Almond Flour Cookies.
Here I am again. Baking cookies. It's one way I cope with the world. Which, in case you haven't noticed, is totally moon bat crazy. So what do you do? The older I get the more I let go. And it's not just letting go of the obvious stuff, like that box of canceled checks from your first marriage or those hideous platform shoes you bought after seeing Saturday Night Fever. I'm letting go of things I once cherished. Stuff I used to believe. Opinions. The Right Way To Do Something. Why?
Because the older I get the less convinced I am that I know what is best. Sometimes it's hard to tell. I know from experience that the best laid plans
can will often fail. And that sheer dumb luck can plop in your lap and splatter you with an unbidden opportunity. I've lived long enough to see the truth in my favorite line from Little Big Man-- Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't. So I don't grasp anything too tightly anymore.
Which brings me to Cheez Doodles and why you need to let go.
My Polish grandmother was a saver. The type of woman who, if you gave her a pretty new night gown, she'd just stuff it in the closet and never wear it. She'd go on wearing her crusty pink K-Mart gown. The polyester one with Sanka stains down the front.
If you asked her, Why don't you wear the new nightgown we gave you? she'd swat away your question and begin rummaging around her kitchen cupboards. Rooting for food objects. To give you. A prize to take home. A dented can of Dinty Moore stew from the reduced shelf at Walgreen's. Candy canes from Christmas past. And yeah. Cheez Doodles.
One particular visit, on our way out the door, my grandmother turned in the February light that slatted through beige vinyl blinds and stared at my two sons- twelve and nine at the time.
You hungry? she barked. The boys shrugged. Take these, she told them, thrusting a giant bag of Cheez Doodles in their direction. The youngest carried the bag to the car. It was bigger than his head. We buckled in and drove off.
Can we open the Cheez Doodles?
Steve and I looked at each other. Well. It's risky, I warned. God only knows how long she's been hanging on to those.
Smell it first, offered the oldest. They tore the bag open in unison. And that's when it hit us.
The most duodenum wrenching rancid odor you could imagine. Filling the car's interior in an instant, thanks to the Jeep heater cranked on high. Accompanied by - of course!- Seal's Kiss From a Rose on the radio.
That is some serious heinousity, gasped my husband, rolling down the window for some air.
I think the expiration date expired, offered one son.
Smells so funky, said the other.
Close the bag, I yelled. Have mercy on us!
After airing out the car we rolled up the windows, shivering.
Why does she keep old stuff? my son asked. Yeah. What good are old Cheez Doodles? said his brother.
Exactly! said I.