Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Could Be My Last Post. Ever.

This should probably be a goodbye message; I might not ever speak with any of you again. I could be suffering from a very rare and accute case of food poisoning, and I'm not sure I'll recover.

Did you know Crisco goes bad? If you only use it once a year, and keep the same industrial sized tub for nine years or more, it probably won't be good on the ninth year. And if you consume confections created by it in the ninth year, you just might feel inspired to bid everyone a fond adieu.

I should start by telling you all that I hate baking. Is there a more tedious chore than baking cookies? I loathe it. I'd rather scrub my toilets, scour my sinks, or rake up bag after bag of pokey-balls from my lawn. Ugh. Lest you be confused, I really like eating cookies. This bitterness only applies to the baking aspect. But, once a year, at Christmas-time, I get inspired to try to put Betty Crocker to shame by my world-class baking extravaganzza.

I went to Aldi last week and spent $45 on baking goods. If you shop at Aldi, you will recognize that is a LOT of flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. I was ready.

So I began my bake-a-thon. I've made ganache, oreo truffles, mint cookies, white chocolate coated gingersnaps. I'm not done.

Tonight it was time for the peanut butter blossoms. While I'm in the mood to rant and confess, lest I never have the opportunity again, I shall let you know that I think peanut butter and chocolate are rather foul bedfellows. Nevertheless, I have come to understand that I am in the minority on that opinion, and in the spirit of love and Christmas, am happy to oblige the less discriminating palates of my family. Which leads me to my point: my looming death.

As I creamed together the peanut butter and shortening, I noted that I was finally nearing the end of my Crisco. I bought it shortly after John and I were married. We didn't have much money, but I thought we should start food storage, so I stocked up on Crisco. From Costco. I figured, if nothing else, should an emergency arrive, we could trade: you might have rice and beans - but I would have the oil to make them nice and crispy. You'd want it, and be ready to swap, right?

So I creamed, and I added flour, vanilla, sugar, eggs... everything. The dough was ready to roll. I sampled it and noticed a rather peculiar flavor. As I mentioned, I'm not a real fan of peanut butter (with or without chocolate...) so I chalked it up to the fact that these were peanut butter cookies, and by nature, undesirable. But soon a bitter, metallic aftertaste crept in. That was some peanut butter!

And then it hit me: maybe it's not such a good idea to use decade-old shortening. You think? (Relax, nothing else has been made with said shortening in at least a year - if you've sampled my wares in the past, or have plans to in the near future, you are in no danger).

I tasted it again to be certain. Yep, it was nasty. But then I got to thinking - maybe no one would notice once they were baked? Maybe it was one of those things that would go away, kind of like a bad headache? They don't last forever; maybe the metalic, rotting flavor wouldn't either? I looked for an expiration date on the tub. None there. Now, everything has an expiration date. I think mine was so old it rubbed off. You'd think that would be a sign. Nope. I'm embarrassed to admit, in a moment of holiday induced fatigue and insanity, I did consider trying to salvage my cookies. All the while, I kept sampling it to be sure the taste was still there. Gradually, I felt my stomach bloat, my throat go raw, and the room began to spin.

That part's actually a lie, but I did start to feel rather ill.

So the dough went in the trash, and I began again, this time using butter (bought only this week, so it was plenty fresh). They tasted fine, and were baked, to perfection, I'm sure. My daughters said they were "the best cookies EVER!" They're sleeping peacefully. But not me. I keep thinking about the deserved doom that awaits me from my idiot-induced Crisco poisoning. I'm pretty sure it'll be bad.

So, dear friends, I'd like to thank you for your friendship; it has been treasured. I wish you the Merriest of Christmases. And a Happy New Year filled with rice and beans - without the shortening.


  1. Perfect way to start my morning. Now I have two comments to make:
    1. Don't die. Your posts are far too enjoyable.
    2. You spent how much on baking supplies?! Are you trying to make your friends fat?

  2. I love your understated sense of humor. It reminds me of Jessica! I hope you don't die; I would miss reading what you have to share. And I would miss you.

    Wish I was there to partake of your baking bounty.

  3. Well, friend, it was wonderful knowing you. I agree that your posts will be greatly missed. Please save me a seat on the other side. Please know that your legacy will live on through the non-violent-death-causing delicacies you were so lovingly able to leave behind. Adieu, to our dear little Betty Crocker!

  4. Well I hope you didn't die--or get so sick you wish you had. For someone who hates baking that is quite an impressive list you undertook. I never get past the chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies before I get burned out.

  5. I didn't know you could make peanut butter blossoms with Crisco instead of butter. think they are gross all the time, but I wonder if they are better with Crisco.

    I'm so glad I found your blog, it makes me laugh!

  6. Hmmmm.... death by peanut butter blossoms poisoned with rancid Crisco.... doesn't sound all that bad, except the part about the rotten Crisco.

    You're too funny, Erin. Love your blog. :)

  7. I have never laughed so much while reading a post... I even read it to Drew! We love you and your whitty comments.

  8. Oh, Erin. I do recognize what a sacrifice it is for you to make peanut butter cookies, let alone having to make them twice! That stinks. I'm just glad you didn't say it was the mint cookies I tried earlier that day that were poisoned! They were far too good to be deadly.

  9. Upon regaining composure from our laughter at your post as well as deep sorrow at your potential passing, we have a proposition for you (should you have survived the Crisco poisoning of 2009). We will gladly bake and overnight Fed Ex you cookies anytime you would like them (with nothing but the freshest of Crisco utilized) in exchange for your services of scrubbing our toilets, scouring our sinks, or raking up bag after bag of pokey-balls from our lawn (ok, so you would only have to do the first two items as we do not grow pokey-balls down here in the South). Hope you have a Merry (and Crisco-free) Christmas!

  10. I'd love links to any recipes of your Christmas confections. They sound marvelous (minus the rancid shortening). Decade old shortening. That's awesome.

  11. "All these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good." (Maybe not for the good of those you were thinking of poisoning, but it's a great learning experience for you!!)
    You never cease to amaze me with all you're able to do. It's all I can do to fit in baking sugar cookies and maybe some muffins.. I feel like such a slacker when I see how many different goodies you crank out!

  12. I am glad to see that you are still around! The world just wouldn't be the same without you! :)
    I know next year to swing my the Kingery house if I ever have a craving next year lol. Maybe I will stop by a few weeks early to bring you a new can of Crisco first. :)

  13. Congratz to the Kingrey family and the Buckeyes in a very well played/coached game. Happy New Year!!

  14. Waiting patiently for another post. Maybe you died after all.