Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First Cookies

Well, I've finished the maiden pan of cookies. I've learned a few things along the way, like, oops, don't actually have any decorating tools. I went to the grocery store and bought the little tips they sell to screw onto premade cans of icing, and rigged up a decorating bag by making a tiny hole in the corner of a sandwich bag and sticking the tip through that. It worked better than I thought it would (secret... little tiny hole.)Since I was working with tiny amounts of icing, it was OK. Some of the cookies were decorated by painting directly with the food coloring like watercolor. That has some possibilities, although I am a little grossed out by the food coloring. I'd like to spend some time thinking about some of the more natural food-based color options. But really, sometimes a person just has to do the thing, and get on with it.

In case it isn't obvious what these cookies turned out to be, we have carrots, eyeballs, potatoes, a couple of short screwdrivers, and a pocket-sized pack of tissues. Oh yeah, and the cookie left intentionally blank for layout purposes. My pick of the bunch for our Featured Cookie is the pocket-sized pack of tissues.
This cookie combines a natural coloring agent (cocoa), simple design, and off-the cuff strangeness in just the right combination. I'm pleased so far. I think it may be the only cookie of its kind in the world, and I'm pretty sure that it will not last long. (mmmm, tasty.) Oh yeah, these cookies are definitely meant for EATING. Wouldn't this be a nice design to comfort someone you know who is going through a rough spot in their life, or needs a snack for a long sad movie?

The cookie itself is a basic sugar cookie made from the same recipe I used when I was a kid for cut-out Christmas cookies. I added a little bit of nutmeg for niceness. I'll include some recipes soon.

First Words

I have a lot of ideas. I know this is a widespread problem, and that I am not alone.

A lot of my ideas are about cooking. I love to cook. I have had some professional experience, and do from time to time cook-for-pay, but mostly, I like to cook for myself and loved ones. I have been vegetarian for 18 years, and have delved into many styles of cooking from around the world, as well as just putting together my own dishes from my growing knowledge of basic techniques and my own crazy ideas.

That's another thing-- my crazy ideas. Sometimes I think, "no idea too crazy!" and really believe it. A little later, my internal editor weighs in with an opinion. Judging by some of the projects I've had my hand in, I have a permissive editor.

The idea that gives this blog its name has been kicking around since my days as an art school nerd who worked at a wonderful (now departed) family bakery. I've always thought it would be fun to make various odd, unexpected, or incongruous images in cookie form. This past Christmas the idea surfaced again while making cookies for my friend Cindy's catering business. They were snowflakes, with blue and white icing, and silver baubles. I couldn't help but think about my ideas for cookies that look like raw pork chops, or lightbulbs.

I also have serious ideas about cooking, and an interest in sharing some of what I've learned about cooking in general, vegetarian cooking, and bread baking.

My plan is to periodically feature the aforementioned Strange Cookie, with recipes and pattern suggestions to boot. Live vicariously, or try your own hand at making something.