Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Great Cookie Exchange of 2008

So, today is one of those blogging days in which I have no intended topic nor do I have any clue what I'm going to blog about. Which means I probably won't have much of a point. For which I apologize.

I'm not feeling as gloomy today as I did yesterday which is definitely better, at least. My stray from yesterday found me again. He actually knocked on my door and found me. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I don't mind giving someone a ride but I don't like being hunted down. I also suspect he might be the owner of the alarm clock that goes off for hours and beeps. I can hear it through the floor. In every room. The reason I suspect this is that he's a student and he informed me he'd just got home 20 minutes ago from working all night on a project. I wasn't going to ask about his all-night project because, well, he's a student and there's such a thing as too much information. However, he told me it was a finals project though and he had been out at least twice this week and got in 20 minutes before he had to leave for school again. The incessantly beeping alarm clock finally stops about 20 minutes before I walk out the door, as though someone got home and realized he forgot to shut off his alarm. Yes, I'm very good at putting two and two together. It's as far as I got in maths and still managed to get an "A". If I'm right in my suspicions, that alarm clock will not be bothering me much longer because I will be Having Words with my stray. I'm a very wordy person as people like to inform me. It never sounds like much a compliment, unfortunately.

In other news, I made a monumental error late last week. I stupidly agreed to be part of a cookie exchange. Yes, Captain Monkeypants decided to get in the community spirit and participate in a festive event. Captain Monkeypants has since realized it was not one of her brighter moments in life. It seemed like such a nice idea: People bake a dozen cookies to give to everyone participating along with the recipe. In exchange, you get a dozen cookies back. Like a chain letter. With cookies. Nice, huh? What a nice idea, you give, you take, it's all good.

Except that it's not. It's not good at all. I thought they'd be about five of us participating. Sixty cookies is a lot but it's manageable. (See, look, my math skills are rearing their head again! Who knew?!). I could bake sixty cookies. Then, after I'd foolishly agreed to bake my cookies, I discover that there are ten people participating, not including me. That's ten dozen cookies. That's 120 cookies.

Now, if you're a baker or, at least, you like to bake, I'm sure you're thinking: "That's not that many! It's doable."

No. It's not. Trust me. Did I mention that I don't bake?I'm of the opinion that you're either good at baking or good at cooking. You might be able to do both but most people are stronger in one area than the other. Me? I'm not a baker. I'm a cook. I make soup. I can make good cabbage with juniper berries. I even make good potato pancakes. But that's not baking. When I try to bake, I end up with nasty little items that rarely resemble that which it should. My chocolate chip cookies turn into chocolate chip bullets. My cakes don't rise and, instead, turn into cookies that don't taste right because they were supposed to be CAKE. It's like the baked goods know it's me baking and they laugh in my face by morphing into something completely different. Some people blame their oven. Some people blame their pans. Not me. I blame me. I have no illusions. I'm ok with saying I'm a lousy baker.

The problem is, I think I like to bake. I like to have all those nifty little kitchen-looking things around that are part of baking. I like to put things in bowls. And that's usually when I realize what I'm actually doing and I want to stop but it's too late. That's why I thought the cookie exchange was a good idea. I thought, "Ooh! What a cute tradition! I want to play! I want to play!" And then as it inevitable does, reality set in. I can pinpoint the exact moment when reality hit: It was when someone said I had to bake 120 cookies.

I tried to get out of it yesterday. We were asked to say what type of cookies we were baking. I offered up my secret "Air Cookie" recipe- they're calorie free and taste exactly how you want a cookie to taste. They make no mess. Oh, and they're invisible. Apparently, being sarcastic also does not help you get out of a cookie exchange. I'm still in.

So now, I have to bake 120 cookies. I'm terrified. I did think of buying cake mix and doing something with it until I realized that cake mix is also not a success in my hands. No amount of frosting or icing can turn it into a cake; instead, it looks like a lopsided ski-slope. I'm thinking of making fudge. Yes, it involves stirring a lot but then you put it in a pan and you cut it and then you have fudge. 120 pieces of fudge is MUCH easier than cookies. Just because I actually don't like fudge doesn't mean I can't make it. Ok, so it's not a cookie but if I call it Cookie Fudge, then that counts. No one said it actually had to be cookies.

I'm going to find a loophole. I just need time. I have to keep reminding myself of Douglas Adam's famous words: "DON'T PANIC!". But it's 120 cookies. There's no running away from that. Eeek, gads. What have I done?

Happy Wednesday

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