Friday, December 27, 2013

Cookie Overload

I haven't eaten a healthy thing in four days now.  I am going to have to go on a vegetable IV drip if this keeps up.  Since Erik started on his Christmas Baking Frenzy, we have switched our four food groups to sugar, flour, butter and chocolate.  So much deadly deliciousness in such a small package.

It is hard to say how this came about.  Perhaps Erik was feeling lonely.  This has been our first Christmas without family since 2010, and only our second ever as a foursome.  Perhaps he just missed his mother's Christmas baking, which is understandable, as the woman is a champion.  But, whatever the reason, Erik got in a baking mood.

Just in case it has somehow escaped your attention, Erik only has two modes: full out, or full stop.*  And, like his mother, he mentally takes the number of people he is ostensibly cooking for and multiplies it by ten.

I found Erik at the computer, merrily typing away.
"I thought you were going to bake cookies," I said.
"I am."
I looked over his shoulder.  "That's Excel."
"Well, I have to make a shopping list, don't I?"
"One point two kilos of butter?  A kilo and a half of sugar?"  I shook my head.  "I have the basics here, you know.  Can't you just make some cookies from what we have?"
"You don't have everything I need," said Erik.  "Not the specialty ingredients.  This way we can plan to have these items in stock every December.  You know, if you'd just let me set up a Kanban system for you..."
But I had already fled to safety.  I know better than to stick around when the Kanban talk flares up.
My arteries are clogging up just looking at this list.
So we shopped, and Erik dragged home powdered sugar and lemon zest and magic dust and whatever else he needed.  Then he plunked himself in the kitchen and set to work.
And he mixed and he rolled and no one got to eat lunch, because how do you get in the kitchen to make a sandwich when there are bowls of dough and cooling cakes covering every surface?  The girls and their friends got into the act, too.
And when there were done, they had produced dozens of excellently tasty German holiday treats.

Day one tally
2 trays Mürbchen
2 trays Vanillekipferl
1 stollen
As we happily ate our way though the treats, I noticed Erik watching.  He muttered comments to himself about what types of cookies were being eaten, which items had baked through properly and which needed a little less heat.

And then, this morning, he started unpacking the ingredients again.

"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Making cookies."
I clutched at the knot of butter and sugar converting itself into adipose tissue in my stomach.  "What?  More?  You can't be serious."
"I haven't even made the shortbread yet!  Your grandmother's shortbread." Erik looked at the girls then gave me a significant look, as though he were ashamed of my cruel plan to deprive our children of my grandmother's famous cookies.
I threw my hands in the air.  "Do what you like."

But did he bake just two dozen shortbread cookies like a non-crazy human being would have?  He did not.

Day 2 tally
2 trays Vanillekipferl
3 trays shortbread
And they were delicious.  Of course they were delicious.  But I'm about to have an infarct over here.  The kids need to eat something - anything - else.  But Dad's cookies taste so good, nobody wants anything else.  I count myself lucky to get a bit of bread and jam into everyone once a day.
But, surely, now that the holiday is behind us, the baking is, too.  We can stop here:

Final tally
2 trays Mürbchen
4 trays Vanillekipferl
3 trays shortbread
1 stollen

Erik whistled as he finished up the baking dishes.
"Thanks for all of the baking, sweetheart," I said.  "It was really good."
"No problem.  Sorry I didn't get done today."
I narrowed my eyes as I looked around the clean kitchen.  "What do you mean?"
He shrugged.  "We have to go out, so I stopped early.  I'm going to make another stollen tomorrow."

Revised final tally
2 trays Mürbchen
4 trays Vanillekipferl
3 trays shortbread
2 stollen

I think we'd better start handing cookies out in the marina.  Someone pass me the Ziplocs.

*This is a perfect opportunity to tell one of my favorite jokes.  There are only 10 types of people in the world - those who understand binary, and those who don't.


Karen said...

A man after my own heart!! Perhaps the children can have a 'Cookie Stand' in the marina?? I baked away and entire Saturday and would have kept going on Sunday but we lost power for 40 hours!! I was thinking of trying out baking on the gas bar b que??lol. I hope you are all well (not too high on sugar) and the girls are enjoying their school. Hugs to all

Anonymous said...

Lucky, we already finished our shortbread. I have eaten chocolate and chips for the last two days, starting to feel guilty, as I need to feed the baby something good. So I have snacked on the odd banana, glass of cider from Bert and leftover ham to lessen the guilt. But chocolate is winning. I justify it but saying I am making it disappear so we only have healthy food left.


Anonymous said...

Cookies! I love cookies. Erik your cookies looked like pieces of art. Yum.

Chris Bennett said...

I feel humbled reading of Erik's approach. I think Harvard business school did some serious mental damage :)

Have run out of Christmas cookies already on Ladybug, currently cruising in northern New Zealand, so must head back to civilization.

Best wishes for a prosperous and healthy 2014!