No Apologies with Julia Child

Do not criticize your work to others; it devalues both the work and you. I’d go on, but Julia Child said it better:

“I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to cook…’ or ‘Poor little me…’ or ‘This may taste awful…’ it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is not. Besides, such admission only draw attention to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, ‘Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!’ Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed – eh bein, tant pis!” – My Life in France

Julia doesn’t finish there. She tells you what to do instead of apologizing:

“Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile – and learn from her mistakes.” –My Life in France

If you take Julia’s words to heart, you might become a famous television chef. Even if you don’t, you’ll gain respect – unless a cat has actually fallen into the stew; that’s unforgivable.

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Pregnant Cookies, Real Baby

Pregnant women exist. Pregnant pauses exist. Now, pregnant cookies join their ranks.

In the beginning pregnant women look just like other women, pregnant pauses seem to be just a moment of silence, and pregnant cookies appear like this:

 

With the passing of time, pregnant women begin to grow a  large belly, that pregnant pause becomes full of meaning, and pregnant cookies show their stuff.

Pregnant women can have a boy or a girl – or both. Pregnant cookies can be reveal themselves to be pink or blue. Folklore has it that if a woman has a pink pregnant cookie, her baby will be a girl. The same old wive’s tale claims that if her pregnant cookie is blue, her baby will be a boy. This is the first cookie Special Correspondent Dena had:

Not pictured is the blue pregnant cookie Special Correspondent Na’ama ate. Na’ama later disproved the folk tale by having a beautiful baby girl. Congratulations to all pregnant cookie eaters and their progeny!

 

Pregnant Cookies by Special Correspondent Dena

“I made cake balls, froze them, and then covered them in cookie dough.  Here is the website I got them from.

http://www.sugarderby.com/blog/2011/3/3/gender-reveal-cookies-hey-baby-hey.html

I used her cookie dough recipe, but I halved it
Instead of a cake mix, I used this cake recipe, but I quartered it
half of the cookie dough recipe+ quarter of the cake= perfectly enough for 16 cookies.  I used a tablespoon to portion out the cake balls and used just enough cookie dough to cover them.”

Happiness at Trader Joe’s

In one move I clicked the phone shut, stashed it in my pocket and lifted the shopping basket onto the ledge.

“You’re the best person!” my Trader Joe’s cashier exclaimed. I looked down at myself, then up at the cashier to assure myself that he was talking to me. He was. Trader Joe’s cashiers are frequently friendly, but this one was looking at me as though I caused the sun to rise. I smiled warily and moved as far from the beaming cashier as I could without moving. “Isn’t she great?” the cashier continued, glancing over at the station behind him. The man nodded; now there were two happy men in hawaain shirts grinning at me.

“What did I do?” I asked weakly.

“What did you do?” he said, as he smiled even wider. Tim, whose name tag I checked in case I needed to report him, was just thrilled to have me as a customer. But it seemed that it wasn’t the six bags of chocolate chips I was purchasing that made his day; he wasn’t looking at my purchases, he was looking at me. As I started turning pink and slowly backing away, Tim relented. He declared joyously, “You hung up your phone.”

“People just walk up here, and talk on their phones the whole time,” he explained sadly. “It just makes me feel that I’m not interesting.” I appreciated his sentiment, and agreed that it must be awful to be ignored, especially when you’re as friendly as Tim. However, I felt I couldn’t accept his compliment.

“I’m actually just not that coordinated,” I said apologetically. “I can’t really talk on the phone and do anything else at the same time.” I didn’t feel the need to tell Tim that when I last spoke on the phone while checking out at the grocery store it took me three tries to figure out my change. As anyone who has ever waited in a grocery check-out knows, such behavior is reprehensible. I could not bear the glowers of the cashier, nor the anger of my fellow shoppers, and decided to stop cold turkey.

Tim waved away my explanation, and told me that I was still the best. He chatted further about his plan to write a children’s book, encouraging kids to teach their parents manners. I smiled, murmured, and thanked him. As I picked up my bag, Tim stopped me. He pulled out a drawer, ripped off a row stickers, and handed them to me. Lesson of the day: Make someone’s day and they’ll make yours.

Chocolate Pudding

You were right. The tofu-based chocolate pudding is really good. I was wrong to publicly denigrate it, though I can explain how I erred. It was a simple misjudgment, a classic mistake – and one you immediately caught. Too few chocolate chips. Given, your instructions were vauge:

“literally, you blend the tofu, melt a bag of chocolate chips, and then blend that all together again until it’s really smooth and throw in some vanilla. then you let it sit in the fridge for two hours to set and then you serve it with berries. it’s delicious. ”

I didn’t trust you completely, so I only used 1/2 a loaf of tofu. With that change in your somewhat loose measurements, the “bag of chocolate chips” became 1 cup of chocolate chips. It was ok, but nothing to write home about. When you found out what I’d done you admitted that tofu pudding would always be tofu pudding; it would never fully lose that texture or flavor. However, you felt that with the right – and goodly – amount of chocolate chips it would be addictively good. I trust you when it comes to chocolate chips, so I gave it a second shot – this time with more chocolate chips. Now, I can’t say that I’m addicted, but I am convinced that this is a quality pudding. Thank you, Special Correspondent Ariella. You were right.