Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lemon-Scented Tears: A Christmas Tragedy

We just went to the People's Drug for a roll of tape to finish the wrapping. When we returned, say half and hour later, we were greeted at the door by a truly horrifying smell: I'd left the lemon bars in the oven. We dragged open the door of the oven and pulled out a blackened 9x9 pan of carbonized sugar sludge. I was 14. I cried.

Lemon bars are by far the easiest of the traditional ToastPoint family Christmas cookies. This is because they are mostly made by Betty Crocker. Yes, I'd managed to ruin box cookies. I was comforted, a new box of lemon bar mix--and a new pan--were purchased, and a second effort was made.

Reader, I burned them again. This time, it was just the crust. The crust, which is supposed to bake for 10 minutes before you add the filling, was in for long enough to set off the smoke alarm. I honestly don't know how it happened. I cried again. And then I was told, gently but firmly, that I wasn't allowed to make the lemon bars anymore. And every year, along with the traditional baking of the lemon bars, the family added a traditional retelling of the story of the year Katherine burned two batches of lemon bars from a box.

This year the extended ToastPoint family has retired to the Outer Banks to avoid the pre-Chrstmas hubbub and to bake. And this year, I made mango bars. Same concept as the lemon bars, less bad karma. And I gotta tell you, they look good. Once we cut 'em I'll post a photo.

UPDATE: Here they are:
I'm not going to post a recipe because, well, they're box cookies. But stay tuned for real cookie recipes every day this week. Tomorrow: Aunt Ester's Sugar Cookies.

***
Also, the box of mix this year sported the best brand name ever:

1 comment:

Brendon said...

What a crushing story.

One the subject of wrapping Xmas gifts - which, almost, you were, here's a short, short, short film I made:

http://www.anthologise.com/johnvslaura/

Please post the link or spread it around as the film only has one more week before it's out of season

Happy Baking