Tuesday, December 18, 2007


For good or ill, Cookies of Pilgrim are done and packaged, along with supporting product from missus pilgrim and Zelmo.  For tease, I include a photo of Z's tasty treat here.  Clark Kent duties, as well as Zelmo's unwell state, prevented mailing until today;  If the creek don't rise, the packages should make it in reasonable time.

Up here in Milwaukee, it's about the BAKING, not the Video entertainment or Naked Pictures.  If we can't win it with the baking, we don't want it.

Maybe we'll never make the bigs with that attitude, but we prefer to maintain a certain level of integrity.  Bono knows what we're talking about; but when he stood for a photo op with George W. Bush without cock-punching him, obviously making a somewhat different choice.

So don't look for us in the Little Debbie package, or on a Car Commercial; we will keep the faith at the local level, delighting our friends and family with fattening sweet treats; Consumer Addiction will have to be tended by others, and Cornman may indeed join Ronald McDonald and Joe Camel in infamy.

We see Bakery as similar to a Martial Art;  one starts with a white apron, pure and without knowledge of the Bakestemological arts.  As one develops knowledge, the white becomes soiled, stained, getting darker with every passing day.  Representing one's increasing Power in the Kitchen.  

Eventually, the apron is dark, akin to black; at this point, One has gained the skills necessary to be acknowledged as a True Baking Artist.  To obtain High Rank, one must Practice; Learn; demonstrate Honor and Integrity and Self Control at all levels.  A Bake-Off is a meeting of Honorable Opponents; until one violates the Sacred Respect of the Oven, even in defeat a Baking Artist exhibits Grace and Respect.

But;  the Black Apron also realizes that the simplest efforts are also opportunities for excelling.  It is not necessary to bake a flaming moose cordon bleu ala Snag with Everclear-wasabi cornnut pate (a Third-Level challenge) to display Baking Art.

Take, for example, the  simplest task;  boiling water.  Many, not skilled in the Art, would simply put a pot of water over blast furnace heat, waiting impatiently for the water to boil.  But as an Artist once stated, "A watched pot never boils".  This is a zen puzzle, because you CAN watch a pot boil;  but if it is improperly performed, is it Boiling?  You see, as an artist, you must create a chi where the water wants to boil, is desirous of the Excited state.  Water in a microwave gets boiling hot, but never Boils, you see, because the enclosure is not conducive to teh Change of Phase; Gaseous Denial.  You must choose your boiling container for aesthetics and utility; the water gently added and the heat gently applied.  If using gas, you may apply heat somewhat more forcefully, but with electric heat, the temperature must be increased a bit slower to avoid boiling the water without Honor.

So it is with Bake.  The simplest dishes may indeed be done with more artistry than much more complex routines; imported spices and exotic procedures may in fact, hide a lack of mastery of the most basic of techniques.  Easy things, such as sauteeing or making toast, may be failures because of lack of Concentration and improper Preparation.  The Artist is always working to maintain perfect technique at all levels.

Thus, even simple cookies are never 'mere'.  Shayera referred to her entry as 'just' snickerdoodles.  A dreadful lapse of Baking Artistry.  'Just' Snickerdoodles?  The Snickerdoodle was a perennial favorite of my first sensei, the Maternal Pilgrim.  Although skilled at the highest levels of the Art, Sensei's Snickerdoodles were always used as demonstrations.  Seemingly simple, they were an epiphany;  light, sweet, crunchy yet tender on the tongue; the  flavors could be counted as they presented themselve to the Four Corners of Taste:  Cinnamon, Sugar, sweet dough!  Bliss!  A cookie to be meditated upon, while fancier pastries be a whim, a momentary dalliance.

This Bake-Off is but a momentary challenge; the judges may be corrupt, or not; A Lite-Brite may be all it takes to influence the decision.  Such as it always Has Been.  It is, at the end, another Lesson to be Learned and studied, as one studies the Recipe.  

The Art is presented on TV by Hucksters and shams (I'm not naming names, Rachael Ray), who have used ill-learned lessons to turn a quick buck, promulgating the concept that Baking Art is a Commercial Enterprise, and are supported by such as The Evil General.  As Artists, we are Duty-Bound to oppose such, wherever they may appear; though we assault the fortifications in vain, crying out at the  injustice, we rest and tend to our wounds, secure in the knowledge that It has been Brought; the Tyrannical Queens have been Opposed.


  1. Dat was byootieful.

    I am openly weeping.

  2. I know.

    That's why I titled it "Dookie"

    gotta maintain the half-ass.

    Fridge note to Z, and the Judges Most High: Tasty Morsels have been entrusted to the scions of Mercury, and are EVEN now traversing the Mountains Misty towards your stoop-stones.

    Today's Bake-Off Theme Song of The Day: The Spirit of Giving, by The New Pornographers. Hai-Keeba!

  3. That idealism will get you a third place finish in the primaries.

    Seriously, good luck. Those cookies look tasty.

  4. so in other words you just learned how to boil water, and always burn the toast...

  5. When we have seen Reality, my Daughter, there is not a grain of dust which has not a sublime meaning.

    To approach the Teachings as a field of study is what is called turning Medicine into disease.

  6. Oh noes! the chocolate hammer smashed my cookies!!!!!!

  7. Aren't you the guy that was commenting on a certain aspect of the appearance of Chuckles' cookies?

    Pot meet kettle.

  8. These are Zelmo's bukkake cookies.

  9. Well, at least we know that Jennifer, AG and UC are going to get their FDA recommend dose of protein from these cookies.

    At least I had the decency to mix my spooge in with the batter.

  10. Dear. Lord.

    And I thought this was a family blog, BP!

  11. Jennifer, dearie-

    The POST is TITLED "Dppkie"

    Up there on the sidebar, it's quite clearly rated "R".

    I don't know home much more warning I can give.

    Besides, YOU'RE the one with "holding the back of your head" comments, Ms. Filthbot.

  12. ooops.


    Drunken fingers. Sorry.

  13. Besides, YOU'RE the one with "holding the back of your head" comments

    Yeah, but that has been nominated for greatest comment in the history of comments...

  14. Oh, I certainly applaud the comment.

    But it was filthy. Dirty as a dirty dog running through a mud puddle with dirt on his wee-wee and thinking dirty doggy thoughts while eating dirt.

  15. I was going to ask you what Dppkie was...

    And I'd like to thank fish for coming to the defense of my comment. He probably knew I'd go all Ginger Snap on him if he didn't.

    I've lived in this world long enough to realize there are double standards, but it will never cease to amaze me that if I woman chooses to celebrate the bawdy, then all the male practitioners of the bawdy get the vapors.

  16. Come on, Jennifer....

    This is the exact opposite. Everybody applauded your bawdy comment, we just remarked that it is somewhat unlike your typical persona.

    But then the newly minted Bawdy Jennifer came over here to express shock at bawdy comments.

    THAT"S the contrast I was getting at. This is a gender-blind Bawdy Comment Zone.

    Also I would probably award some kind of prize for the best definition of "Dppkie", as long as it was accompanied by a pronunciation guide. Bawdy definitions only.

  17. it is somewhat unlike your typical persona

    Then I must be doing a good job of keeping my true persona hidden, which is part of my quest given I don't know who's looking at what. There are times though that the "Bawdbot" just can't be restrained!

    As for my comment about this not being a family blog... I was being facetious.

    Fish probably has some image of a food product named "Dppkie".

  18. I see it like this. Jennifer spent her first year at Saying Yes and environs wowing us as "artist Jennifer" and "philosophical Jennifer". I often think fondly of her one-year bloggiversary post. Now this is the year of Bawdy Jennifer, and it's only the beginning!!

  19. Let AG be the first to say:

    BP, well done.

    Well well done.

    Z, Missus P and Billy did an AWESOME job. The note with the cookie made AG cry.

    Crap, I hope I got enuff miles for that prize...

    Happy Christmas kiddies! AG hearts you and BP:





  20. Kathleen is wise beyond her years. :)