6

No More Cookies

I did not do too much today, so here’s an update to a story I posted last July, with some more juicy (er…sugary) details.

Today’s post comes from the archives of my Amherst days.

You know sometimes in life you just have to live a little. And other times just have to say “no mas, por favor.”

So, one Friday night, I was at Hillel doing the usual. That night happened to have had a particularly generous sponsor and something must have been happening on campus because there was hardly anyone there. And usually, after the main course, people filter out anyway. Usually, the food was edible, but not great, with some lame dessert, and then after dinner we’d jet over to Chabad for Round 2.

But that day, however, there were cookies.

So few people, SO MANY COOKIES.

Just sitting in brightly colored piles of sugar, in pink and green and brown and yellow. As the meal wound down, there were fewer and fewer people to eat the cookies, so they were gradually being consolidated until they ended up on one gigantic plate that happened to be near where I was sitting.

I know what you’re thinking; this can’t end well.

So, my friend Zippy and I were just sitting there, talking about something, I don’t know what. Every so often, one of us would reach for a cookie, and nibble on it as we continued talking, and then take another, and another. Almost comically, the pile kept getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. At the beginning it was a small mountain of cookies, and then somehow it became just a mesa, and then a plateau. We kept saying that we needed to stop eating the cookies, but they were there, so obviously that wasn’t happening. Neither of us actually thought of getting up and moving the cookies to any of the other unoccupied tables in the room, or to the kitchen.

Then, someone came to the table asking for a cookie, and we turned to him/her in unison, sugar shock in our eyes and voices, pleading, imploring:

“Take them away! PLEASE!”

And that’s how I learned that you can have too much of a good thing.

8

Sugar Crazy

Hello, my name is That’s So Jacob.

And the reason you haven’t been seeing me around is because of SUGAR.

Yes, sugar.

It started on Sunday with the fudge cake, and continued with the care package my parents sent of Twizzlers (lasted all of three hours), Berger cookies (gone within a day, but thankfully shared with others) and not one but TWO huge packets of chocolate and vanilla wafers. Then there were the surprise donuts, and of course, some lattes thrown in for good measure.

Things I need to do:

1. Peel myself off the ceiling.

2. Eat something nutritious.

3. Settle down enough to do some homework.

4. Email probably a bajillion or so people I’ve been meaning to contact.

5. Make myself go to the gym…every day…for the rest of my life. (in my defense, though, I did go Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday I got too busy and today I ended up dancing until I was a sweaty hot mess).

GAH.

0

Hypnotized by the Bullseye

Every single day since I’ve been back, I’ve gone to Target.

And sometimes, more than once a day.

And to more than one Target; there are five in the Madison area and I’ve been to three of them at least once (Hilldale, Fitchburg, and Madison West).

In the past few days, I have bought limes, ketchup, mustard, active dry yeast, soda, eggs, Werther’s Originals butterscotch candies, carrots, frozen veggie burgers, bagel thins, fruit snacks, streusel, cookies, jam, almond butter, a wrench, a UW t-shirt, refrigerator magnets, chocolate chips, all-purpose flour, duct tape, a broiler pan, iced coffee packets, a toilet brush, toilet cleaner, and stain remover.

Today I bought a lampshade, light bulbs, poppy seeds, onion soup mix, and carpet cleaner.

This has been my life for the past week.

I am turning into a real life Target Lady.

Sweet Mary Hartman.

20

Thumb and Thumber

51qm0m31jyl_The concept of a “helpful tips column” has been around for awhile. From Ann Landers to Emily Post, Dear Abby to Heloise, “hints” and “tips” have been at our fingertips, literally, since my grandmother could clip them out of the newspaper and store them in a fancy box in the kitchen. With the decline of the print newspaper (you can argue that it’s not dying, but I’d ask you to read the front page advertisements in The New York Times before you stated your case), the advice column is probably what’s taken the biggest beating, along with weather (which is even in cars now), stocks (already outdated by the time the issue hits your hands), and sports scores (24/7 sports television takes care of that). Plus, society has changed; people care less about how to clean the insoles of your shoes than about how to set up a video game console. Certain things matter less to people, like having a squeaky-clean kitchen, reusing flour sacks as diapers, and the proper way to show up to a cotillion. They’ve been replaced by antibacterials, recycling, and…well, who goes to cotillions anymore? Certainly, the advice column as we know it was about to go.

Then, along came Pinterest.

And Buzzfeed.

And Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

And Cake Boss.

And suddenly, “tips” got hot again, whether for going green in the kitchen, saving bathroom space, or artsy-craftsy things like making baby shower invitations or making a bookshelf out of an old oven range. What came back in full force, though, were the cooking tips. Gluten free, vegan, and of course, all those mini-mini-cupcakes and cake that looks like a Mondrian painting when you cut into it.

Ever going along with the trends, Reader’s Digest presses on with their columns, but sometimes the advice isn’t that well-thought-out, like this past March’s column on page 46 entitled, “The Clever Cook: Be A Spotless Gourmet.”

Tip #1: Place ingredients on an empty baking sheet prior to prepping them.

Okay, so it’s just basically saying, get your shit together before you make a mess.

Tip #2: Broken glass? Pick it up with white bread!

I really wonder who thought of that idea, and who had to test that.

Tip #3: As you cook, toss scraps into a large bowl to contain messes if a trash can isn’t around.

When I cook, I don’t tell my trash cans to go out on a date and “come back before midnight”…most kitchens have trash cans for this purpose, or even sinks with garbage disposals to eliminate this problem entirely. Moving on…

Tip#4: To protect a recipe card, put it under a glass lid.

Okay, so kitchen snow globe. Not a horrible idea, but who uses recipe cards anymore? For me, it’s my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook or the Internet.

Tip #5: Secure a paper towel around the neck of an olive oil bottle to prevent drips.

This one is actually smart. I hadn’t thought of that. However, I usually just wipe the bottle after I use it, problem solved.

Tip #6: “Keep your thumbs squeaky clean by using a wine cork to make an indent in thumbprint cookies.”

…um, what?

Seriously?

wine cork?

If you’re making thumbprint cookies and are too lazy to do the thumbprint thing, maybe you should’ve thought this activity through a little more, and made cupcakes, or flan, or jello…or even a fruit salad, for that matter. Unless you intend to make a watermelon basket with your thumbs. Also, if you’re that anal about keeping your thumbs clean, then maybe baking is not the activity for you. Baking is fun, but it’s inevitable that you’re going to get something messy, whether it’s your hair, hands, clothes. Usually, it’s all three.

Try knitting, or playing piano, or watching TV.

Unless you’re also so lazy that you need to use wine corks to press the buttons on your remote control.