Does Cooking Help? —
I’m doing what I can – following suggestions put out by Wall-of-Us (wall-of-us.org). If you’re not following it, take a look. It makes having your voice heard easy. And we need to make our voices heard.
This week the news of our president-elect continues to confound and amaze. I know this, though I am still not ready for TV news, nor NPR. I tune into BBC World News, where the calamitous is delivered in calming tones. I also read newspapers, though I, like so many, have become increasingly skeptical of what is printed. Such is life in our post-truth world.
And this week, in yet another effort to regain some kind of normal, I tried cooking – well, baking to be specific. Never one of my strengths, nonetheless I found a recipe for Old Bay cookies – savories, as the Brits would say.
Now some years ago, in a spasm of minimalism, I gave away my hardly-ever-used food processor and most of my cookbooks. When this recipe called for such device, I thought, well, they didn’t have food processors for how many centuries and still managed to produce cookies, crackers and other assorted biscuits. If Jane Austen could do it, certainly it is not beyond me.
So, I kneaded, pummeled, with love, of course, this mixture of butter and flour until it approximated something like cookie dough. I lined the cookie sheets with parchment paper, delighted that I found the last fragment at the back of a drawer, and hoped for the best.
They baked. As I slipped them onto the cooling rack, I saw that they actually looked like English biscuits. Hope fluttered near. Perhaps the miasma was lifting. I called in my chief taster, he who will eat anything that I manage to cook and compliment me on it.
A cup of tea, with two Old Bay biscuits beside it. He bit. No response. Finally, “Have you tasted these?” I took one.
Inedible. Yet they looked so lovely.
So, it appears that baking isn’t the answer. But I’ll keep on trying. Along with working for some kind of justice and a country we can once again be proud of. I will not give up. And I’m keeping those biscuits as a reminder.
Another Sunday, a Novel of Historic Baltimore, www.cynthiastrauff.com