{ Monday, February 16, 2004 }

Drinking and Cooking.

Sometime this evening, while we were drinking the Kool-Aid with two shots of vodka that the label calls "wine", leftovers from the weekend, Ellie came into the living room.

"These cookies you made are still good. They're so tasty."
"You are not eating those! Those are from New Year's!"
"They're yummy."
"Did you at least microwave them?"
"Let me make some more cookies. Don't eat those."
"There are plenty left."
"That's because I used too much flour and they're like dog biscuits."
"They're good."
"They have to be stale. Let me make some more."
"That would be so cool, but I don't think these could get stale."

I went into the kitchen and got out the cookbook. Then I came to my first problem... we had all the ingredients (as far as I could tell), but how would I find a measuring cup? I found one but it was really dirty and my short attempt to wash it got me little results. I think it's been dirty for a long time.

I hunted around and found my spice rack on the floor in the dining room. Somewhere behind it, there was a half melted 1/4 cup measuring scoop. Good enough.

I mostly eyeballed the measurements... "how much of this would fit in there?" because I didn't want the wetter ingredients to end up sticking to the one measuring device I had. I substituted olive oil for an egg, but I think that's totally acceptable (please comment if not so I can learn).

My first real problem was the brown sugar. Somehow in its cannister, it had turned into petrified brown sugar. It was like rocks, and when it got into the beaters, they'd stall out.

"What's going on in there?"
"The brown sugar! It's like petrified!"
"What are you on? How did you scare the brown sugar?"
"No! Like Rocks!"

Ellie came in and watched me try to break up the brown sugar with a butter knife, a steak knife and then a paring knife. Ultimately, we decided that we'd be having "Peanut butter, marshmallow, brown sugar surprise" cookies. We discussed the importance of being careful and not breaking our teeth on it...

Except after I added the flour, it wasn't wet enough. So I added some more peanut butter. Then it wasn't sweet enough. So I added more sugar and oil. Then Ellie tossed the marshmallows in while I beat the ingredients on really, really high. This caused marshmallows to just fly about the room. It was really very fun.

You have to picture me doing this in a cashmere twin set and blue scrub pants to really understand what was going on. We were mixing it on the stove top, because that's where the clean space was. I have no idea how Em slept through the racket... she's just such a good little sleeper. I really expected her to come in at any second and look at her sister and me, baking drunk and making messes and noise, and lay down the law.

Instead we rolled the cookies in to little balls. About five minutes into the baking, I remembered we were supposed to have mashed them with a fork.

After fifteen minutes, they didn't look cooked.

"Maybe we should mash them? Maybe that will make them cook?"
"Okay, let me get a fork."
"No, don't even bother looking in the drawer. We're out of clean ones. Let me exhume one from the sink and wash it."
"I'll just use a butter knife!"
"I like that idea."

Ellie mashed the first "cookie" and it crumbled. She tried another. Crumble. I tried one. Crumble.

We took them out of the oven. We tried them. They tasted like some sort of a bread or cake more than a cookie. Ellie hit upon the excellent idea of mashing it all into a bread pan and baking it like that. So we did. She used the half tablespoon measuring spoon (the one clean "spoon" in the house) and I used one of the butter knives from earlier and we scooped all the cookie crumbs into the break pan.

"Shut that cookbook. Betty Crocker can have no part in this!"
"Poor Betty. She's turning in her grave."
"I hope she doesn't see what we're doing."
"I hope she's just some character some man made up."
"That would make me feel better."
"Okay, let's just decide Betty Crocker was not real so we can feel less guilt about what we're doing."
"How will we ever feed families? We can't reproduce."
"Your husband hasn't starved to death."
"He's a professional cook."
"Oh, right. Yeah, how could we be in our early twenties and not be able to make cookies?"
"We're not domesticated. And I think we're awfully drunk."
"I bet our grandmothers could have made cookies while on three grams of valium."
"Yeah, I think we're lost causes."

Twelve minutes later, I was peering into the oven.

"Does it look cooked?"
"I don't think it's ever going to look cooked. I think it's just getting more hot and dry."
"You're probably right."
"Okay, get a pot holder and take it out of the oven then."
"Right! I totally forgot what came next."

Ellie grabbed a knife off of the counter and we cut and scooped ourselves each a plate of the cookie loaf thing we'd made.

Ultimately, what we made would be an excellent ice cream topping. It was like cookie dough, except not as wet and really hot. With melted marshmallows. It was really, really dry. Like ground up peanuts mixed with sugar really.

"Should I go cover that before we go to bed?"
"I don't think this could dry out and get stale."
"What happened?"
"I eyeballed all the measurements."
"Did you add flour?"
"I did. I even sifted it."
"The recipe didn't call for it."
"The recipe didn't call for it."
"What wet things did the recipe call for?"
"Shortening? Peanut butter? Softened butter? I really did soften it and I used real butter. An egg? Eggs are wet!"
"You don't have eggs here"
"I used olive oil"
"That's wet."

Yeah, so if anyone knows what causes all the cookies to be completely crumbly (you know besides my silly drunk self eyeballing all the measurements)... we'd like to know. Even if you could just tell me which ingredient was lacking or in too much abundance... it would be very helpful.

posted by mary ann 10:26 PM