Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 11 Theme - when words mean something else

I’ve learned to make brown sugar date-filled cookies using the family recipe my mother used, which was the recipe her mother used. I remember making these cookies with my mother as a young girl. The cookies are delicious, but they take a while to make. The date filling has to be cooked and cooled, the cookie dough made, then rolled out…not once, but twice, making sure the top layer is thinner than the bottom layer. I have resolved to making these cookies mostly on holidays, but if they are requested by someone, I will make them. That was the case with my former boss and friend. He was constantly asking for these cookies, so I not only made them for him, I also gave him the recipe so he could make his own, and share them with me.

Imagine my surprise last Christmas when I answered a knock at my door. There he stood, with a decorative Christmas tin in hand, and a smile on his face. His first words were “They’re not as good as yours, but I want you to try them. “

“Oh, I bet they’re good.” I replied, hoping to give him confidence in the nice gesture.

“Well, I couldn’t find your recipe so I used another one.”

Not going to be good, I thought. You need my recipe.

“I can give you my recipe again if you want it.”

“Not yet. Try these and let me know how they are.”


I thanked him again as he left. I opened the tin to see date-filled cookies that looked like mine. They looked like they would be good, but a taste of one told me that the cookie was molasses flavored, not brown sugar. I slowly finished that cookie, but didn’t eat any more of them.

A few days later I saw my former boss at the store, and he asked me what I thought of his cookies. “They were good,” I said.

“Not as good as yours, though, were they?”

“Well you did a good job. You tried.”

After some idle chit-chat about life in general, we parted ways. Such an awkward conversation.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure why, but I laughed, ruefully, at the close here. You do have to follow the recipe if you want the results, don't you? And it is not a good move to lose the original recipe...and then to admit it!

    On the other hand, a gift is a gift, a decorative tin is always nice, and effort counts for a lot in this world (just look at your blog title, a title I still think drastically misrepresents your accomplishments....)

    The best week 11s are always going to be mysterious, going to give the reader a 'feeling,' going to make us laugh but not be quite sure why--and if they are too clear and obvious, they are not going to be week 11! So, this is a strange one, and I know it works because I know I don't completely understand its paradoxes. Just what we want.