Monday, May 18, 2009

Not that I really want to see January again

Don't want to overwhelm ya'll or anything, but I have more good stuff to share.

For instance, January is a long way off, isn't it? January is when the little Girl Scouts in your neighborhood come around and offer you cookies. January is when you can look forward to your Thin Mint fix. Of course, the seven boxes of Thin Mints you order won't show up until March. And March is a really, really long way off, isn't it? Are you sure you're gonna make it 'til then?

No? Getting a little shaky?

I hear ya. So let's tide ourselves over with Mint Sandwich Cookies.

"Store in an airtight container at room temperature," says the recipe.  Who are they kidding? Yeah, and the Girl Scouts say you can store their cookies in your freezer, but that only works if nobody in your thieving family knows where the freezer is (or how to open it).
Your best source for chocolate candy coating is the craft store. I found it near the cake decorating supplies. If any of you are experienced dippers, maybe you can give me some hints. I used toothpicks to shove the cookies around in the chocolate, then tongs to pull them out. If you've got a better way, I'll listen.

After the leftover chocolate hardened for a few days, I tried to warm it up and dip strawberries in it. Most chocolate-dipped strawberries look like Eliza Doolittle at the ball. Mine looked like Eliza on the streetcorner. But they tasted so good, John and I didn't care.

As for the Finished Book Pile, we'll cheat again and report on the half-finished View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro.

Miss Munro scoured her Scottish genealogy and spun the facts about all those uncles, aunts and grandparents into short stories. She inserts herself into the stories with phrases like "I remember . . ." or "Uncle James wrote a letter that said . . ." so they read a little more like a well-done history than a traditional exposition/complication/resolution story arc.

When she can get away from the "I remember"s, she keeps me turning the pages as the characters bob along on the ship to America, then on across the prairie. She makes them real. This one's an old fool. That one's an irritable wench. Here's your good and patient big brother. There's your conniving young son. Who stole the baby? Why did the villagers play that terrible joke on the brother and sister?

The family stories make up the first half of Munro's book. The second half is . . . um . . . 'scuse me while I go read the second half.

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