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10:29am on Sunday, 21st February, 2021:

Metal Ox


Look what I received yesterday!

It's a Chinese New Year cookie, made by cookie impresaria (indeed, kooky impresaria) Pooky Amsterdam and despatched by her from the USA.

I can't say I was surprised to receive it, as she'd warned me to expect it. I can say I was surprised it was intact, because she'd packed it in a 4-inch cube box with a large "FRAGILE" sticker on it; the courier company out this in an 8-inch cube box also with a large "FRAGILE" sticker on it, meaning the inner box was free to bounce all over the place within the larger box. Fortunately, the cookie (well, cookies, as there were two of them) in the inner box were protected by a further layer of bubble wrap. The extra box did have a use, though: it stopped the contents from being impounded by customs, because who would put cookies in a box that could rattle around in another box?

Although it looks from the picture as if this is just a square biscuit, actually it is a proper cookie: the biscuit sandwiches what looks like a 2cm-thick brownie. It's much lighter than a brownie, though, tasting largely of chocolate but with notes of other flavours in there too (cinnamon? pepper?). Whatever it was made of, it was a dream — I scoffed all of it over the course of 20 minutes. Needless to say, my wife has only eaten half of hers and will probably take another day or two to finish it just so she can torment me by slowly relishing it in front of me.

It may have taken two weeks for the cookies to arrive, but they were still fresh. Bonus: if Pooky had gone down with Covid-19 before they arrived, she could have warned me and then I wouldn't have caught it off them (I'd have saved them until after I'd been vaccinated).

Professional bespoke-cookie-making is a strange profession, but we also learned yesterday that one of our daughters' schoolfriends now has a job photographing handbags in Australia, so it's not all the weird in the great scheme of thing.

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Copyright © 2021 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).