Monday, December 11, 2006

"No! Not the buttons. Not my gumdrop buttons!"

Last night, Joyce, a fellow ALT down the road, hosted a small cookie baking party. Baking in Japan can be challenging thanks to an absence of ingredients, but thanks to her friend, Yuki, she managed to invade a military base and leave with armloads of Christmas chocolate chips, sprinkles, REAL cheese (nothing to do with cookies, of course), and frosting. Yvonne from Naha/England joined in on the squeezing of icing tubes, precision sprinkling, and the occasional swear word. We began at 5 pm and by 10, we had enjoyed making chocolate/coconut pinwheels (which actually had to be chunked up for the first batch, but looking at Joyce's blog, it appears she mastered the cooking later that night...), traditional Christmas cookies with old-time favorite shapes, gingerbread men and women, and cappuccino crinkles (which has unrivaled dough to steal from the bowl. Yum!). We also were treated to Yuki's replica of her favorite restaurant meal, creamy chicken pasta (fettuccine alfredo) which was spot-on and a nice balance to all of the sugar being consumed by licking fingers and spatulas.

It was a lovely night complete with German Christmas music and discussions of what figgy pudding really is. We were all put to shame by Yuki's knack for American decorating (she should consider a business in cookies) and we all had one cookie that was unspeakably ugly. (Of course, certain recipients of said cookies were named and griped about!) Here are some pictures to sum up the experience---

Joyce under the influence of too much gingerbread dough! I had heard that Joyce can be a bit demanding in the kitchen (especially about 300-year-old wooden spoons), but she proved to be a great hostess. Yvonne and I tried not to step over any lines, though, just in case...

Joyce and Yvonne working in the cookie sweatshop. Now we know what elves feel like. "Just keep working, girls, and try to smile...only four thousand more to go..."

Finished projects! Everything turned out beautifully and not one cookie was injured on the ride home and to school. They have taken their rightful place at the Christmas shrine in the teacher's office and have not been noticed just yet, but soon teachers will experience the joys of trying to chew those cinnamon redhot things.


Carly said...

YAY! Your cookies look SO good. I'm glad they turned out better than my cake. (but the question really is... do they taste better than my cake?)

Joyce said...

of course they taste better than your cake! theyre grandmas family gingerbread cookie recipe, 300 years old, along with the wooden spoon!

rachel: these cookies brought me love to last a lifetime. howsabout u?

Rachel said...

Ooh! Brawl over recipes between two friends! YES! Guess we'll need a tastetester! (I volunteer for the task...)

Yes, cookies went down well. I think people are afraid to eat them because they're so pretty... The gingerbread went quickly.

Mom said...

Now that you are a professional baker, I am sure that our cookies will be the best. After all, they will be baked in your own homey and much improved kitchen. Enjoyed the pics!

Joyce said...
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