Saturday, December 5, 2009

Maybe I'll be a senator instead...

This is the batch I dropped.

This represents all the batches that started as cute, autonomous little stars and ended as blobs.

These are the success stories, to be broken into cookie-sized, if not cookie-shaped, pieces.
The most tragically burned were not photographed.


My nostalgia-driven baking adventure was for the benefit of a holiday gathering at Le Grand Portique. (These are cookies, by the way.) Le GP is an association in my town that offers opportunities for members of the community to glimpse the outside world; they periodically offer evening presentations by people who have done interesting things in interesting places. Among the 25 people there last Thursday night to share our holiday traditions were two Americans, two Italians, an English, a Mexican, a Paraguayan, a Russian family, and a bunch of French people.

It's nice to be reminded that even if America can export its blinged-out Christmas around the world, different countries are still different countries with different traditions. It's nice to be reminded that I still have plenty to learn. I told them about decorating our houses with lights, making gingerbread houses, and Yankee swaps; Yankee swaps, not because I've ever done one, but because I thought, correctly, that it would be something quirky enough to have escaped mass export. (Yup, you can count on Yankees for quirk.) Karima, the other American, explained Kwanza; I'm glad the French folk got to hear about the diverse, multi-cultural side of the US, and they received it well.

The best part, well, second-best to the hand-made Italian chocolates and whatever that cake was, was of course the singing. For all that America is the most dominant exporter of pop music, I often feel that there isn't quite enough spontaneous music-making in our lives. Not enough sitting around sharing songs. We the Americans offered Rudoph the Red-nosed Reindeer, which, as it turns out, uses a totally different musical idiom than the Russian, Italian, Mexican, and Paraguayan songs we heard.

My cookies, appearances aside, tasted fine, and were in good company with an impressive spread. The evening lingered late with dancing (salsa) and music.

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