While I am not one for branding, especially when it comes to ourselves, I do find certain brands of useful items do become favorites. Same as I feel about rituals and recipes. Take cookie baking and holiday card making. We keep our Christmas pretty simple, but even so, it’s easy to start feeling flustered and overwhelmed as the day quickly approaches. Self-doubts of “am I doing enough,” or “bummer, I missed this year’s event, now I have to wait until next year…” But at least I have cookies and cards — I can always count on myself getting to them. Still, even those pursuits can become overwhelming when they turn into minor disasters as they did for me the other day. Disasters I actually ended up laughing at as I quickly put a fresh spin on the situations, otherwise known as my own version of “rebranding.” Take the cookies. A standard recipe I’ve made for decades, many know these simple cookies as Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes, Polvorones, they go by many names, and now they have a couple of new ones. I’d frozen the dough earlier in the month, thawed it, and popped the first little buttery, sugary balls of dough in the oven. Delighted with my feeling of ease as I had plenty of time still before the big day. So, I was quite flabbergasted when I pulled the first tray of these melt-in-your-mouth morsels out of the oven, my eyes bulging at the sight of them collapsed and puddling together in a way they are not SUPPOSED to do. However, the calm, cool, collected, EXPERIENCED home cook has learned — she always has two options after the taste test — toss, or — REBRAND.  My tea cakes became “lacy wafers,” and as I dumped the rest of the dough in a square pan, that batch became shortbread. I have done this countless times for dinner with my dad and Marty, and neither one has ever caught on. As far as the Christmas cards went, I rushed to get them to the mailman, using a sponge to seal all the envelopes. Unfortunately, the liquid ink I addressed them with smeared in the process, but no matter. I’ll just tell people it was snowing hard when I went to mail them. My final task of the day was to make calendula salve, and all went well. No salvage to do, thank goodness. Cuz, man? Rebranding, you know? I can only take so much of it.

Author: Dame

an evolving story, wanting to live a slower life right here and now...reconnections, new connections, and now connections are my calls, tea dates and letters preferred over emails...