There but for the Grace of God...

January 8, 2010


I did some baking over the holiday season.  I say "holiday season" because I baked between Christmas and New Year's Eve.  As usually happens in my life, a general lack of planning and time management meant I didn't get to the baking before Christmas and felt compelled to complete it before New Year's.  It's my little way of making up for the monumental sense of failure I get to experience every Christmas when I realize that it's two days before and I haven't sent out cards or put up decorations.  And the thing is, I really would like to do those things.  Send out home made cards.  Decorate with clever objects in interesting ways.  In my mind, that's the kind of person I am.  In reality, I'm the woman who waits til the last minute and says F*ck It when I realize it would take a miracle or a night with no sleep to get it all done.  Yeah.  It's not pretty, but that's really what goes through my mind.  You can see how important sleep is to me.

So, I baked.  Between the holidays.  I made zucchini cookies (interesting, but I probably won't make them again), chocolate chip cookies (wonderful as always.  It's a little known fact that I have the best recipe in the known universe.), two batches of peanut brittle (Grandma F's recipe, which never goes wrong), and ruined two batched of chocolate fudge (it just wasn't my year).  I packaged all the goodies up to be delivered to various relatives, and during the packaging I stumbled across one of the mysteries of the universe.  The phenomenon of bread and cookies.

If you're not familiar with this particular phenomenon, let me explain.  One of the simplest ways to keep your cookies from drying out is to close them up in a container or bag with a slice of plain old, grocery store white bread.  You know the type.  Wonder Bread works great, although Sarah Lee Soft & Smooth Whole Grained White Bread worked perfectly as well.  Now here's what happens.  The cookies get nice and soft and the bread gets dry and hard as nails.  It goes from normal squishy goodness to petrified in no time.  I have no idea why this happens.  It's always the same.  Cookies get soft, bread gets hard.  Never the reverse.  It's a mystery, and I'm okay with that.  I enjoy a good mystery.

This phenomenon came to mind, though, while The Captain and I were doing our tour of the two families over the Christmas season.  I have realized that I know a lot of cookies.  Well, maybe not a lot, but certainly enough to leave me feeling petrified.  You know these people too.  They're the ones who suck the life right out of you, leaving you feeling used up and just plain tired.  They're high maintenance and demanding.  They are fans of imposing guilt trips and obligation.  And sometimes they are subtle.  You don't even realize how challenging they are to deal with until they're gone.  Drama queens fall into this catagory.  So do overly emotional people.  Overly sensitive people, as well.  And toddlers.

Yup.  I said it.  Toddlers.  Well, kids under the age of 7 in general.  Especially at Christmas.  They're high on sugar, over stimulated by new toys and new people.  They run around like little psych ward patients: screeching and fighting and laughing and whining and tattle telling, all competing for whatever attention they can attract.  Oh, how I love them.  But seriously.  They're cookies.  And me?  I'm bread for sure. 

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