Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee!

More like Sandra Lee..

Monday afternoon and night, Hurricane Sandy came to Troy.  Lucky for us the portion that hit the capital district had slowed enough to fall out of the Tropical Storm category.  It was still a bad wind storm but significantly better than the forecasts predicted. RPI still shut down in the afternoon and awkward dance of "the undergraduates aren't supposed to be on campus, can I go home?" started.  Two hours after campus closed, I was finally able to go home.  Not before I had become thoroughly distraught by the day's events.

When I got home I knew there was only one thing left to do. BAKE.  This has happened to me a couple times in the past.  Most notably about seven years,  a good friend's mother had died in September but it didn't hit me until one fateful high school sociology class right before Halloween when I broke down into tears somehow managed to convince my mother to let me come home.  I baked Halloween-themed sugar cookies into the night.  With that same fervor, I set out to make pumpkin spice cookies and assorted pretzel treats.

I still haven't figured out why baking is so cathartic for me.  One nice thing about it is that I rarely want to eat whatever I make so my friends profit from baked goods and I avoid getting myself in trouble at boxing. I was recently introduced to Pinteret, for better or for worse, and refused to become one of those 'pinners' who never tries any of the things they find.  For this adventure I tried pumpkin snickerdoodles, edible eyeballs, and what I'm calling 'witch fingers'.

My family's a big fan of snickdoodles and while this pumpkin version is delicious, I don't think it has the characteristic texture of snickerdoodles so you'll hear me call them pumpkin spice cookies.  When I finished baking I was significantly calmer than when I started.  That serenity did not last me through the whole storm but I'm willing to bet that keeping busy helped a lot.  Creating something in the face of destruction is comforting to me, whether it's as simple as cookies or a series of complex travel plans.  Hopefully my labmates will appreciate my baking creations at group meeting tomorrow!  Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Stay safe!