St. Joseph! This feast day is very popular here in WNY, likely because of the strong Italian ancestry in this area. I always see advertisements for traditional St. Joseph's Tables beginning in early March, and this year was no exception. In fact, Henry's class (well, the 4th and 5th grade classes combined) are hosting a St. Joseph's Table and we received a note last week about sending items in for it if we would like.
So, a St. Joseph's Table involves a buffet of food that tradition holds we offer to the less fortunate. There are traditional dishes and decorations, but the way that we honor this feast today is simply to have a large buffet of food in celebration of St. Joseph's feast. Henry's class was in need of fruit, cheese, crackers, desserts, paper plates, napkins, and statuary for the altar. I noted that I would send in chocolate chip cookies, and Henry excitedly gathered his statues of St. Michael, St. Patrick, and St. George to bring in.
Now, chocolate chip cookies. I should bake them, right? But you all know what my baking skills are like. Unfortunately, my half Italian heritage has not translated to anything remotely resembling otherworldly baking skills. Every time my very Italian grandmother brings her infamous chocolate ball cookies to Christmas Eve dinner I eye them enviously before consuming a half dozen of them. But at any rate, I'm a decent cook, but baker? Not so much. I'm not too proud to buy store-bought baked goods (and everyone in my family breathes a collective sigh of relief) but I refuse to do that before I even TRY. See, I *wait* for the smoking cupcakes to come out of the oven before heading to Wegman's. So here we have Baking Attempt #367:
"Does this butter look '*just* colder than room temperature'? Maybe I should try putting my thumb print on it to test it like Betty Crocker says."
*Mike eyes me uneasily*
"I don't think we need to touch the butter. It's been sitting out for a short bit, I think it looks fine."
"Ok. Would you cream it while I mix up the dry ingredients?"
"What does it mean to cream it?"
"I have no idea, I was hoping you knew."
This is what we're dealing with here, people. Our Italian mothers would disown us if they overhead this conversation.
I will say that the cookies turned out pretty well. I mixed and creamed everything per instructions, and even chilled the batter before putting it on the cookie sheets per a tip in the recipe. I made the cookies small since I wanted the batter to go as far as possible given the number of kids, and I took them out of the oven a hair *before* my instinct, meaning they didn't burn.
The kids (and Mike ;-))were bummed that I didn't let them eat any of them last night, since I wanted to send as many in to school as possible. But I had them all tucked into a Ziploc container and ready to go this morning, all perfect-like. I'm looking forward to hearing how everything goes. I received an email from Henry's teacher thanking those that sent in food and noting how excited the kids were. I'm excited too. :)
Also, the NCAA Tournament begins today! I studiously have my bracket completed, though I'm sure I'll lose, like usual. :0 Regardless, I will say that it is very fun to have a bracket and root for specific teams. Go Bulls!
How are you all spending the feast of St. Joseph?