So, I’m a waitress, and a few days ago, I waited on Dolores Umbridge. Yes, the Harry Potter character.
She was bulbous and monochrome, and she sashayed into my restaurant with all the grace of a concussed seal. She had a friend with her, a stately, normal-looking woman with an elegant arc of white hair and history-teacher glasses. I asked if they would like to sit inside or on the patio; Umbridge smirked and murmured, in a saccharine voice dripping with condescension, “not on the patio.”
Oh. So, like, inside. Alright then.
I went to seat them in my section, but Umbridge stopped me. “No no, this table won’t work. We want this table.” She moved to sit in another waiter’s section, and for a moment I thought I might be able to pawn her off on the waiter; then I remembered that he was on call, and unless I summoned him in I was still going to have to serve her.
So I sat them, got their drinks, etc. I took their order, but naturally, right as Umbridge mumbled her selection, a testosterone-fueled motorcycle roared past in a blaze of bikini-buffed glory. I thought she’d said salmon but wasn’t sure, so I repeated her order back to her—“rum-caramel salmon?”—at which point she smiled up at me, blinked slowly, and queried, “is there another kind of salmon?”
So I killed her.
Well, actually, I didn’t. I entered her order into the computer, fired off an angry text message to a friend, and proceeded to wait on her and her friend in my usual way. The food was, by their own admission, “excellent,” and their drinks were refilled in a timely yet unobtrusive manner. They asked for a split check, and I acquiesced; the normal friend left me a 20% tip, but Umbridge?
Not only that, but she left her ticketbook wide open on the table with the pennies prominently displayed so that everyone in the damn restaurant could see that I was, apparently, a waitress of exactly two-cent quality.
Although the table right next to her left me a 40% tip, so, you know.
Still, I was pissed. Very, very pissed. So after I got off work (early, because we were slow as shit), I stomped down to Safeway, where I bought shredded coconut, butter, and almond joy candy pieces. On my walk home I flipped off a car of dumbass jock boys, kicked a bunny rabbit, and ferociously gnawed on some Skoal (only one of those things is true).
And then I made some cookies.
Yes—this is the inaugural post of the feature that Pepper and I have decided to call Fancy Pans, a delightful, mouth-watering little feature in which we talk about baking and offer successful recipes to the hungry, hungry masses. Pepper and I bake often, and for all kinds of reasons; for my part, I usually bake when I am stressed out and pissed off, which means that there will no doubt be even more of these posts once school starts up again.
I call this recipe “Two-Cent Almond Joy Cookies,” because damn it, I hold a mean grudge. I was originally inspired by this recipe and used this other recipe as a base, but the recipe that ultimately resulted deviates from both.
So here you are:
Two-Cent Almond Joy Cookies
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup shortening
½ cup butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flaked coconut
1 ½ cups almond joy pieces
Chuck the sugar, other sugar, shortening, butter, and eggs into a bowl. Yes, it all looks very unhealthy, I’ll admit, but remember that this makes a crapton of cookies. How much is a crapton, you ask? Man, I don’t even know. But at least four dozen. So yes, the congealing butter and sugar and whatnot might look terrifying, but fear not, unless you’re the type to scarf down 48 cookies in one sitting. (And hey, if you are, that’s cool too.)
Anyway, mix it all ‘til batter-like, then add vanilla. Stir in flour, then soda, then salt. In a sudden unexpected twist, stir in coconut. Fold in half of the almond joy pieces, shovel raw dough into your mouth, then drop the remaining balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Press the rest of the candies into dough, and bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. I went all precise and baked them for 10 minutes; they emerged from the oven soft and lovely. Not only that, but they were chewy and delicious and had just the right amount of coconut—enough to add flavor, but not enough to screw up the texture. So I highly recommend that you make them, and eat them, and tell your arteries to just cope. That’s what I did, and so did Pepper and my parents.
As for Dolores Umbridge, she can have her two pennies. She clearly needs them more than I do.