As I write this, my son is talking to himself in the shower. He doesn’t sing, he talks. He’s having this whole conversation with himself tonight because his undefeated baseball team lost to a team that was 3-3. He didn’t hit so well, but he played ok defensively. They had been losing 7-1 and then came back to go ahead 8-7. The other team had the last ups because we were playing at their field. In the bottom of the last inning, combined with pent up frustration, he was involved in a collision at second when he was catching the ball and was slightly injured. It’s one of those things where he was legitimately hurt, but I think the frustration of the team not playing well and his not hitting increased the pain all the more. Know what I mean?
So, he does this. He talks to himself, works it all out in his head and is then ok. I really do love to listen to him. He’ll do it when he’s in bed, too, and then is beyond embarrassed if he sees my shadow in the hall. I can’t help it. I’m his mother, and I know my enjoying moments like these are limited. So, I’m going to listen.
When we were living in Rhode Island, our friends, Mary and Eddy, would travel back to New York where they were originally from and bring back Italian goodies. One time they came back with a PINK BOX! Remember how I not only LOVE those pink boxes, but especially the things that are inside them? Inside this box were some Pignoli cookies. It was definitely one of my Oh My Goodness moments. They were SO completely delicious – chewy on the outside and so soft and tender on the inside. And then they melted in my mouth. They were oh so good that I would ask, or rather beg Mary to bring some back whenever they went to New York. They were one of those creations that was so good I was afraid to make it because I really and truly believed I wouldn’t be able to duplicate it. Yes, I was intimidated by a cookie. Over 12 years I’ve put it off. Today, I baked a cookie so close that I think even I could put it into a pink box! So darned exciting!
We can thank Martha Stewart for this one. I found it in her Baking Handbook, p.93; author, Martha Stewart; publisher, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.; ISBN 0-307-23672-2.
7 ounces almond paste
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
2 large egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 350ºF, with racks in the center and lower third. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat almond paste and both sugars on medium speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 2 minutes.