Good Enough for Some, Isn’t Good Enough

14 Aug

I’m am amateur baker, if you can even award me with that title. When my niece was born and my sister in law and brother in law made a Kiddush for her, I was a good aunt (and sister in law) and sent something over for the occasion. I usually send biscotti, in a cookie jar. It looks cute, doesn’t require much patchkening, and best of all, it tastes good. I’m not sure what possessed me, maybe because it was after Purim, and I had just made all those black and white cookies, and I didn’t want my newly acquired skill to go to waste, I made pink and white cookies.

I worked hard on them, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to results. I didn’t have the right shade of pink, it was a bit bright, due to my food coloring packaging description of “NEON” (I thought it was fun colors to get at the time, I didn’t actually think about how I might use it, and that whatever I would be coloring, I’d like it to resemble edible food, not radioactive waste).

Also, it’s a pain doing each cookie, one side at a time, holding it between your thumb and index finger; I developed temporary carpal tunnel syndrome. But for a first attempt, they were ok. The place where the pink and white met up wasn’t always totally straight. The pink sometimes overlapped the white a little bit, leading to lighter shades of pink in some places. They were really pretty from a short distance though.

I made tons, so I froze most of them, and worked on the final presentation.

Exhibited on a trendy rectangular plate, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon, it was perfect – for Queens. And it was easily one of the fanciest things at the Kiddush. I beamed and blushed with all the compliments.

Fast-forward a month, and brother and sister in law were making a Kiddush for their newest addition. Pregnancy wasn’t being nice to me, and I didn’t have the energy to make something. I kept thinking I did, I even put up a cookie dough on Monday. Made the actual cookies three days later, but the decorating never happened (Pregnancy won that battle).

It was Friday, and I was getting a bit frantic, yes, my brother and sister in law would more than understand and forgive me for not sending something in celebration, but I wouldn’t be able to live it down for myself (besides I wanted my sister in law to send something when I would eventually be making either a Kiddush or shalom zachor – selfish motives, I know).

I remembered my pink and whites, pretty in the freezer, waiting to grace another Kiddush. I took them out, and looked at them scornfully. They weren’t good enough – not for a Lakewood crowd. I could never show my face and be proud of my confections here. Besides, these cookies in Lakewood would almost be insulting to Baal Hasimcha. She’d have to put them out, due to social dictums, but they’d most probably mar the balance and beauty of everything else presented.

Last minute I wrangled something together with my sister’s help (who I was hosting for that Shabbos for the Kiddush). Using the cookies I had yet to decorate, we finagled something that could pass muster in Lakewood and did not require great technical prowess. Shalom al yisroel, I can still show my face in proper society.

I ate those pink and white cookies with my coffee. They tasted great. My other sister in law in Queens is due soon. I might be making another test drive on the pink (or maybe blue) and whites, and see if I’m ready for primetime in Lakewood.

And for those who think I’m crazy, check out the cookies my sister in law sent over for my baby’s Shalom Zachor. This is what I’m up against, and she didn’t take this picture, I did. She thought they weren’t good enough to merit a memory.

It’s not totally about competition, and being good enough, but really doing what’s acceptable and expected in your community. For my ego though, I should maybe consider Queens.

On second thought, Queens is only 20 minutes from Far Rockaway – and my sister – who made these


Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Food, Humor, Jewish


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “Good Enough for Some, Isn’t Good Enough

  1. d

    August 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    K. I will share my secret awesomeness that I make for every Kuddush. Peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. Then you dress em up or dress em down! Sprinkles crushed peanuts or press one sugared pecan on top. When you have a bunch of different types you set it up all gorgeous like. Although on second thought I don’t live in lakewood…or anywhere near. Oh! Maybe coat them in gold dust. That should do ‘er. 🙂

  2. Mystery Woman

    August 15, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Those pink and white cookies actually look pretty. And I’m from Boro Park!

  3. Princess Lea

    August 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Maybe that’s why I am a fan of cake. Dust it with a little confectionery sugar, and it looks so posh. No way would I ice all those cookies! Sh’koyach!

  4. TooYoungToTeach

    August 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    D- I LOVE peanut butter balls!!! I hate working with chocolate though – too temperamental. As for gold dust, that sound just about right 🙂

    MW- Thanks for the compliment, but I’m also originally from Boro Park – so I know Lakewood is still far behind it. They may look nice – from a distance (did you put your reading glasses on to get a good look at them?) but up close, they don’t pass muster.

    PL – Cakes are nice, and so is confectionery sugar, but the sugar melts after a little if not in ideal conditions, and you’re left with a cake – a good tasting cake, but a cake nonetheless. For the record, I’m a big cookie person, cakes aren’t even a close second.

  5. TooYoungToTeach

    August 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    MW: Sorry. I actually did think twice before I wrote that, but then I figured you could handle it 🙂

  6. Anon

    August 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I SO understand you. I live out of town, and when I bake, I’m proud of it. I show pictures to other people, and they’re impressed, too. But my stuff would NEVER pass muster in Lakewood. Thank G-d I don’t live there. My question is if people are more talented, take the time to learn how to do it properly, or drive themselves crazier?

    • TooYoungToTeach

      August 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      It’s a combination of both. Before I got married, I never touched a pot, let alone a mixer. Now, I have a few pretty good tricks up my sleeve. Sometimes societies expectations bring out skills you would have never developed otherwise. And then there are those talented people who would be doing this whether society expected it or not – and they inadvertently set the bar for all of us

  7. mydearbakes

    August 17, 2012 at 9:16 am

    This looks brilliant! I love it! =)


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