Thursday, 15 April 2010

More Birthday Baking!

It's taken me a little while tyo get around to posting the second installment of my friend's birthday cookies but belive me they are well worth the wait! These were probably one of the first recipes I found on my favourite foodblog  The Crepes of Wrath, I loved the sound of them then but lemon biscuits has never been highest on my agenda to bake (I'm all about the chocolate) plus the recipe called for lemon extract which I didn't own and didn't know where to buy. So I put them to the back of my mind and the back of my recipe book and sort of forgot about them for a few months. Then when it came to my baking extravaganza for my friends Birthday I knew I wanted two chocolate based recipes, the oatmeal cookies from my last post and the rocky road cookies that will be my next post, but I needed something a bit different. That's when I remembered these lemon sugar cookies, they seemed pretty simple to make (aside from the lemon extract) and i thought they would make a nice different kind of biscuit to two the heavy chocolatey ones I'd already decided on.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Best Chain-Mail I've Ever Recieved

Sometimes recipes can mean nothing at all. Sometimes they are literally words, spilled onto a page that put together make something kind of tasty. But the best recipes of all are those which have a story behind them, a little bit of human interest that tells you why a recipe is important.

It was another friend's Birthday this week so I decided to bake her three types of cookie as a present and the next three blog posts will be dedicated to those cookies. Weeks before the time to bake came I had decided on two of the three cookies but I was stuck for a third. Talking to my boss at work she mentioned the best cookies she'd ever made, some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies apparently from Neiman-Marcus' recipe. She offered to send me the recipe to look over and I said "why not?" I'm always in the market for a new recipe to try out, especially one which comes with such high recommendations. The email she sent me came in the form of a chain-letter. You know the typical send this on to everyone yadda yadda kind. But the recipe itself had an interesting little back-story explaining just how the originator had got hold of Neiman-Marcus' special cookie recipe.

"My daughter and I had just finished lunch at NAiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas. Becuase both of us are such biscuit lovers, we decuded to try the 'Neiman-Marcus cookie'. It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe. The waitress said with a small frown, 'I'm afraid not, but you can BUY the recipe.' I asked how much, and she repsponded; "only two-fifty - it's a great deal!" I agreed to that and told her to add it to my bill. Thirty days later, I got my VISA statement, and the Neiman-Marcus charge was $285.00. I looked at ti again, and I remembered that I had only spent $9.95 for two sandwiches and about $20.00 for a scarf. At thebottom of the statement, it said, 'Cookie Recipe - $250.00'.

That was outrageous! I called Neiman's accountign department andn told them the waitress had said it was two-fifty, which clearly does not mean two hundred and fifty dollars by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money because, according to them; 'what the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe. We absolutely will not refund your money.'

I explained to Accounting Department the criminal statutes whcihc govern fraud in the State of Texas. I threadtened to report them to the Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General's Office. I was basically told: do what you want. Don't bother thinking of how you can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money back'. I said, ok, you've got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250 worth of fun. I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the world with an email account gets a $250  cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus, for free! She replied 'I wish you wouldn't do that.' I said, 'well you should have thoguht of that before you RIPPED ME OFF!' and slammed down the phone."