I'd been correcting yearbook proofs for going on four hours, when I made my move. An intervention was needed, big-time.
Just so happens, my SIL had already sent me some other homework to correct.
Every Christmas, Norwegians (and the in-laws, like moi), bake delicious seasonal delicacies: Lefse (sort of a thin potato pancake), Krumkakke (sweet, crispy cookies, baked on a griddle, somewhat like waffles) and Sandbakkels, a version of the sugar cookie, each one whipped up with brown sugar and pressed into a tin.
Sandbakkels, if you must know, are my specialty. Having married into a Norwegian-American family, I immediately embraced the baking traditions of the Upper Midwest.
Every Christmas, I set up a one-woman sugar-cookie assembly line.
My SIL, who is the real Norwegian in this tale, has practiced a kind of "sandbakkel fail," as my cherubs would say, the last couple of years.
Don't know why, but her cookies are underdone. They're overdone. They don't taste right, or, horror of horrors, the cookies stick to the tins and won't come out in their pretty floral shapes.
I suggested that she send me her sandbakkel tins, and her recipe (in case it differed from mine), and I would try them out. After 25 years of baking sandbakkels, I know my Norwegian sugar cookies. Just sayin'.
But yesterday evening, just after dinner, I started to hear Christmas carols. I swear, I could smell the brief hint of brown sugar and cardemom (a member of the ginger family, and the secret ingredient to sandbakkels). I started feeling festive.
Of course, there were those darn yearbook proofs. Whatever. I put them aside, and started baking cookies.
As you can see from the snap above, there's nothing wrong with my SIL's sandbakkel tins. Nor her recipe, which is the same as mine. I don't know why she's been in a sandbakkel funk, but I do know one thing.
We're celebrating Christmas again at my house this week!
Editor's note: Mrs. Scribe's Poetry Slam will return next Monday. We had to interrupt our previously scheduled program, as you can see, because of a Christmas cookie emergency.