Thursday, July 16, 2009


Isn't that the greatest word? The way it sounds, the way it pops when you say it, the way it strikes as a little silly... While I hate to wax rhapsodic about a single word (though if you asked my former seventh grade students, poets have devoted whole poems to the sound of words, which turns out to be about something of great emotional significance, but you don't know that at first), it fits a little something that happened to me, baking-wise, this week.

Last week I received an email asking if I make black and white cookies and if I could make them for those Shabbat platters. I reponded that I do, but they had not been on the menu for a while, and since last Shabbat was too soon, she ordered them for this Shabbat. Suddenly it occurs to me, I have not made them since Yom Haatzmaut two years ago, because they are such a darn problem to shape properly. I tried dropping, rolling, chilling, freezing, wet hands, greased hands, and all this to make the stupid cookies in their blue and white incarnations. So I searched for a new recipe and found one. I experimented early in the week, and did not like the taste as much as the original recipe. But in the comments section of the new recipe, someone gave an alternate shaping method. If it works for one recipe, why not for others? And it did! The cookies came out nearly perfectly round. I could not have been happier with the result. So, serendipity. Trying something new, searching for a new way, it led me back to what I knew was right, just executed in a better way. It would be great if there were many such serendipitous moments in life, where happenstance lets us improve the way we function. I am going to try the technique with other types of cookies, and try the concept in other parts of life.

If the proof is in the pudding, here is proof in the cookies:

See how round they are?! Sounds silly, but they made me so happy - not to mention the customer, who said she loved them, or my family, who gobbled up the leftovers. Here is the weekly platter:Chai sugar cookies, coffee and cream brownies, black and whites, cranberry pecan bars, and thin mint sandwiches. And for those cookies that are ready for their close-ups:

Cranberry pecan bars!

A new flavor - coffee and cream brownies: rich brownie base, layered with coffee cream and chocolate ganache. YUM!

Shabbat was nice, if uneventful. We had what the kids call a "Quiet Shabbos," with no company and no going out. David and I even managed a walk on Friday night - yay for making early Shabbat! - and the air worked perfectly in shul. There was a brit on Shabbat morning in the middle of davening, which was cool, and a double parsha and bentching Rosh Chodesh and a d'var halacha, so we didn't even finish until after 11. It was almost like being in the US, but still about an hour shorter. Shana prepared food for seuda shlishit, so we could have a formal meal outside instead of whatever was lying around leftover. The weather was great in the evening, so we enjoyed the pergola once again.

Today brings swimming for Dani and Ariella, Ayelet is babysitting, and Shana will eventually get out of bed. I am entertained that she is scheduled to babysit at the gym tomorrow am at 8!!! We are barbequing this evening - must get in all the meat we can before Rosh Chodesh! Shavua tov, everyone.


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