Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Cookies, regional cookbooks, and Top 50 Things Every Foodie Should Do

This is one of those personal blog-type entries with a strong puff pastry component, as opposed to politics, paramacia, or programming.

I think I have found "my" cookie. This may well be the Sidra cookie. I was making oil cookies (sugar cookies that use oil as their binder) for a while early last year, and then moved over to making roll cookies (which are rather like shortbread, very good with a little jelly dabbed on them, even better if you shape them for that exact purpose - so went the last of my precious fireweed jelly[*] from Alaska) after moving here (and with some intervening quick breads and brownies), and now it seems I'm in love with "refrigerator cookies", which use almost exactly the same recipe as my roll cookies, yet come out different. ("Refrigerator cookie", because you chill before slicing and baking.) Someday, when I have money, I'll splurge and add chocolate chips and walnuts to them, and oh, will they be good.

In the end, they're all sugar cookies, but it's remarkable how some simple changes make such a difference.

I put home mixed spices in my sugar cookies - curry powder, 10-spice, hot pepper - just for fun, and if someday I'm not too lazy, I'll try pfeffernusse. Laziness is an issue because rolling in powdered sugar is involved. And I'm lazy. Really, really lazy.

However, I won't give up the possibility of mysore pakku or cardomom fudge as becoming my next big thing.

One of my none-so-secret hopes of my trip to Ireland (I will be at the National University of Ireland, in Galway, attending a summer session on international human rights law) is that not only will I find some native yarn or roving to buy, but also come home with some regional recipes. I collect cookbooks, and my favorites are little local cookbooks that church auxilaries tend to put together.

[*]I was able to find rosehip butter at one of the local Russian groceries to make up for the loss. I expect I'll never find fireweed anything unless I go back to Alaska.

The top 50 things every foodie should do at least once. Yum, yum!

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