed a desire for fudge. Since I have much more time on my hands than Jan does, I figured I'd give it a try. It turned out pretty good actually. I was going to use a recipe that I think I got from the internet, but it called for twelve ounces of semi-sweet bakers chocolate. When I went to the store and saw that it was going to cost in excess of twelve bucks just for the chocolate, I started having second thoughts. When I told Jan about it, she said use chocolate chips. We had one of those Oh My God! sized bags of Nestle's chocolate chips that we had purchased at Costco last year and kept in the freezer. They worked just fine. I melted the chips, added nuts and marshmellow cream and presto change-o I had fudge. I did have a minor issue though. I was melting the chocolate chips in a pan, on medium heat, just like the recipe called for, but I noticed that some of the chips weren't melting. Not wanting to turn up the heat and take a chance on burning it, I opted to test the heat with my finger. Not a good idea. I burned my finger and then my lips when I tried to get it off my finger. Perhaps in the future a candy thermometer would be a good investment.In any event, it all turned out well and is on it's way to an army post somewhere.A few days later I figured I'd make some for Mom. She's in an assisted living facility back in my home town. Unfortunately she has Alzheimer's so some of conversations are a little trying at times. She can remember things from her past and sometimes seems to live there. She has commented on not wanting to have her parents upset if she was late getting home. She's 87 and both my grandparents have been gone for years. One day I called and she said she was really tired.  When I asked her why  she said she'd been jumping rope all day. That had to be quite a feat from her wheelchair. You have to keep a sense of humor that's for sure. Anyway, I opted to bake Mom some chocolate chip cookies instead of the fudge. I figured it would be less messy and I'm not sure what shape her teeth are in, so nuts wouldn't be advisable. I'd never baked chocolate chip cookies before either, but I'm usually pretty good at following recipes, which I did.I ran into a bit of  a  problem though. The recipe said to dip the dough onto the cookie sheet by the rounded tablespoon. I did that, and had them separated and all, but they still grew into each other,  like Siamese twins. As you can see, I'm no surgeon, so some of them kind of came apart.They were really difficult to get off the tray too, even though I used parchment paper. Some of them oozed  right through the cooling tray. It was frustrating, but the flavor was just like Grandma used to make.  Well, not my grandma, but maybe yours. I had to sample more than a few- just the really goofy looking ones. The problem was there were so many goofy ones. The recipe said it would make five dozen cookies.  Hmmm.... not exactly.I think I got somewhere around three dozen, but what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in size.  They look a little bit like miniature cow pies. Little lumpy cow pies. A few days ago I decided I wanted to make some Berries and Cream muffins for some of my friends. My daughter Autumn had picked blueberries when she was visiting last summer so I was blessed with a good supply. I'm going to bake some more muffins tomorrow to pass out I believe. If I'm going to be fat, I want my friends to be fat too. That way they won't be able to say too much about how I look. Tonight I'm making some really good bean and ham soup in the crock pot. It's been cooking all day and smells delightful. Of course the problem with bean soup is the after effects. After eating a bowl or two I blow up like the Hindenburg. Maybe I should pass out bottles of Beano for stocking stuffers this year, cause I know this won't be the last pot of soup I'll be making this winter. I'm not sure what the next project will be after the muffins. This past fall I picked a bunch of apples at Jen's house before I trimmed the trees. Maybe a nice apple crisp will be in order, I'll have to see.  Anyway, those of you who might have in mind to send us candy or some other sweet treat, please don't. I'm more than capable of treating myself to all manner of fattening, yet tasty goodies. Go cook for yourself!








8 comments:

  1. Good blog dad, I enjoy doing a little baking myself! ;)

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  2. Yes, I know you do. My baking is a little better though,soooo..... I don't sell my stuff, I'm a little more generous than you sooo... a little more Christmas spirit sooo... I guess Santa won't be visiting you.

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  3. Guess you could say that I made cookies, fudge, and vanilla crack...soooo...for both grandmas...soooo...just a little more generous...sooooo....tastier treats too...soooo

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  4. Also, I'm wearing a Christmas t-shirt now...little more Christmas spirit...better dressed...soooo....Merry Christmas...soooo

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  5. Well, I hate to tell you this and spoil the surprise but my dad was Santa Clause, and when he passed away I became Santa, sooo... a little better than just wearing a Christmas t shirt soo....

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  6. BAHAHAHAHAA!!! OK, you win this round.

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  7. Yum! Sounds like your baking is delicious, as usual, Tom. If you opt to have a few more chocolate chip cookies after partaking bean soup, I suggest a really big bottle of Beano...and stay away from the Toyo !

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  8. Hi Jill, nope, the chocolate chip cookies have been a thing of the past for awhile now. I just talked to Mom today. She didn't even know that they had arrived, or didn't remember. I had to ask the attendant about them and they said they keep them at the front counter so they can kind of monitor them in case the residents start choking or something. Anyway, she ate one or two while I was talking to her and gave them a thumbs up, which I was glad to hear. I was afraid that they would all be crushed in shipment.

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