I am not a cook, a baker, a candlestick maker. However I do make a mean pizza and apart from that pretty much stick to things that grow in cans, boxes or the produce aisle. Basically I am pretty much a little evolved hunter-gather much as were my Anglo-Saxon and Celtic ancestors.
This week our Board of Directors at the Naval Hospital is having its annual cookie baking exercise where each of us brings 8 dozen or more homemade cookies that we invite our hospital employees, military and civilian to partake of as we wish them the warmest seasons greetings, Christmas, Chanukah or whatever religious or even non-religious custom our employees celebrate. The idea is simply that we desire to wish people well while adding to their caloric intake of the holiday season.
There is only one problem in this for me, I am a simple hunter-gatherer who due to the necessity of military life am living apart from my wife, who takes materials that I hunt and gather and turns them into wonderful cookies. This is something that I am capable of doing but would take a much greater expenditure of time as well as effort to actually make them from scratch. I would have to buy things that I would not use again, such as large mixing bowls and food items such as eggs and real butter. I would also have to wash all the dishes and since my apartment has no automated dishwasher save me, that is a lot of work.
Now we on the board do have options. If we want to go to a bakery that actually bakes cookies we can purchase them, however the only place on the island that I live on that bakes cookies is the gourmet dog food store. Molly my dog assures me that these very tasty looking morsels are quite good. However, I don’t think that they would appeal to my co-workers, though I did take a small bite of one myself to see what she saw in them. After tasting it I think I might be able to get away with it but all it would take is one person to figure it out.
I was in a real pickle. I could try to fake it and pretend that I baked the Oreos myself, but that wasn’t going to fly. Neither would the gourmet dog cookies. So I did the math. I figured the cost, time and effort required to buy all the, bowls, utensils and ingredients, find a recipe that I could follow and successful execute in the allotted time and knew that this would be a futile effort.
Now since I am a very rational person who is relative adept in the use of the English language and the definitions of words I went to work. I figured that if I prepare something at home it becomes homemade. When it comes to homemade it really is about what your definition of is is. Even if I buy something that is a pre-made, pre-packaged bunch of mass produced ingredients at a supermarket and prepare them in my rather modest kitchen it still counts as homemade. It is “homemade” just as my ancestors did when they looted French towns and took the mutton and porridge home to eat, only pausing to warm up the items over the open hearth. So apart from a minor amount of actual work I was able to bake 10 dozen chocolate chunk cookies in about the amount of time that it would take to loot Boulogne or any other coastal French town during the 100 years war.
Now I would have had 12 dozen cookies. However, I forgot that a batch of cookies was in the oven when I went out to the local distributor of cheap goods to buy plastic Christmas plates, as I have few plates of my own to take the homemade cookies to work on Friday. Needless to say when Molly, who went for the ride with me and I got home we returned to a smoky kitchen and two dozen charcoal cookies, sort of the same kind condition that my ancestors would leave coastal French towns in after a looting expedition back in the day.
So this bachelor has successfully tackled one holiday mission of the season and on to the next. Decorating the office door tomorrow. I have bought the materials and plan on assigning my junior minion to actually do the work. I love Christmas decorations, especially when someone else puts them up.