Friday, November 03, 2006

Judge Caroline

Had any good pie lately? I did, yesterday. The only problem: it didn't taste too good.

Here's the scenario:
Several months ago at one of my writer's groups, I met this established (meaning, multi-published author that doesn't live too far from my area) writer. In fact, I've met her a couple times, and each time thought she was very unfriendly. I said so (righteously and very knowledgeable, of course) to my hubby. Now I'm not normally a critical person. I don't like gossips, don't like to be around people who constantly criticize the world about something.

So this observation from me to hubby was not said in a mean manner. But I disliked heartily what I assumed was unfriendliness on her part, and said so.

Lo, and behold, I found out yesterday, I was entirely wrong about this lovely person. What changed my mind?

First, when asked to speak about something, she was reluctant to steal the show from someone else. Secondly, I took my courage in hand and approached her. Since she writes for one of the companies I'm seeking publication from, I thought, what have I got to lose?

She was sweet. She listened, offered advice, and was generally encouraging. As we finally parted ways, she leaned close and said, "Let me give you a hug." Then she promised, "I'll pray for you." Wasn't that sweet?

What happened? Did she change or did I? I don't know about her. All I know is that through circumstances (and God?), my attitude had a startling turn-around. Not because of anything I did, but because of what happened there in that library room yesterday.

Things are not always as they look or seem. How many times have I thought, "We'll never be friends." and within days-weeks-months, things change, and friendship blossoms. How many times have I thought the same thing in reverse?

Have I learned a lesson that will teach me not to judge so quickly, or at all? I certainly hope so. Maybe if I chant the words, "Don't judge, don't judge" over and over, I'll learn it.

So, although no one saw me eating pie yesterday, I did. A huge piece, and except for hubby last night when I told him what happened, no one knew how tasteless and humbling it was.

I'd rather have pumpkin.

Here's a word for your palate: mercerize (I like "ize" words) Means: to treat cotton thread or fabric under tension with a caustic soda solution in order to strengthen it, give it a silky luster, and make it more receptive to dyes. If I decide to mercerize you, does that mean you'll strengthen? At least you ought to be a little more silky!

And, yes, I want to add a name to my list of smart people. Drum roll here . . . Lloyd!
(Now, I'm not confessing that I can be bribed or threatened to do that!) But there you have it: another name for the roll of smart cookies!

More best ever cookie hints:
* Use a Silicone rolling pin. You won't have to use as much flour when rolling out doughs. Your cookies will be more tender. Or use a "marble rolling pin". Chill it to help keep dough cool.

* Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven heats accurately. You can bake cookies at a slightly lower temperature. This ensures that the cookies won't overbake or overbrown. With each batch of cookies, the baking time will be reduced because of the increased humidity in the oven from the cookies.

* Soften butter properly. It's difficult to soften butter properly in a microwave oven; too often part of the butter melts, which will change the structure of the cookies. . butter and sugar form the basic structure of the cookies; the sugar cuts small air pockets into the butter, which are stabilized by the flour and filled with CO2 from the baking powder. Soften butter by letting it stand at room temperature for a couple hours. Your can also grate the butter. It will soften in only a few minutes.

Looking-forward-to-the-weekend quote:

We must know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world...We have been created in order to love and to be loved. --Mother Teresa

Ah, that boosts my spirits.

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