Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moby Chip

I feel like Captain Ahab right now.

I'm not chasing whales, I'm in search of the perfect GF chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have never loved Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are too crisp for my taste. In our Days of Wheat I found cookie perfection in a recipe out of The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Thick and chewy, those cookies were simply the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever. It was the first recipe I tried to convert when I was familiar enough with gluten-free flours and gums to feel comfortable experimenting. It is also the recipe that I have had the least luck at converting. I have made many batches experimenting with different flour blends. As of yet I have had little success. They all taste great. After all, how can you go wrong with all that butter and sugar? My sticking point is the heft and chew of the cookie. The wheat version spread very little. They baked up stout with a slight crisp on the outside that gave way to soft chewiness toward the middle. My gluten free versions? They spread like mad and bake up thin and crispy.

I estimate that in the year or so that I have been trying to come up with the perfect GF chocolate chip cookie recipe I have made over 1000 inedible cookies.

Ahab cookies
I had a bit of a psychic connection going with this batch because I almost put them on a regular baking sheet but opted for a jelly roll pan just in case they spread so much they overflowed the pan. The only thing worse than disappointing mutant cookies are disappointing mutant cookies that set off the smoke detector.

This time I was foiled but I WILL develop the recipe for the perfect GF chocolate chip cookie, oh yes, I WILL.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

For Better or Worse

The period of May to October (wedding season) is to musicians what salmon spawning time is to bears. We don't eat the bridal party but do come out a bit more flush and always with a lot of good stories. Weddings never quite go right, and even when they do there is usually still a good yarn to tell.

like the time when the minister showed up drunk, called the couple by the wrong names and skipped the vows.

or the time when the best man stood up to give my all-time favorite toast: "Well, we never thought this day would come and we're taking bets on how long it will last. If anyone wants to join the pool, be sure to see me."

or the wedding party that broke into a fist fight on the way up the aisle after the ceremony. Shoes were flying, bouquets were flying, fists were flying...

or the time when the bride and groom knocked over the unity candle while attempting to light it and set the tablecloth on fire.

Then there are all the program typos:

Canon by Pachel Bell
Canon by Taco Bell
Pachel's Bell Canon
Pachelbel by Canon
Storm Pipe from Water Music (should be hornpipe)
All Grow From Spring (allegro...)
Panis Angelicus, which was correct until they hit spell check and forgot to proof read their program....

Despite it all, everyone always winds up married in the end which is the whole point, right? The marriage, not the wedding?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oma, Jamie and Ogie

WG has surrounded herself with a community of imaginary friends. I'm thinking this might be hereditary since I had quite the menagerie when I was little: boy-girl twins named Nogie and Eggroll, a dog named Ginger, and a whole flock of sheep. WG's imaginary friends are all people, sort of.

Oma was the first to make an appearance. Oma is devious. Most of the time she is mean to WG. She is seven feet tall (since I've never seen her this is a guess, but she is "taller than Uncle Neil" so 7 ft is probably about right.), has yellow eyes and wild hair that changes color daily. She lives in China, which happens to be around the corner from our house. Oma rides a scooter and, on our recent trip to Ohio, followed us the whole way. Oma has been put in jail for "making bad choices," speared with a sword (by our neighbor), and thrown out the car window (by me).

Jamie is another regular around our house. Jamie is a girl, but she is always referred to as "he" because, as WG puts it, "sometimes girls are boys." Yes, WG has a transgendered imaginary friend. Who also happens to share a name with my mother. Jamie is nice. We don't mind when Jamie comes to visit.

Ogie stops by once in awhile. Ogie is from elbowland.

Today was WG's first day of Kindergarten. I completely forgot to warn the teacher about Oma, Jamie and Ogie. It will be interesting to see if anyone went with her.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What You've All Been Waiting For...

I'll save the vacation recap for later. I know y'all are much more interested in seeing pics of Miss M and WG.