Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Idiot And His Pepparkaka

Many moons ago in a land far away, when I was but a child running with my bestie Kristy, we began what would be a life-long love affair with juvenile humor. Made sense as we were actual juveniles, but sadly, we never shook off our childish fascination with bathroom humor and the like. No highbrow titters for us! The lower form of humor; the better. Where did this lowbrow laughter originate? Maybe when I took Kristy into my childhood confidence and told her my "fish" story: at a very young age, I was taking a bath and trying out my plastic fishing set. Little plastic fish floated around the bathwater and I was trying diligently to capture one of those elusive buggers. My mother was watching me and noticed that I suddenly had a very strained look on my face. A couple of seconds later, I burst from the bathwater screaming, "FISH! FISH!". Indeed, something did float to the surface but it was certainly not a fish. I would share this story with Kristy only and then she proceeded to share it with.....everyone else. She and my Mom love to tell that story and Kristy also loves to share the one about me removing the clothes from her Barbie doll so that I could sign my name across her bare plastic derriere. Clearly, we damaged our young minds with extreme bathroom humor early on, and still today, we can Go There in seconds. One look from Kristy and to this day I can be convulsed in helpless laughter. As one of Kristy's friends pointed out to her, "You're not funny and he's an idiot."

Indeed, idiot I was and idiot I remain; proudly so I might add. Ignorance is certainly not something I promote, but in certain situations; it is bliss. Silly humor is often my saving grace. I peppered the ever-so-serious Keith with it early on and now, he's all too happy to sink to that sorry but stress-relieving level with me anytime. He would admit that it opened him up a bit over the years. Getting ridiculous is therapy for me today as it always has been...I crave it. The rest of the tale proves my idiocy intact...

You may have read my mewlings concerning my foggy brain-pan in the last post and now my latest idiocy stems from my inability to count. Reviewing the Cookbook Challenge, I realized that my count has been off for some time. I counted #13 twice and didn't count one recipe entirely. I'm officially at #41 and the following treat and recipe will be #42....

I was feeling a bit gloomy on Monday and decided to find a CC recipe to occupy my thoughts before work. With no time for a store trip, I found a recipe with ingredients I had on hand. I found the recipe in a 1997 copy of The American Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Cookbook that K owned. The recipe was titled Pepper Kaka and carried no backstory, so I Googled it and found that it was a Swedish cookie named pepparkaka and was essentially a ginger snap.

The bathroom humor that inspired the theme of this post re-emerged during the prep of these cookies. My reaction to cooking snafus has ranged from exasperation to mini-breakdowns lately and sure enough, I was about to screw up as only I can once again. After a messy skirmish with the hand mixer, I stopped and took stock of the splatters my counter and shirt had inherited and instead of gritting my teeth; found myself getting the giggles. I made and rolled the dough into logs and after wrapping them in plastic wrap to refrigerate, I realized that they resembled....well, let's just say, the second half of the cookie's name seemed frighteningly accurate. I found that my giggles were turning into hysterics. I could not stop laughing.....and it felt so good.

The cookies actually turned out really well. Ginger snaps are typically not my favorite but these were really excellent ginger snaps with almonds. The idiot rocked the pepparkaka! I'm about to start the new Tina Fey book to add some extra humor to my week, so here's the recipe....

Pepparkaka

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses

1 1/2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sliced almonds

Cream together the butter and sugar; add the molasses. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and flour; add to the creamed mixture. Add the almonds to the dough. Roll into logs; chill and slice. Bake at 325until golden brown, about six minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning.

3 comments:

Kristy said...

AWWWWWW!!!!! You said Pepper KAKA!!!! I'm tellin'!!! P.S. I know I'm not funny to anyone but you and that's fine by me. You are my favorite idiot.

David Lee said...

Excellent reading, as usual, Greg! Sure wish I could find the inspiration to write like you do! It seems I start several things, but never really finish. Aha, inspiration at last!

Lydia Donnelly said...

I am STILL LAUGHING!!! You make me laugh hysterically and it feels GOOOOOOOOOD!!! I can vouch that you and Ethel together can make me laugh until ... well ... let's just say it would fit into our favorite category of bathroom humor. I love reading your posts :)

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