Regardless of belief systems religious or otherwise, I believe there is a collective of demigods up there that keep a close eye on things down here. You may go along happily not even knowing they exist, but beware. It is at those times they decide it’s time to remind you just who is in charge. Take for example the baseball gods. There you are, gleefully watching your boys with a seven game lead over their arch rivals. You become complacent. Maybe even don’t watch the game or, heaven forbid, comment how they are doing so very well. And just as those words are crossing your lips, the baseball gods begin to smile. You have just mocked them, and your words will come back and bite both you and Derek Jeter in the ass very soon. Say you aren’t a baseball fan, but instead driving along the highway on your way to something important and you really don’t want to be late. “Hmm”, you think, “traffic is really running smoothly. I’ll probably get there early.” There you are, mocking the traffic gods, and here you go, a 4-mile bumper-to-bumper backup just for you. Women are quite well aware of the goddess Menses, and her older and wiser sister Menopause. There’s no end of the pleasure these two gals get out of you, especially when you mock them, and particularly when you think you are rid of them.
The other morning I had a tussle with the technology gods. Once mocked, these power-hungry deities can be a vengeful group with a wicked sense of humor. Granted, some of it was my own fault, but I should have seen the signs. A few weeks ago my phones at home started to act a little ‘funny.’ Dropping calls, claiming they were too far from the base (when I was standing right in front of it), that sort of thing. Now since these phones had a bit of mileage on them I figured maybe it was time to find something new. So I did. The first set of replacements didn’t have an answering machine function. Of course, I thought they ALL did, so I suppose you could say it was my fault for not triple-checking. I knew I needed to see that staring red eye of loneliness and know no one had called, so out they went. The second set of replacement phones had the all-important answering function and as I happily plugged it in, I noticed the red eye was missing. Oh the machine had it; it just didn’t want to work. I don’t know how I missed hearing a faint god-giggle as I plugged in the old phones, which naturally have been working like brand new ever since. I should have recognized the signs. I had somehow pissed off the techno-gods and now they were toying with me. Then it happened. On a Monday morning (which should have been my first clue.) There I was sitting at my laptop, going through a fresh crop of job listings and musing over my blog post this week. I had even started it and was just about to hit SAVE as I reach over to grab my mouse. I love my morning coffee. My laptop? Not so much. Staring in abject horror, silent scream perched in my throat and momentarily paralyzed, I watched as the lovely taupe liquid oozed over the keyboard. It’s amazing how quickly your cyber life flashes before your eyes at such a moment. I fought back the tears as I watched Poopsie (that’s her name) gasp and her screen go black. Daubing her and my eyes with anything handy, I raced her to the Mac doctors at Tekserve. “Please PLEASE bring my Poopsie back” I sobbed to the terrified youngster looking back at me from behind the ‘REPAIRS’ sign.
We are waiting to receive the prognosis after her thorough decaffeination. The good news is her hard drive is coffee-free. I patted her gently and told her she was going to the spa and not to be afraid because these people would take very good care of her. I have been making sacrifices to the gods ever since.
In light of recent events, I think getting my coffee fix through alternative (and drier) methods is a good idea. I found the recipe for these Espresso Shortbread cookies a few years ago in the pages of More Magazine (I post my blogs there too). They have become a favorite addition to my holiday cookies file.
Espresso Shortbread (from Susan Spungen’s recipe in More Magazine)
Makes 26 cookies
I like to dip these caffeinated little lovelies in dark chocolate once they are cooled for an extra special treat.
- 1 stick (8 TBSP) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground espresso
- ½ tsp instant espresso
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups flour
Preheat oven to 300°F. With a mixer, cream together butter, sugars, ground espresso, instant espresso and salt until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Slowly add flour. Mix until no flour pockets remain. Shape dough in to a disk, wrap in plastic and chill until firm (about 30 minutes).
Place dough between two pieces of parchment or waxed paper. Roll out into about ¼ inch thick. Cut out cookies with a 2-inch decorative cookie cutter (I use a 2-inch scalloped biscuit cutter.) Place on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Chill again until firm.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until edges are set and just turning golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Calories: about 65 per cookie (without chocolate)