Queen Claire has officially taken the reins and is now in charge of cookieville. Drop by and say something nice. We should maybe have at least one day that is lacking smack talk. Well, maybe not.
Queen Claire?!?! The lamblets wanted to do something for you to celebrate your wonderful achievement. The eldest lamblet is known for her Biggle Boggle TM Cartoons. She drew one especially for you!
I hope you can read it. Click on it to make it a little bit larger... If not, don't worry, a copy of it will be winging its way to you with Corn Man. Your other fabulous prize should be showing up in your inbox today.
The youngest lamblet chose to focus on Frank... she feels he should be the new Cookie
King, although I gather from her drawing that Frank might prefer a fish. Frank actually looks like he's mesmerized by the thought of fish... Anyhow, congrats to King Frank as well!
Well, we've finally been allowed to release the results. AG finally posted. Why was AG doing the final posting? I don't know, but she did, so instead of reinventing the wheel, I'll just link to her post here for all of the nitty gritty.
The main thing is... Claire is the new Cookie Queen!!! Have I ever said how much my lamblets love Claire??? Not that that figured into the judging. Claire just had some awesome cookies.
Yes! It's the day we've all been waiting for... the tallying is complete! Word is the results will be posted today over at The Republic of Dogs (that is if AG's computer gods are smiling on her C-drive).
However, announcements aside, I thought it would be a nice time to recap all of the wonderful entries we received and judged this past holiday season. Listed below are all of the previous posts in the reverse order they were received (at least by us). :) I'd put them in the opposite order, but am short on time.
Everyone sent something awesome. Everyone sent something different. It was wonderful to be on the receiving end and although my thighs will regret it for months to come, the rest of me is incredibly appreciative that we got to be a part of this.
The past month or so was hectic in any number of ways, some serious, some not so serious and yet every day or so, a *real*package from an *invisible* blogger would show up on our doorstep or at Grizzled's office. It made me feel like I was 7 again when my father's international business colleagues would send strange and wondrous things to our home. It definitely put a smile on my face and a smack on my lips.
Thank you to everyone who contributed. Thank you to everyone who baked and mailed during an insanely busy time. Thank you as well to all of those who just came out to play even if it was just in the form of silly comments. I can now put my Cookie Queen Crown to rest and start packing up Corn Man.
For the results, I now turn you in the direction of one of my esteemed judging colleagues. AG will hopefully work out a deal with the computer gods and will post later today.
Update: The winner will be chosen solely by judging their entries. That's the way it always was and should be. I was merely trying to fill some time until AG gets her ducks in a row. It was also a ploy for comments! Hey, you can't blame a gal for trying!! Anyhow, as I've said before to all of those who've asked, most of the numbers have been crunched, we're just waiting on some final number crunching and perhaps one lost package. You've all been patient, but unfortunately only time will tell.
On a purely selfish note- all moose references were enjoyed and appreciated. :) Vive le moose!
Because AG is no where in sight and people are still sending in baked goods even though the deadline was oh so 2007, I am going to declare a winner to whomever can tip my blog comments over a magical number. Yes, that's right. I need comments people! My blog, humble though it may be, is approaching a magical number. If your comment is the one to make it reach that elusive place, you win. End of story.
There will be no limit to the number of comments one may leave on any given day. There may be special awards given for the number of times "moose" can be worked into any given comment. There may be awards given the comment that makes me spit my coffee out the most number of times.
Let me hear you people!! There's a crown to be had, dammit!
Yeah, I know, I know... we're officially in 2008... cookie season is supposed to be over, but apparently it's not. This judge has received a few boo-hoo e-mails from some distraught bake-off entrants (3 to be exact) who for any number of reasons, were not able to get the goods to us in time. While I would love to confer with my fellow judge, AG... I don't know where in the hell she is. For all I know she's passed out somewhere in Napa Valley. I don't even know which coast she's on. She could very well be stuck in a deep freeze on the east coast. SO... that having been said, I am inclined to let those who sent goods, but whom the postal gods f***ed with, re-send.
I believe AG handed down some judging deadline of January 15th... Grizzled and I were finished oh so long ago, but again, who am I to spar with the reasoning of AG. It's only January 4th... if you whiners, you postally-challenged bakers, can get the goods to us by the 11th, you'll be considered. You're going to have to send something pretty darn spectacular though since you'll be docked 7 points from the get-go for lateness. Why 7? I don't know why. I just like the number and if you complain about that, I'll make it 10. It just wouldn't be fair to those who baked and got things here on time if you weren't docked.
Decisions WILL BE MADE by the 15th though. Corn Man wants a new home and frankly, I'm ready for Corn Man to find a new home. He still freaks me out. I even had to move him to an upper shelf so the dog would stop barking at him. This whole year has been one Karen Black "Trilogy of Terror"!!!
I will be in downtown Chicago today. "Seeing the sites?", you ask. Taking in familiar haunts? Well, yes and no. I will be at the lovely Daley Plaza or whatever it's called now, but I will not be visiting with old friends, or taking in the view. I will be deep in the bowels of the building doing my civic duty. Yep, that's right, it's time for jury duty.
To be perfectly honest, a day of reading, even if waiting to be called for a jury, sounds rather enticing, and even though I won't be out and about at some of my favorite spots, I will be back in the city I love. I might even be able to have lunch with Grizzled.
And speaking of Grizzled...
Grizzled often refers to himself as the Maris Crane of this blog. Although he listens to me go on and on about it, he generally stays out of it. He feels it's my deal. It's not that he's not interested, it's not that he doesn't have anything to say, he just feels it's my deal. That is why I was a little surprised last week when he handed me a piece of paper and asked if I would post it. I expected to find one of his long political rants or a brief history of salt or nails, but no, instead it was this:
I need to put on my serious, albeit short, pants here. For all of the bravado and trash talk, I have found this Holiday, Yeah I Said Holiday, Bill O'Reilly, Whattya Gonna Do About It, Bake-Off to be an interesting experience that is inclining me to wax philosophic. I am solidly in the camp of those about whom Bill O'Reilly speaks, the secularists who are apparently conspiring to??? destroy Christianity??? advocate bestiality??? destroy the high morality of our youth??? plunge the world into darkness and otherwise cause all other heinous acts of this world??? I don't really know what his message is, but I tend to dismiss most if not all of it as nonsense.
The Roman Catholics beat most of the spirituality out of me at an early age. The closest I can come to believing given what I have observed is that if there is a god, he is imperfect and, at best, apathetic about the human race. If you start from there, the rest seems to follow pretty well. Again, it's what I believe and does not reflect or diminish in any way what you believe or even what Bill believes. So, in my reality, we only have each other as we hurtle through space.
To that point, I am heartened to see that people of whom I have an only tangential knowledge are willing to spend their time and effort to bake for me. The fact that people so removed from my existence are sending me good wishes is a hopeful thing. Although he's no Geddy Lee, I think Elvis Costello summed it up nicely with, "What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding". Thank you all for letting me play in your game and best wishes to you all for a fulfilling and prosperous New Year.
Here's a list of links for all bake-off entries received so far. Take a look, entries may have been missed in all of the holiday/vacation folderol. Going backwards in the order in which they were received:
Our last entry... or last as of right now... Chuckles is still having UPS problems. His cookies are stuck in outer Tuckercarlstan... and there are still rumors that midniter is baking, but I have yet to see anything and technically, the 21st has come and gone SOOOOOOOO... let's get back to our last entry in hand. KATHLEEN!!!!
Kathleen sent a lovely environmentally-sound package. There were no bells and whistles, only a promise that the earth had been respected during her packaging. No trees were cut down. My inner druid loves that. There were also no bribes. Although there has been a lot of talk about the importance of bribes, Kathleen knows I dance to the beat of a drummer that has integrity, baby! Score one for Kathleen. Kathleen also uses her first name while blogging. Score two for Kathleen! Kathleen, although sweet, can also verbally kick most any blogger around the block and back. Score even more for Kathleen!!!
But, this is a bake-off, not a word-off, let's get down to brass cookies, shall we?? Kathleen sent two varieties, one of which is shown on the left. Ignore the environmentally-sound cutting board. Yes, it needed to be thrown... I mean throne (sorry, BG) out years ago, but this was a free-range cutting board and Kathleen felt it would be irresponsible to pluck another one out of nature. She's sticking with what she's got, cuts and scratches be damned!
On the cutting board are some very delicious oatmeal cookies that had coconut, chocolate chips and orange! Grizzled and I both loved them. We wanted more. We're both fond of the chocolate/orange combo so this was a hit. Add to that, the coconut and I think, nuts... and you've got a winner. I should know if nuts were in this, but frankly, I've tested so many cookies that they're all running together in one gigantor Zelmo concoction! I must confess, for some reason eggnog sounded good this holiday season... spiked eggnog and I've probably had more than I should. As my eldest lamblet said, I'm probably suffering from egg noggin. She's probably right. However... whether they had nuts or not is beside the point. We liked them. We ate them. They were a wonderful combo.
The second cookie that Kathleen sent was some little ginger wonder that I still can't quite figure out. It was a rolled cookie that was sliced. It was not overly decorative, not overly sweet, but was loaded with chunks of mouth-warming ginger. Kathleen may not have realized it, but this little baby was the perfect ending to 10 days of non-stop cookie sampling. Our stomachs were feeling a tad sheepish. Come to think of it, that could have been the eggnog. Our taste buds were nearly tapped out, but this deceptive cookie was the answer to our cookie prayers. If there is a Cookie Jesus, Kathleen is it. Ginger is known for its stomach-soothing effects. The mellowness of the cookie combined with the calming and warming ginger made us reeeeeeally like this one. Not all cookies need to smack you over the head with SWEAT! Again, we liked it.
We liked both cookies that Kathleen sent. We like the fact that she shows of a sense of responsibility towards Mother Earth. Kathleen is a good cookie in our book.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Kathleen's entry is the last one in our hands. Chuckles' may escape and find its way here and if it does, I'll judge it because it was sent on time, but until then, this is it for the cookie countdown. I will put up a post tomorrow that links to all previous posts in the order of their posting. I realize that with the interruption of the holidays, some posts could easily be missed. No cookie post will go unnoticed. Everyone who baked gets their day.
BP has sent me an electronic copy of his entry letter so that I might include it here. Yeah, I could have typed from the actual letter, but today that feels like work. Without further ado... The Letter. Look for the movie version some time in '09.
To whomever receives this package: Thank you for entertaining our meager submittal. Please accept our humble bakerology efforts. We are but simple people here in Milwaukee, who do not have knowledge of esoteric ingredients like “insecticide” and “brittle”. We find nutrition in simple meals of moose, corn, and massive quantities of tequila which is brought to our land by indigent auto-dealers, moving here to work the annual cellulite harvest.
The combustibles herein are regrettably not accompanied by quality beverages, or a mulit-media extravaganza featuring dancing Snags and exploding melons. If you have a source nearby, I would recommend a tall glass of ice cold wisconsin moo-juice, or some nice clear spring water. And an extra large doobie never hurts. The Snappish cookies should NOT be dunked in coffee; unless, as the construction manual warns, “you like pork coffee”.
Zelmo was going to include some wonderful petroleum-based cakery products, but he had been also assigned to oversee construction of the American Made Gingerbread House, Modern Stylee; sadly, during construction, the Brittle shingles overwhelmed the reinforcing of the hearth, and the ensuing icing fire resulted in burns over 78% of his body, and baked all of his mind. In any estimation, he is overdone. Now he just lays in his Barca-Lounger, drooling into his chili and watching “Space Nuts” reruns on a black-and-white tv. We are beside ourselves with grief; feel free to send get well cards and flavored ointments.
Should you feel the need for entertainment while sampling the bakestimals herein, please find enclosed a “Compacked disk” with some Holiday Selections popular around the Pilgrim Compound this time of year. Of course, it includes Glue Birl and Neddie doing “Christmas Time is Here” because although she may be a total Cookie Tyrant and Suck-up Briber to the judges and General Cookie Cheater, it’s a lovely song. Suffice to say that during the bakenollogical effort, these songs came to occupy a special place in our left thumbs; we hope one of your digits will respond similarly.
The recipes represented have been hoarded in our tribe’s ancestral temple, only allowed light of day once every third year; we were allowed special dispensation in an off-year because great-great-great-grand-uncle Matilda Pilgrim once dated General Mills, who left her disheveled, post-rumpus to go back to the Fabled Cookie Wars of 1743; she has instructed her descendants to wage unceasing guerilla gorilla warfare against the bakest behemoth ever since. But maybe that’s a tale for a different time. Included in today’s package are:
2. Biily P’s Golden Lumps (a recipe created by the Original Billy Pilgrim, the man who inspired Vonnegut in his love story Slaughterhouse Five, who invented these when his automobile overturned in a henhouse while delivering moonshine to on-duty police officers. The fire burned for 5 days)
3. Missus Pilgrims Slabs O Butter, Scotch, N CocoNut. We are unsure how much alcohol she included. If anyone eats more than one, let us know if they may still stand.
Warning: Do not apply to forehead. Avoid strong light and weak heat. Do not taunt baked goods. May cause lengthening of left limbs; if profuse sweating occurs, consult a doctor. Do not operate heavy vehicles or light entertainment. May obstruct justice; dispose of properly. IN NO CASE allow pets or other living thingsl to view. For external use only. Keep away from open flame and Happy Fun Ball. Baker makes no warranty, express or implied, and takes no responsibilioty for apocalyptic events relating to these bakemistological items. See a thereapist. Seriously.
PS. I have just been notified that Zelmo has come out of his morphine-addled haze long enough to package his ‘entry’. Let’s give him a little slack on this one, OK? He has so little to live for. Winning a second-rate cookie contest would do wonders for his poor, damaged mind and body.
Note from moi- This letter had a certain Snaggishness to it... I'm starting to wonder, might BP and Snag be the same person? Has anyone seen both of them in the same room at the same time?
Yes, it may be Boxing Day for some of you, but for the rest of us... it's back to work and that means entry #8! This entry is comprised of one Mr. Billy Pilgrim and his enigmatic *friend*, Zelmo.
BP was late to join the bake-off. As a matter of fact, he was not going to join at all. I'm not quite sure what made him change his mind... was it AG's promise of bannage? Was it the thought that someone with worse spelling might win? Who knows. Whatever it was, somewhere towards the end of decision time, BP dove in.
BP's entry arrived in what seemed to be excellent condition. I looked forward to opening the box, still not sure if this was going to be a real entry or a joke. I half expected to find fresh Wisconsin cow pie. I did not, I found a very, very funny letter, I found cookies... cookies and a lovely CD of holiday tunes that BP had made. There was only one problem with the CD... it was cracked right in the middle. I let BP know and he was kind enough to send me another. Amazingly enough, none of the cookies were harmed. They were all in pristine shape and were ready to be tasted.
Team BP/Zelmo's entry consisted of 4 types of cookies.
First on the list was in the words of BP, "Crawford's Super-Detailed GingerySnappers, Brownish". This was the 4th or 5th or 6th variety of a gingersnap/molasses type cookie that we have gotten. I like them, but one or two is more than enough. Grizzled on the other hand, lives for these cookies. Grizzled is a ginersnap/molasses-type cookie aficionado. Let me just say, GRIZZLED LOVED THESE and called it correctly when he spoke out with crumbs yet in his mouth, "... was, mumble, crunch, crunch, made with... crunch, mumble, lard!!!" Lard gets a bum rap, but lard does bring a certain je ne sais crunchiness to a baked good. I enjoyed the GingerySnappers, but Grizzled was down on his knees praising them.
Second in the BP/Zelmo line up was Billy P's Golden Lumps (a recipe created by the Original Billy Pilgrim, the man who inspired Vonnegut in his love story, Slaughterhouse Five, who invented these when his automobile overturned in a henhouse while delivering moonshine to on-duty police officers. The fire burned for 5 days).
The Golden Lumps were interesting. They were a very soft, gentle golden cookie that looked as if it had been dusted with cinnamon. At first I thought it might be nutmeg, but I do believe it's cinnamon. They had a very subtle taste and were quite good. They were interesting. While Grizzled and the eldest lamblet thought they tasted a hint of lemon, I felt the cookie had been made with a significant amount of baking powder or cream of tartar. There was a lingering tingle left in the back of ones mouth that I don't think came from citrus, but rather came from using a lot of one of those ingredients. I did not pick up on citrus tones, so I'm sticking with the fact that the acidic buzz on the back of the palate was indeed due to the amount of baking powder or cream of tartar included in the recipe.
Cookie #3 in the BP/Zelmo entry was "Missus Pilgrim's Slabs O Butter, Scotch, N CocoNut. BP said he was unsure how much alcohol she included, but it we were able to stand after eating more than one... let him know.
These cookies were SWEET! They were a bar cookie that was loaded with butterscotch chips and coconut. They were very delicious. Did I mention they were sweet? They were. We enjoyed these cookies, but I believe these were the cookies that AG and UC fell down to praise.
Last, but not least in the BP/Zelmo entry was Zelmos' famous Bakake cookie... no his Dukakis cookie.. no... his Kabbalah cookie. Oh hell, I can't remember its name and I can't find it. BP?? Zelmo?? If you're out there, come over and refresh this tired memory. Zelmo's cookie can be seen in the photo up top. The cookie in that image is Zelmo's cookie. It's HUGE. It includes everything. Yes, I even found one old kitchen sink. This cookie is somewhat of an enigma, just like Zelmo. I'm not quite sure what it is. It's large, it's got chocolate chips in it, both white and semisweet, and yet I would not call this cookie a chocolate chip cookie. It's got pecans in it and yet I would not call it a pecan cookie. It's got a drizzled frosting on top that includes portions of candy canes thus giving it a minty overtone and yet I would not call it a mint cookie. The body of the cookie itself is what is throwing me. I can't quite place it. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's the Rorschach Test of cookies. Maybe we all bring out own hopes, wishes and fears to this cookie. I do know I enjoyed mine with coffee.
Well, there you have Team BP/Zelmo! It was a very good entry. I'm also giving high points for BP getting off his lackadaisical bake-off ass and sending them. His entry was most appreciated and his tuneage will be appreciated for some time.
I must add here that BP's entry did include a warning. At the bottom of his letter, in very small print, it said:
Warning: Do not apply to forehead. Avoid strong light and weak heat. Do NOT taunt baked goods! May cause lengthening of left limbs; if profuse sweating occurs, consult a doctor. Do not operate heavy machinery or light entertainment. Maybe obstruct justice; dispose of properly. IN NO CASE allow pets or other living things to view. For external use only. Keep away from open flame and Happy Fun Ball. Baker makes no warranty, express or implied, and takes now responsibility for apocalyptic events relating to these bakemistological items. See a therapist. Seriously.
Well, our dog did view the items... let's just leave it at that. I'm sure we'll get the paw prints off the ceiling and we never liked those neighbors anyhow... We'll also be seeking therapy after the new insurance plan kicks in in 1/08.