A Heartwarming Tale of Bitterness and Disillusionment
For some strange reason, Jr. Jr. seems to have decided this year that he believes in Santa Claus. I say "seems to" because I know for a fact that he's told some neighborhood kids that Santa isn't real. Yet he really seems to believe this year. He wrote Santa the standard request letter (even if he claims it was to "test him to see if he's real"), he wants me to leave out milk and cookies tonight, etc. Now, the kids are being raised Jewish. They go to Sunday School and Hebrew School at temple. They light the candles on the Menorah and open presents for Chanukah. Mr. T likes Christmas, so we do have a pretty Christmas tree with presents temptingly placed underneath it. So one would think the child, at almost 8 years of age, would be clued into the whole Santa deal.
In his request letter to Santa, he asked for the Mushroom Men game for the Wii, a Nintendo DS, and the board game Operation. He's already gotten Mushroom men as a Chanukah present and Operation is wrapped up under the tree. He's NOT getting a DS.
Mr. T thought it might be a cute idea to have Santa write back to Jr. Jr., saying that while he's been a good boy, not everyone can get everything they want. But in his response, Mr. T made a little boo boo. He told Jr. Jr. that this year he would not be able to give him a PSP.
Oh, the indignance! Clearly, Santa's an addled old man, easily confused. It was a DS, dammit, not a PSP, that Jr. Jr. wanted! He got out a piece of paper to write back to Santa in hopes of clearing up the confusion in time for Christmas.
"Dear Santa," he wrote. "I asked for a DS, not a PSP. You got mixed up. [Jr. Jr.]" (Not even a businesslike "sincerely"!) I told him that it was probably not a good idea to be mean to Santa, or to seem ungrateful, lest Santa's hurt feelings be reflected next year at this time.
Meanwhile, today Sr. Jr. went off to work with Mr. T, and I stayed home and baked cookies:
These are some of the best cookies ever, and my seasonal gift to you is the recipe, originally published years ago in the Washington Post Food section:
(Preheat oven to 375 and line some baking sheets with parchment paper)
2 cups plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup of sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp allspice
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
In a large bowl with electric mixer on medium, cream shortening for about two minutes. Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating for 1 minute after each. Beat in egg. Blend in molasses and vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions, beating just until the flour is incorporated each time. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, about 3 or 4 hours.
Form dough into balls of about 1 tbs. Roll each ball into ginger/sugar/allspice mixture and place three inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
(You can also add up to 2/3 cup of chopped crystallized ginger to the dough for an even stronger cookie.)
On that note, we are off to celebrate.
I wish all of you the most merry and happy of holidays!