I don’t know if it’s because of pandemic-induced temporary insanity, boredom, or if aliens have zapped my brain. But I decided not too long ago that I wanted to try my hand at something my mother is really, really good at, but whenever I’ve attempted it, my efforts have been “meh.” I’m not talking about sewing (lord NO, though I did sew a patch on a hat last summer)! I haven’t gotten THAT domestic yet! I’m talking about baking…
I bought a new cookie sheet Friday, bought some baking supplies on our last shopping trip, which included old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, vanilla, packages of assorted dried fruits and semi-sweet and vanilla baking chips.
I’m still a bit “special” when it comes to baking. I’m not a whiz by any means. I do best with a real cookbook, which in this case was the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. It’s a pretty good basic cookbook that will teach you everything from how to cook an artichoke, how to cook various meats, and how to make cookies.
Tonight, I made “ranger cookies,” with a couple of variations. Instead of using a cup of mixed fruit and a cup of coconut, I used the mixed fruit (which had coconut in it), added some golden raisins and vanilla chips. Since as I said before I’m kind of “special” when it comes to baking, I had everything prepped beforehand so I (hopefully) wouldn’t forget to put something in.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I used my hand mixer! I had to dig it out of the cupboard, and of COURSE the beaters were in a different cupboard. I cleaned both the mixer and the beaters beforehand. Whatever I’d used the mixer for years ago was still encrusted on the plastic, so I wiped it down.
Another thing I did to “prep” for my adventure was soak the fruit, so I boiled a small amount of water. I remember my mom used to do this when she made oatmeal cookies, and the Internets told me that if doing that, I should soak the fruit for about 15 minutes. I felt pretty clever doing something the cookbook didn’t tell me to do (if I were a home ec student I would demand a sticker from my teacher, or at least some extra credit points). I was such a sad home ec student that when I was failing at mid-term, I forged my mom’s signature on the progress report! I managed to bust enough ass to get my grade up to passing, so what mom didn’t know didn’t hurt her! I did end up telling her about this later, and we had a good laugh…
Do kids have to take home ec classes now? What about woodshop? I digress… I still use my upright wooden bottle opener with cap catcher! I think the teacher Mr. Strong gave me a B-minus on it (or lower)…wood working was not going to be my “thing!” I’m just happy I made it out of that class with all of my fingers.
What was I talking about before all of this? Oh yes, cookies! Here’s a “before” pic:
The finished product was tasty, but sadly, not presentable enough to take to a bake sale: