Only 100 Cookie Stories

Hello Everythingers I am excited to offer up to you episode 100! This is a collection of interviews I did at a cookie party. The juxtaposition between laughable and laudable, charming and cherished, jokes and judgement is present in these conversations. Please enjoy!

Joel Hirsch

Alaina Zboralski

Nikki Agee

Trevor Fett

Sidney Penland

Regan Beal

Caleb Beal

Alex Johnston

Marianne Stover

Thank you all for your support in helping me to get to this milestone! Looking forward to 200!

Julie’s Thoughts on Episode 100

1) Oh WOW (it's time to write about the cookie episode); episode #100 of OE: "Only 100 Cookie Stories" -- ! It would be great if I had a nice plate of cookies to munch on, while typing up these thoughts. (Clarifying: I meant while munching on the cookies ON the plate; not while munching on the actual plate!) But alas, I don't have any cookies right now (so I will be munching on some PIZZA, instead) . . . (pizza is also good, even if it's not as appropriate to this episode). Without even switching to new comment number, I am going to dive into talking about the JOEL HIRSCH portion of the cookie podcast. There were comments in there about the sheer number of different varieties of Oreo cookies. I know that I have stood in the cookie aisle (at Fred Meyer) and actually counted the number of different varieties of Oreo cookies available there. I thought I might have jotted down the number of varieties, but I can't find it now. (I'll add it in, if I find it!) [[[Adding: "Forgotten Cookies" -- which were mentioned in this section . . . these will be discussed further, in #4, below!]]]

2) Alaina steps up to the cookie-plate, to tell us about SHORTBREAD! (I, too, am a fan of Shortbread.) (For Alaina) -- here is the recipe I've used: 3/4 cup butter combined with 1/4 cup sugar, then add 2 cups flour; (the recipe in my book doesn't call for salt, but I think I like to add a little bit of salt, too). Combine well, (add a bit more butter if needed, to make a good dough). Roll to 1/2 inch thick -- (sometimes I've done a little thinner); cut into any shaped-shapes. (I prefer parallelograms! I cut the shapes as close to rhombuses / rhombi as I can get, but I'm not too picky -- (those arrange very nicely on a plate). Bake at 350 degrees, the recipe says "20 minutes or until set." Figuring out when they are done is the tricky part, for me. I look for a touch of browning, but not too much. (And I don't always set a timer, sometimes I go by intuition.) I think there are Shortbread cookies native to different parts of the world. It sounds like the shortbread Alaina talked about, is a Danish shortbread; (I've more often had Scottish shortbread, and the recipe I shared seems similar to the Scottish shortbread I've had) but I bet they'd be liked by Alaina. (Okay) . . . those sweet, soft cookies with the frosting, (at Fred Meyer) -- (don't tell anyone, but those are WAY BETTER than I thought they'd be!) Actually, it's okay if you tell, (just make sure to warn people that they are hecka sweet . . !)

3) Nikki Agee! And her cardamommmmmm cookies. I think I've had cardamom in yummy Indian food, and YES, I just learned that the cardamom plant, Elettaria cardamomum (pretend that was in italics), is originally from India. I hadn't known that cardamom is a perennial which can grow up to 13 feet tall -- (I think I added cardamom pods, to some beans, while I cooked them!) The "family" name for the cardamom plant, (classification-wise) is "Zingiberaceae" -- (I think that's a good one). My beans, (cooked with cardamom pods), were good, too. (I think I could taste the "Zing" in there!) 

4) Trevor Fett's cookie story, that part where he says: "we didn't even turn on the oven" (while he and Tessa ate the cookie dough) -- (maybe that is one of the best quotes in this episode!) I'm thinking now that I want to try those "forgotten cookies" -- (which were mentioned in both Trevor's segment and Joel's segment of this podcast). I've had meringue cookies (but not with chocolate in them!) And . . . WOW! I was curious about the name, ("forgotten cookies") . . . I wanted to know the history behind that name. (I wondered whether anyone had happened to REMEMBER the history, and stuck it onto the internet.) So I did a google, and learned the secret behind the name! (Anyone who is reading this right now and doesn't want to know the secret, stop reading very quickly!) The "Forgotten" cookies . . . when you cook them, you have to stick the tray (with the meringue "dough" on it), into the (heated) oven, and then turn OFF the oven, and FORGET about the cookies. For overnight! Or, for at least ten hours. (Pro tip: make sure you're not going to have to use your oven during that overnight / ten hour period of time.) These are cookies for patient people!)

5) Sidney! (Penland!) And her tale about making the Macaron, (I saw that they are also called "French macaroons") -- those sound a bit complicated to make! (Scales.) I had a really amazing scale for a while, which I got at a thrift shop for $5; it was so accurate that it measured to the nearest 1/100 of a gram. (Until it stopped being accurate.) It was the same kind of scale I'd used in some chemistry classes, in college. The food scale I generally use -- it is only accurate to the nearest 1/8 ounce. (Hmmm . . . 1/8 of an ounce is equivalent to 3.54 grams); I should try measuring in grams, to get a more accurate accuracy! (The metric system is better, anyway . . . but I didn't come over here to rant about that.) I couldn't help but wonder whether the Macaron cookies (which Sidney made) might've turned out differently, had she been . . . WEARING DIFFERENT SHOES! (???) (I have no idea which kind of shoes to recommend, though.) (Maybe sock selection while making cookies, is also important?) I haven't eaten any of the "Fudge Stripes" cookie for a while, (my mom used to get those sometimes, when I was a kid). I don't recall whether I ate them the "right" way; (it's likely I did; and I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has expired, if I didn't). I'm not sure squirrels can have chocolate. (Chocolate is bad for some animals.) I am wondering how a squirrel would eat one of these cookies, though! (They eat a graham cracker by eating along one edge, then rotating, and going around and around like that, until the cracker is gone . . . I was told that description by someone who had a pet squirrel.) Chocolate is probably bad for squirrels, (as a side note: It's an odd sight to see a squirrel running around the yard, with a marshmallow in its mouth; I saw that once, the morning after we'd had a campfire and inadvertently left a few marshmallows outside overnight). It is good to know, though, that Henry's Donuts has blueberry cake donuts, (someone I know will appreciate that info!) 

6) This part featured three cookie-loving guests, (brothers Regan Beal and Caleb Beal . . . and then Alex Johnston popped onto the scene!) -- Caleb (Hirsch) was there too, (of course), and I gotta say: it was great to hear four guys just talkin' and talkin' 'bout cookies, (it struck me that there is something so warm and sweet about that!) Here is a piece of advice for the guy who mentioned the Maple Leaf Cookies, (I think it was one of the Beal Bros, but I can't remember which bro it was) -- I'm pretty sure those "Maple Leaf Cookies" you are talking about could be the ones created by the brand "Dare." I really want you to know that there are CHOCOLATE cookies made by Dare, also, (in a similar sandwich-fashion, to the Maple Leaf Cookies) -- (the chocolate ones are sosososo good, even better than the maple ones in my opinion). I haven't looked for them in years, but I bet they're still out there. (This is turning into a Google situation.) YES. The packaging says "chocolate crème made with real chocolate" . . . it has some purple on it, (and a picture of a cookie plus some big curls of chocolate). These cookies are worth it. 

7) Marianne Stover's story about the . . . (not giving it away here) . . . soooooo funny. 

😎 I should weigh in on a couple of things. My favorite store bought cookies: probably those "Chocolate Creme Dare cookies" I mentioned in #6 (above); also, Walker's Shortbread; also, the "Petit Ecolier" cookies, made by the brand "LU" -- (these have a "biscuit" with chocolate on top; I prefer the dark chocolate variety). Next, let's talk again about OREOS. The idea is a good one, but there are too many flavors -- (I'm still overwhelmed!) There is even a flavor called "Love" -- (who knows what that flavor is supposed to taste like???) The packaging claims that "Love Oreos" feature a "sweet and tangy flavor creme." (That's pretty unspecific) -- and this might have been a special temporary flavor; I still have a photo of the packaging in my phone . . . you can see it if you want to! (I'll have to flip back a ways, past the photos from the Rubber Chicken Museum and stuff like that.)  MY OWN PERSONAL COOKIE STORY, QUICKLY TOLD: I occasionally make fortune cookies. They are tricky and time-consuming to make (+ lotsa burned fingers) so I only get around to making them about once every 5 to 10 years. I've written my own "fortunes" -- and I LOVE that part of the experience of making fortune cookies! (A few memorable ideas: I've done a "Mad Lib" style fortune, and I like to write one of the fortunes in a secret "INVISIBLE INK" . . . the person who gets that fortune has to take the little slip of paper home, and bake it in a toaster oven, to see what it says.) Also, one time I built a teeny tiny marimba (out of toothpicks and superglue), and enclosed the teeny tiny marimba into one of the fortune cookies, for a LUCKY person to find. (Warning: superglue is dangerous stuff. Be careful if you try this one at home.) 

9) Thank you SO MUCH, Caleb, for continuing to share so many interesting conversations with us, on the ONLY EVERYTHING podcast! You were at 100 episodes, when this cookie episode was shared; now there are many more episodes of OE -- (I am sending you much appreciation!)