DAILY BREAD: Grandma’s Biscotti Recipe Shows She is One Tough Cookie
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If you CAN refrain from drinking the leftover red wine until AFTER the cookies are baked, that would probably be a good idea.
I always say, drinking wine goes great with cooking, not so great with baking.
Cooking is more of an improvisational skill. The more you loosen up, the more you can tap into your inner mad scientist and just throw things in you never read about in a cook book.
Baking requires a little more precision. Sure, you can be creative in baking, and you can certainly make mistakes. (Someone forgot to melt chocolate chunks into the dough and came up with a chocolate chip cookie!)
If you want the best of both worlds, I say try these cookies that Grandma Nita makes called Red Wine Biscotti. There will be plenty of wine leftover after they are all done baking, and you will definitely want to sit down and relax after a couple of hours in the kitchen working to get these rolled and pinched and coated in thick jackets of sugar.
The best thing about baking with family members is that you DO have to concentrate. When you toil and focus on precise, fine motor skills with your hands, your mind is engaged enough to keep you living in the moment.
But there are times in between repetitive tasks when you have a few precious seconds to breathe, get excited about a well-formed product, and fit in a little banter with your fellow chef.
This is where life gets interesting.
In the middle of rolling, squeezing, pinching and dabbing, you reveal tiny parts of yourself even you didn’t know existed.
Your co-chef, deeply absorbed in his or her own stage of execution, will hear you, but the pressure will be off of you as their eyes are not gazing into yours.
Like fishing, driving a car, or planting flowers, when your mind, eyes and hands are engaged, your mouth becomes the distillery for some wise, witty, whirly, swirly spiritual insights.
Hands and minds and hearts mix, blend and knead your inner truths to the surface.
You will share things.
Some of them will be deep.
Some of them will be light.
Some of them will be imperfectly formed, but rolled back into the dough for redemption.
At the end of your long afternoon of making these crispy, crunchy, hearty biscotti, you may tilt your head at your co-chef and see them in a way you hadn’t noticed before.
Your co-chef may sigh deeply without saying a word, and slump into a chair with a sense of exhaustion that floods you with compassion.
Whatever truths you come to, you will bite into those crunchy little cookies and lock eyes.
And if things don’t look great, that’s fine too.
There is always the leftover wine.
Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.
Thank you God for all the tough little cookies out there.