cooking with gas, cooling off with cookies
Yesterday I arrived home to find, to my horror, that the gas had been disconnected. A customised post-it had been left on the door to inform us of this travesty. A three-digit reason was specified – standard 153 – which of course was totally meaningless to me. Despite my general reluctance to deal with … anything … and my particular reluctance to deal with Israelis over the phone, I plucked up the courage to call the number on the bottom of the note to ask what the hell was going on.
Apparently it’s a normal state of affairs – they changed the clocks on the gas and to do that, had to disconnect the gas. Their safety standard dictates that without someone being home, they can’t then REconnect it. I asked why they didn’t call BEFORE disconnecting us, or WHILE disconnecting us – or even AFTER disconnecting us, and thereby enable one of us to return home and watch the gas get reconnected, but no answer was forthcoming. I also expressed my confusion at the fact that they freely disconnect an essential household fuel like gas without any intention of reconnecting it on the same day. Despite my protests, the woman from the gas company explained that since the technicians stop working at 4:00pm, the only other option was for me to stay at home until 8:30am the next day. I told her that staying at home until that hour was not a possibility, and requested that she try to find someone to deal with it today, as I was at home now – not before, and not tomorow.
Half an hour later, she called and told me that she’d searched high and low and couldn’t find a technician who was still available to reconnect us. I accepted her last resort offer of 8:30am the following day.
When my Mr came home and I gave him the run-down on the state of affairs, he wasn’t impressed at my fortitude and willingness to take on that domestic responsibility and plunge myself into the mire that it a phone call to a petty beauracracy like the gas company, though – he was annoyed with ME for making a booking that meant that he’d have to deal with it in the morning.
Lucky for both of us, he went to simmer down in the room and I simmered down over some cookies that I’d been dying to make for days – Brown Sugar Ginger Crisps, from epicurious.com. I’ll add the recipe here, with the metric conversion for the butter (because we don’t have sticks here).
Brown Sugar Ginger Crisps
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks/1 cup/226 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (3 oz/86 grams)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at moderate speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in yolk, vanilla, and gingers. Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until just combined.
Drop heaping teaspoons of dough about 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets and bake in batches in middle of oven until golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 5 minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely.
simmer down note:
- I made these on a very warm summer day so my butter was incredibly soft when I started mixing it into the sugar – I think that this contributed to their wonderfulness.
- I used two small egg yolks instead of one large, because that was what I had.
- I used dark brown sugar, and not light – again, because that was what I had.
- I used self-raising flour (you know why…) and a scant half teaspoon of baking powder – I was scared to diverge TOO much from the recipe so I used the baking powder even though it was probably unnecessary with the flour that I used.