Thursday, February 11, 2010

say what?

 
Funny the things we assume and take for granted. Tomorrow several women will gather at church to decorate cookies for a Valentine's Day delivery. On the phone with one of them the other day she said something about cookie-making materials being on sale at Walmart, and mentioned cookie mix and icing. 

"Icing?" I said to her. 

"Yes, icing." 

I considered for a moment. "What kind of icing?"

"You know, in a can. Betty Crocker." There was a pause at my end. "Why? Is there some other kind of icing I should get?"

"Well, royal icing, but you can't buy that, you make it." I replied. Again, silence. "That's what we always used to ice cookies when I was growing up," I finally offered. 

Pause. "I've never heard of royal icing."

Once again, my experience, my norms were different from someone else's. Neither of us were right or wrong, our experiences were just different. 

There was a lot of baking done in our home when I was growing up. Christmas was big, of course, but my mother made more batches of brownies (from scratch!) than any other mother on the block combined. I swear! Cakes, cookies, pies (with my Other Mother, Anna--she made the crust, Mom made the filling--a great model of teamwork for us kids), rugelech, cupcakes, toffee, and oh, did I mention brownies?

It's been a long time since I've decorated cookies, but today I'll dust off a recipe for royal icing so that I can do my share of decorating tomorrow. First, though, I guess I'd better make some cookies.

7 comments:

The Bug said...

My mom never used royal icing either (unless she called it something else), but then again she never made the kind of cookies you ice. She made peanut butter, chocolate chip, no bake, cowboy (with raisins, chocolate & butterscotch chips). Drop cookies, in other words. And cakes! With 7 minute frosting... Good times.

Jan said...

I don't know that much about royal icing, but we've always made icing with a little butter and vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk. I grew up with my mother being a wonderful baker, and I continue to make things from scratch, but not as much since I am going to Weight Watchers!

But NOT icing from a can!!

I remember once when my oldest daughter (who will be 28 next month)was shocked that her school age friend had to make her own birthday cake from a MIX! AE was horrified. Funny to think of nowadays when most people seem to use mixes.

Country Girl said...

These look so good. And I love royal icing. Used to make it all the time.

I could not reply to you from my e-mail because your profile is not set up for me to see your e-mail address. So yes, you can put 'got stick' on your blog. Just saw your comment today.

Gabriele said...

I love to bake but have come the realise that this passion is not shared by many of my friends though they will gladly share the bounty.

When someone doesn't know how to bake, I used to be confused and often felt like I was an anachronism who wouldn't go with progress and use box mixes. Your statement that your norms were different from everyone else's gives me a new way to look at this uncomfortable feeling.

Thank you.

Jayne said...

I've never heard of royal icing either, but would assume it is a glaze, like Jan mentioned? Icing in a can... on cookies? Blech, that does not even sound good. The kind you are talking about is thinner and sort of hardens on the cookies, right? My mom was not a baker at all, so we never made much of anything. Matter of fact, I can't ever remember baking ANY cookies until I was in middle/high school maybe?

Janet M said...

Have fun with the cookie decorations, and I'm in agreeement the stuff at the store in cans is frosting. Your making the right icing for the cookies.

Jules said...

I love butter frosting on cookies...my absolute favorite. Happy Valentine's Day pal!

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