Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Christmas, Greedy Guts

'Tis the season once again for that perennial favorite - shortbread. Sit down and get comfy while the Baroness tells you a story.

During a holiday season not so very long ago, when the Baroness was the Baroness von Analyses, she made a promise to her fellow Analyses workers that she would bring them a big batch of delectable shortbread cookies to enjoy on December 24th. The Baroness tries ever so hard to live up to her promises. So, the evening of December 23rd, she opened up her magic pantry and got to work. Sadly, just after the cookies went in to the oven, a migraine headache befell the Baroness, and she had to retire to her chambers. After giving instructions to the Baron as to when the cookies should be removed, for optimum flavour and texture.

Even as she rested in her parlor, medicated and nearly asleep, the Baroness could begin to smell the cookies. Burning. So much for the optimum flavour and texture. But, alas, the Baroness could not arise to save the cookies without losing her cookies, nor could she yell to the Baron to get off his royal duffness without rending her head to split in two. So quietly, cleverly, she came up with Plan B.

On the route on her way to work in Yuppyland was a bakery, where only a few days before she had noticed that they had recently added shortbread to their repetoire. She would swing by, pick up a dozen to go, and pawn them off as her own. Slighty devious - but desperate times call for desperate measures. Imagine the Baroness' surprise when, after placing her order, she was informed the total came to $24.00. For twelve cookies. $24. Not including tax. Merry freakin' Christmas.

The moral of the story: Commerce is commerce, it's a supply and demand world, and it doth sucketh to be on a holiday budget when demanding supply.

Flash forward to present day. The Baroness mercifully no longer works in Yuppyland, and is merrily ensconced in an area of the globe known as Suburbia. Just down the street is another bakery. A much different bakery. This bakery caters to a wide variety of people - young, old, fixed income, well-to-do. They have no flashy imported display cases or Italian marble flooring. They are down-to-earth, honest women who know their customers. Their superior shortbread cookies cost a whopping $5.20. Per dozen. They fly out the oven and out the door, and they give everyone in the neighborhood their taste of Christmases past and present.

The moral of this story: Yes, Virginia, there really can be a spirit of giving during the holidays. Just look immediately around you. The spirit is alive and well in every humble local merchant who doesn't heed the call of commerce just because the calendar's flipped over to December.


Anonymous said...

cheap yes, but perhaps they were made with vegetable shortening - you cannot put a price on real butter

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Butter, schmutter. I can put a price on real butter, and $2 a cookie ain't it. I tells ya, those cookies are almost as good as my ma's. All that's missing is the love.

Anonymous said...

1/2 c. corn starch
1 c. flour
1/2 c. icing sugar
3/4 c. butter
Cream butter with sugar, add flours. Chill, shape, bake at 300F, cool on a rack and hide them or they will be gone in a heartbeat.
At that temperature, you can have a good long nap.

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