Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pink Cookies and Black Books

Ann D. brought pink meringue cookies--made with raspberry jello!-- to a holiday party, and I thought they were of cultural significance, coming from the Land of Food Far Removed from Nature, so I am sharing her recipe here (at end of post).

The cookies are from Ann's childhood, in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where my auntie now lives. It was on a trip to visit her that I photographed the Cheese Cows
The drink of choice in that region is beer, of course, but these pink puffs would nicely complement your Wisconsin plonk. (You can get a fine cranberry wine at the Cheese Haus, next to the gas station where I-94 divides.)

For Christmas, I plan to sit with a plate of pink food and a bottle of red liquid and watch the third season of Black Books [links to clips on Channel 4], my latest discovery that makes me laugh out loud.

Bernard Black (Irish comic Dylan Moran, far right, the only good thing in this year's Run, Fat Boy, Run) is a bookshop owner who wants everyone to piss off and leave him alone to drink bottles of cheap Spanish wine, smoke cigarettes, and read books. (It's worth watching just to see a television character reading--very odd.)
His friends (?) are Fran (Tamsin Greig) and Manny (Bill Bailey).

Black Books reminded me a bit of Father Ted, which also made me laugh out loud. Turns out Moran cowrote B.B. with Father Ted creator Graham Linehan.

Would I like these shows about nasty and/or bumbling people if I weren't American? I can't stand American TV comedies, but I have a high tolerance for Brit-coms. I suppose they are more amusing to me, not just because they're better written (though could that be said of Father Ted? I think not) but because the mad, idiotic characters don't seem real to me, whereas I recognize the idiots on U.S. comedies as all too real.

Pink Cookies

3 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3 1/2 T raspberry jello (1/2 of small box)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat egg whites with salt until foamy.
Add raspberry jello and sugar gradually.
Beat until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
Mix in vinegar. Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop from teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets covered in parchment paper.
Bake at 250 degrees for 25 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave cookies in for another 20 minutes longer.


Manfred Allseasons said...

Do you get Peep Show over there?

Wonderful sitcom about failure and embarrassment...

fresca said...

How did you know: my favorite topics!
I added it to Netflix (you know? DVD rental through the post).

I myself don't "get" any TV show, as I don't have a TV. I just watch it on DVD on my laptop.
Some lucky souls pay for BBC America and get the latest shows.

Bink said...

just want to plug the pink cookies-- they are delish!

Jennifer said...

I believe a connection can be made between the delicious-looking pink meringues and BritComs! :) Just as meringues are Food Far Removed from Nature, BritComs are Comedy Far Removed from (Our) Nature. You mentioned this in an email to me recently, and I think it's very true--when the people are from a foreign country we can step back and enjoy their foibles as human rather than feeling embarrassed at what it reveals about us. That said, the humor is different as well! I wish I could put it into words, but I agree that I find American sitcoms flatly unwatchable, and I think it's more than just "Oh God, Americans." I would have to do notably more research into the topic to give a more definite answer, however.

Oh, and I could have sworn I mentioned--somewhere! My blog, your blog, emails? I can't keep track--that I'll be in town from the 20th to the 28th and hope to see you! We've finished copying B7 as incentive to make sure it happens, and since Rudyinparis has the whole Christmas week off, we can work fairly well around your schedule. It might be best to start making plans concretely with her, since she's got more control over the scheduler...I usually wake up each morning blissfully unaware of the plan and willing to just go wherever the tides of the holidays take me. :)

fresca said...

Bink: Yes, I forgot to say that: They're quite good!
Though I would leave out the chocolate chips myself.

JEN: Please do the research! The differences between American and British comedy. Think how fun it would be! Oh, wait... you'd have to watch all that bad stuff too. "Friends" and stuff.
And the Brits of course pump out unwatchable stuff too--how many episodes of "Are You Being Served" can a person take.

Yes, yes, you did mention getting together--sorry, this is an electronic misconnection: I am TOTALLY looking forward to meeting you! Thanks!