four and twenty groundhogs
It's Friday and I'm listening to the banter at the front counter. It's been the same all week, ever since a certain fellow made his debut on the sugar cookie platter. Customers ask to purchase one of the cute squirrel cookies, sparkly with brown sanding sugar. The counter folk casually reply, "Well, actually they're Groundhogs."They are met with a vacant look from the customer. The staff continues, explaining that this very Sunday is Groundhog's Day. Each time I hear this exchange, I start to fall deeper and deeper into a Bill Murray/Andi McDowell trance.
I am trying desperately to get some pies into the oven before the morning slips away from me. I've pre-baked the shells (see last week's rant) thinking I'll make banana cream for a change. I didn't anticipate my morning being interrupted by a cookie.
According to my cookie calendar, Thanksgivukkah had come and blissfully gone. Turkeys, Menorahs and Pilgrims, oh my! Apparently there is a convergence of holidays this weekend, as well. I don't remember any mention of this, but maybe I wasn't paying attention. Today kicks off Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse. Sunday is Groundhog's Day right on the heels (rather cleats) of Super Bowl Sunday. And I've already begun mixing a palette of Conversation Heart color for that other holiday. (The one that rears it's ugly head on the 14th of February.) My pie shells will have to sit tight until I tend to the cookie crisis. We're running low on footballs and we're overrun with Groundhogs. I realize we are not Rocket Scientists, but this is indeed a problem. I casually suggest sticking a football on the Groundhogs and we do. Now I'm the one doing the piping of the royal icing "laces" on the teeny fondant footballs. Which gives me pause to consider a Universal Holiday Cookie.
I'm prompted by my brother's philosophy regarding greeting cards. He claims that he has purchased one card that he presents to my sweet sister-in-law that covers all occasions. The sentiment of the card is something along the lines of "I love you." He presents this card on her birthday, Valentine's Day, their anniversary. The card knows no limits and clearly it has done the trick; they have been happily married since the late 1970s.
I'm thinking that we could create a cookie at work that is equally suitable. I'm envisioning something simple- for instance, the Easter Bunny wearing a Santa Claus hat embroidered with the word "Mom" and decorated with a shamrock tassel. In one hand, Santa holds the hand of a Gingerbread Man who holds a dreidel emblazoned with a turkey and a pumpkin. In the other hand, Santa clutches both (he has big hands, okay?) an Apple-for-the-Teacher and a 4th of July flag. That should cover it nicely. Sporting events just don't make the cut. Nor do woodland creatures. Why? Because I said so.
I complete my Groundhog/Super Bowl tasks and return to the empty pie shells. Folks are still talking cookies at the counter. I know that the Groundhog of Pennsyltucky or Puxatawny has his rightful place on the calendar, but when did he squirrel his way into the bakery? I'll tell you when- when Super Bowl Sunday collided with Will He or Won't He See His Shadow Day.
Enough- I'm back to the pies, separating whites from yolks with great abandon until one of the Baristas turns to me and asks, "What are the pie shells going to be filled with?"
Without pausing I look up and reply simply, "Groundhog."
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Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm