Tag Archives: baking

Ash Bashing

A burned, half-eaten biscuit, with a few crumbs, on a white background.I don’t know what it is where you grew up, but at my childhood school, Grandparents’ Day meant bringing your parents’ elderly living parents to school. Alive. You could even bring an older person who wasn’t necessarily related to you but filled that role of a grandparent in your life. The key element being that they were actually still alive. One girl in Davis, California brought her grandfather to school to share with her friends, except she’d baked his cremated ashes into cookies and passed them out.

What happened to the idea of respecting your elders? Maybe it’s a bigger issue to me now that I’m tipping into that elder category myself. While I loved my grandma more than anything on earth and I do really love a good chocolate chip cookie, combining the two does not magnify the love for or greatness of either no matter what angle you look at it. I love endangered baby harp seals. I love lasagna. That does not mean that I want to combine the two into an ill-gotten, macabre casserole to share with unsuspecting friends.

What makes it all even weirder, there were kids that ate the cookies knowing that Grandpa was an ingredient! One of those students, Andy Knox, said that despite containing “tiny grey flecks”, there was no way to tell it was human remains. “If you ever ate sand as a kid, you know, you can kind of feel it crunching in between your teeth, so there was a little tiny bit of that.” Okay, remember that kid’s name. If he ever runs for office, do not vote for him no matter who the other choice is.

Investigating police officers had to figure out what laws cover baking deceased human remains into food and tricking people into eating them. Is this a food and beverage violation? I don’t know, but scientists say that despite how distasteful in every possible way this is, there was no risk to the cookie eaters.

First you have Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards snorting his father’s ashes with way too much cocaine (Seriously. Google it.) and now this. What happened to the idea of Rest in Peace. That’s peace as in peaceful and leave me alone once I’m dead. Not piece of your next recipe. Lord! Kids these days!

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Pie or Die

I stupidly picked up a copy of “Southern Living” magazine. In my defense, I had a $2 off coupon. I’m a sucker for a coupon and fell for this one when I very well knew better. If you read this magazine’s mission statement, it will say something like “Publishing monthly for the sake of destroying the confidence and self-esteem of readers everywhere.” Job well done “Southern Living.” For the record, there’s a big difference between Southern Living and Southern Reality!

Maybe I shouldn’t have read the magazine when I was hungry — or awake or breathing or alive – because I got to the recipe section where I found this picture of an amazing apple pie. It was beautiful and appley with the crisscross crust on the top. Normally I would have laughed defiantly and turned the page, refusing to get drawn into this trap. Then I saw they had provided detailed instructions on how to make the crisscross crust on the top. In a moment of weakness, I believed the lie that I could make it. Tip #1: Never fall for the pie lie.

Off to three different stores looking for three different kinds of exotic apples that would “balance tartness and sweetness in a mouth-watering way.” When a recipe calls for ingredients that aren’t sold at Kroger, that should be a red flag to stick with Hamburger Helper or ordering out.

Somewhere between browning the butter and having to purchase an 8 oz. bottle of heavy cream to use half a teaspoon, it all went wrong. First of all, I didn’t know you could brown butter, but whatever. I figured that out. Despite detailed instructions including photos, making the crisscross crust top was a complete exercise in futility. Good thing this all day project was now in its later hours because I had to open a bottle of wine to finish it.

For any reader that navigated the gauntlet of ingredients and directions and was still standing, baking was the final test of endurance. “Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to the squared sum of the coefficient of the lesser of the two angles. Remove the pie to an alternate universe to cool. Serve with ice cream.” I translated that to “Bake at 425 until nearly burnt then eat with BlueBell (listeria be damned)! Next time, we just eat cake!


Filed under Much Ado About Nothing