Friday, December 9, 2011

Some Things are More Trouble Than They're Worth...

There are certain things that seem like a wonderful idea at the time, but in reality, are just more trouble than they're worth. You can either buy the finished product for much less than you can make it yourself, OR you are better off just admiring a picture of it. Please remind me of this moment of clarity if I ever show signs of doing the following:

Trying to grow my own Sweet Corn, Pumpkins or Watermelon.
Canning Tomatoes or making Sauce.
Planting more than two Zucchini plants at a time.
Baking cutout Christmas cookies.

I keep a list of cookie recipes that I've mastered, and I also keep a list of failures to never try ever again. Inevitably, every few years, my memory grows dim, and a photo like this in a catalog...

...will catch my eye. I will immediately send away for the cookie cutters. I will clip the photo for inspiration. And I will take several years off my life trying to achieve similar results.

And for what? To try to impress my mother, husband, extended family, friends and coworkers with my baking prowess when I present them with a picture perfect box of Holiday delights? Trust me, there is no baking prowess. My mother is already impressed with me, due in no small part to her claim on giving birth to me. My husband barely tolerates my flights of Holiday fancy as it is, and my coworkers know they must pretend to be impressed or suffer a 40 hour work week of bad (worse) temper. My friends would probably think me pretentious and talk amongst themselves while I'm occupied with my cutout cookies.

Alternatively, there are several recipes that are a lot less trouble than they appear.
Split Seconds, for instance, have a bit of a learning curve, but are remarkably easy, and they look so festive. Especially if you drizzle white icing over the finished cookies. I use cherry jelly instead of raspberry jam, and I apply it with a cookie decorator.

Hershey's Peanut Butter Blossoms. This dough is SO easy to work with. Very forgiving. But, if it looks like you are going to get more than 4 dozen out of the batch (I got 5) be sure to unwrap the extra kisses BEFORE you pop the last sheet in the oven! Time is of essence!

Pecan Turtles. A regional candy favorite. Add two tablespoons or heavy cream instead of water to your caramels. Very easy to make, not as messy as they sound and heavenly to eat.

Now, as for those cut out sugar cookies... I still have several refrigerated dough logs to work through. I think the wise choice would be to get out the snowman cookie cutter and apply the frosting with a broad knife.


  1. "I think the wise choice would be to get out the snowman cookie cutter and apply the frosting with a broad knife" ~cookies are cookies! While the beautiful ones may get noticed, the taste is really what matters.

    And your sanity.

  2. A friend stopped by the farm the other day while I was unloading a wagon load of round bales with the front end loader with our aged Kubota loader tractor, sans hood and sides because I work on it so often.

    He leaned up against a pole in the barn and made himself comfortable until I was done. After I shut the tractor off his first words to me were. " She ain't the kind you take to the dance, is she ?"

    When I replied no, sure ain't with a chuckle his response was, "There's three things in life don't have to be pretty to be impressive. Tractors, cookies and ladies of the evening." I agree with the first two, but I ran out of time to ask him where he learned about the third option.

  3. Lol @ Jason.

    I completely agree about growing your own sweet corn, too many zucchini and next season will probably learn to agree about watermelon. But I make my own tomato sauce and it`s easy peasy.

    Those fancy cookies do look awesome but definitely more trouble that they`re worth!

  4. I don't do anything other than drop cookies any more. No special shape necessary :)
    stevie @