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Ruining Shortbread

January 29, 2011

Shortbread was once my favourite treat, but now it’s ruined for me. How did a thing like this occur?!

Was it that time when my mom was baking St Patrick’s Day cookies, perfect, buttery little shamrocks dusted with green sugar, and while she was making the batter, I picked and nibbled and snatched little balls of butter-sugar-flour-cornstarch, sucking on pieces the size of marbles till enough to make a bowling ball had settled in my gut, and an hour later instead of leaning against the kitchen counter on a chair pulled up to the mixing bowl, I was leaning over the toilet bowl, ralfing up cookie dough through my nose?

Nope. It took twenty years, but I rallied from that one and learned to enjoy shortbread again.

Is it because Ed’s dad makes such good shortbread that I ask for a piece almost every morning, along with my latte from the Common? I love how the cookies are tiled into a wide-mouthed jar, and the way the barista reaches over the stacked paper cups to extract one cookie with long, metal tongs. But, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, even shortbread, and perhaps this everyday thing ruined the little treats for me, by making them too commonplace?

Nuh-uh. I could never turn on Ed’s dad’s cookies!

So then maybe the ruining resulted from too many shortbread experiments in my own kitchen. I mean, I used to bake them quite often…chocolate ones, salty ones, varieties studded with dried fruit or glossed over with lemon curd. Perhaps I wore out my patience and my love for those cookies, the way sometimes even the most sound-seeming love affair grows dead and cold?

Wrong again.

Ok then, is school to blame? No, it is not. I checked the textbook and although my pastry classes will cover a lot of topics and a lot of baked goods this semester, shortbread is not among them.

So what ruined shortbread for me, if not any of the above?

I blame the motion-activated air freshener that puffs buttery-vanilla scent into the office ladies room, each time someone opens the door. Once a connection is established between toilet and treat, it’s over. Three or four times every Monday through Friday I sit down to pee in a room that stinks not of Number One or Number Two, but of freshly baked shortbread, now forever hitched to the sounds of pee and poo and the clunk-clunk-clunk of ladies yanking ribbons of toilet paper and crumpling them into balls.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bron permalink
    January 29, 2011 3:09 pm

    I believe you may have identified an as yet untapped corner of the diet industry. Perhaps you should add Dragon’s Den to your portfolio of reality TV appearances…

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