Friday, June 11, 2010

Cooking: An Exercise in Comedy

Tomorrow we are going to a birthday party for Onozaki-sensei. He was one of our Headstart teachers, the swordmaker. One of our friends is in his sword class.

What do you give a 60-year-old samurai for his birthday?
We're going with homemade peanut butter cookies.

This cooking attempt has the potential to be comedy at its finest. Why, you may ask? A number of reasons:

1. Untested internet recipe

2. Had to visit a different site to convert 1/2c butter into grams - turns out its 115g...not entirely sure how to measure that from a block...

3. I'm not really sure if I got brown sugar or just unrefined sugar, so I got two different shades of brown and hope one of them is right

4. I think the plastic bag with the pie cartoon is flour...

5. I have no cookie sheet or cooling rack

6. I have no oven; I have a fish griller with a sliding scale instead of specific temperature markings.

...and here's how it went:

I went to the grocery store and got ingredients.

I picked the lightest and the darkest sugars and crossed my fingers that I made the right choice.

I was reasonably certain this is flour.

This is baking powder! With a logo of itself, so it goes back into infinity.

I owe the iPhone a debt of gratitude...I only know this is baking soda because I looked up the kanji in the J-E dictionary.

Note how our mixing bowl is tupperware. Our household goods will be delivered on Monday. With it, our actual mixing bowls.

The recipe called for wrapping the dough in plastic and refrigerating for a couple hours. The only usable plastic we had was an unused garbage bag.

How would YOU use this oven to bake cookies? No temperatures!

Damn randomly rotating pictures.
Batch #1, Fish Griller Method, go!


Batch #1, Microwave Method, go!


Okay, so the fish griller was the lesser of two evils in this case, so we refined the method a little. By putting one teeny aluminum pan on top of the other, it distributed the heat a little more evenly.

Definitely a step in the right direction. Smaller cookies, 4 at a time, heat on the lowest possible setting, checking every 5-8 minutes, and this is ultimately what we got:

In total, four molten microwave puddles, five cookies modeled after the marshmallows you put on a stick then stuck directly in the campfire, five burnt to hell, and 14 decent cookies.


  1. I applaud your tenacity! How did the cookies go over at the party?

  2. AnonymousJune 13, 2010

    I adore you guys! This made me chuckle a ton! I love the baking soda lady, she is just so darn happy! btw love the new layout!

  3. We gave them in a wee plastic container to Sensei as a gift, so we didn't get immediate feedback, but I think they're okay. We ate enough of the dough and the burnt ones to get a good idea of what they're like.

    Side note - evidently salmonella isn't an issue here. People will eat raw eggs as a side dish. So it's not dangerous to eat raw cookie dough. Huzzah!