Well, it's been another lovely few days in paradise. My grandma has had quite a few pretty bad days in a row, each one more taxing for me and my mother than the last. This weekend I fell into another terribly depressed funk. Saturday night I was supposed to go to a graduation party, and my mom literally had to drag me off the couch. As she was coaxing my motionless lump of a body off the sofa, she asked me in a very accusatory tone, "you're getting depressed again, aren't you?" Ding, ding, ding! My family is finally cluing in to the effects this job is having on me.
Afraid of what would happen if I didn't get off the farm soon, my mom gave me all of Sunday off. I slept in, and then spent the entire day on the couch in my underwear, watching crappy reality tv and researching grad schools. It was glorious.
Feeling energized and refreshed, I was ready to tackle my role as care taker once again today as I gave my mom the entire day off. Unfortunately, it was another bad day for my grandma, and I tried my best to stay positive. I was doing pretty well until my friend, Calepx, knocked on the door to say goodbye. He is leaving to go back to Mexico in the morning. I knew I couldn't let him go without a proper send-off, so I raided the pantry. As usual, baking supplies and appliances were extremely limited. By the time I got done giving my grandma her evening meds and dinner, it was too late to bake the cake that I wanted to make. I really wanted to write on whatever I made, so I decided I'd make cookies. I couldn't find sugar, but I did find this gem of an instant sugar cookie mix:
There was no expiration date, so I crossed my fingers and said a tiny prayer to the food poisoning gods to not make us sick from these. When I mixed it according to the directions, it was still a little too dry to roll out, so I added a Tbs of orange juice. I highly recommend this to give your boring sugar cookies a little extra something. It also took away the "I've been in this package for 10 yrs" taste.
I couldn't find the cookie cutters so I used a large glass and free-form shaped a heart. I decorated them with a basic buttercream. I didn't need a whole lot of frosting, so I didn't use a recipe. I kind of just threw the ingredients in their respective proportions into a bowl and turned on the beaters. We were still out of butter, so I subbed in shortening. It didn't turn out that badly! I also have a piece of advice for piping frosting. If you are going to use a zipper-seal bag instead of a pastry bag, ALWAYS USE A FREEZER BAG! I didn't want to waste the good freezer bags, knowing we'd need them for berries, so I used a regular sandwich baggie, and let's just say more frosting wound up on my hands than the cookie. It split in probably 10 different places. Use a sturdy freezer bag. The extra 15 cents they cost will be worth the hassle it saves you cleaning up in the end.
It was a very bittersweet goodbye. Calepx has been here for 4 years, and I know he misses his family, so I am happy that he gets to see them again. But then again there is the selfish part of me that really hates goodbyes, and is very sad to see my friend go. He also has a very long, dangerous trip ahead of him, and I worry about him making it back safely. Our goodbye was as awkward as our friendship. Spanish is neither of our first languages, (he speaks Tojolab'al), so there were always a few misinterpretations and things lost in translation. We sat at his dining room table with his friend José, and talked about his time here and plotted how we could stay in contact. Of course our conversation was interrupted every so often by the shouting of "GOOOOOL!" from the tv in the background, showing the Mexico vs. Chile soccer game. It was decided that if I decide I want a Mexican husband, I will go to Las Margaritas and look for him. We shared one last hug, (really more of a death squeeze), with so many cheek kisses I lost count, and I left without looking back so that I didn't cry.
Vaya con Dios, cariño. Nunca te olvidaremos. Recuerda que siempre tienes casa acá.
Love and cookies (Amor y galletas),