Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hillbilly Cuisine! - Cookies!

Now Playing -  
I Will Survive  by The Puppini Sisters

Life -  
 The other night, at 3am, while I was straining to concentrate on my PTCB studies, I decided that I needed a cookie. But not just any cookie. I needed the motivation that comes from a hot, crispy-chewy-scrumptious cookie that can only come from cooking the thing yourself. So I hopped over to AllRecipes and found a basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. It was one for 4 dozen. I wanted... like, three. So I made it adapt the recipe to one dozen. Hear those distant rumblings? Trouble brewing, that.

Then, while I assembled the ingredients, I realized where I was living. I was no longer residing in my comfortable, well-appointed home in Idaho. I was in a trailer house in Maine, where we were doing our darndest to live frugally and lightly. We also hadn't gone shopping for a bit.

I had the flour and the baking soda, and the eggs... kind of - more about that in a second - and I thought I had sugar... But I only had half of what I needed, reduced recipe or not. So I topped off the measuring cup with the large grained "Natural Cane" sugar we use with our coffee. In it went with the brown sugar and the requested butter (Not really "Softened" per se...) It should be noted that I do not own any mixing bowls. I have regular bowls and popcorn bowls. One of which was dirty and the other was a slightly cracked black Halloween bowl. So the Skull-Encrusted one it was!
Mixing large grains of sugar and cold butter in a flimsy $1 bowl? Not easy. Eventually, I'd bullied it into a paste and added the minuscule portions of salt and soda. Now the eggs... Oh, crap. AllRecipes, in all it's computerized wisdom had decreed the need for "1/2 eggs" Crap! So I scrambled one up good in a cup and poured it into a little measuring cup. It came to roughly a 1/2 cup, so I guesstimated half of that... I may not have been very exact.

But it started to look like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! Apart from the chocolate chips. OH CRAP! I don't have chocolate chips! Luckily, I did have a Ferrera brand Chocolate Orange from Christmas! (I Don't know if you've ever had a Ferrera brand Chocolate Orange, but they're terrible, that's why we still had it. The Terry's brand oranges are heavenly and amazing. The Ferrera ones are like orange flavored soap rubbed smooth on the sweaty pits of migrant workers.) So I chopped it up and added it to the mix.
At this point, it should be noted - I do not have an oven. Well, I have an oven, but it's not hooked up to the gas. (They left it with a leak for three days after installing it and tried to charge me for the leaked gas, so I told them to shove their canister somewhere unpleasant) But I do have a toaster oven! It's cookie time!

After ten minutes, the cookies looked like dough still. After twenty, they looked like dough with runny edges. After twenty-five though... they started actually cooking! So... thirty minutes or so later, I had four cookies, fresh from the oven. This is what they looked like -

They weren't too bad. A little heavy and without the crispy texture I'd hoped for, but I think that came more down to my tiny batch recipe than anything else. And the orange pieces were still pretty crappy. So I got my cookies. After about an hour of work and impatient waiting, I got three questionably edible cookies. (I saved one for Linz)

Also, in case you ever wonder whether you can cook a Chocolate Chip Cookie on a cast iron Skillet at 3:30 in the morning... the answer is no, no you can not.

The ROUS FAMILY -     
 Coming Soon - More Shrunken Head Madness!
 Dead Babies!
Stephen King !
Audio Books! 


randymeiss said...

Hilarious, informative, and educational. Once again, your writing succeeds on several levels. Way to make do with what you have! My first thought was that you can soften butter in the microwave, but you may not have one of those either. At any rate, I don't think microwaves are any good for cookie baking.

I don't think I would have ever thought to try "frying" a cookie and thanks to you will know not to attempt in the future. I also know to stay away from Ferera chocolate oranges and I'm still trying to erase the vision of sweaty migrant workers from my mind.

What is PTCB study? My go-to choc. chip cookie recipe is the Nestle toll-house version printed on the bag of chips. But as you've said, you didn't have those either so well done!

The Grows said...

Remind me to make you some cookies the next time I see you. No offense but those were some sad looking cookies. On the bright side they made for a good story at least.

Steve at Random said...

I can relate to your "Hints from Heloise" story. Last night I was in the midst of making an egg white omelette (as I too have weighty matters I'm trying to overcome) when I discovered that I had no toaster. Belinda had taken the toaster to the church as she prepared an after school snack for the children. What's a grown man to do. I can't have an omelette without toast. So I decided to put my omelette in between two slices of bread and "toast" them the way our would make a grilled cheese sandwich. Guess what, it was great! I would say that necessity is the mother of invention...even though it's been said before. Long live the brave men of the kitchen.