731. Shortbread

731michael

Well! What an extraordinary privilege. Prudence had always known she was a good cook. But this! This was quite unexpected!

Prudence had died, and Saint Michael the Archangel had personally asked her if she would be in charge of making the shortbread. Shortbread in heaven! Fortunately she could remember her grandmother’s special recipe that she had used on earth.

And then something even more wonderful happened. Saint Michael the Archangel turned up in the kitchen, again personally, and asked if a piece of shortbread could be delivered to him on a daily basis. Saint Michael! The most powerful created personage after Lucifer. Michael’s name meant “Who-is-like-God?” Saint Michael was to eat her shortbread. Prudence was ecstatic.

A year or two went by. Suddenly, Michael didn’t want his daily piece of shortbread sent to him. He cancelled. Prudence was sad. She wondered why. Plucking up every ounce of courage she approached Saint Michael.

“Why no daily shortbread?”

“We’re spirits. Archangels don’t eat,” said Saint Michael. “I used to get the shortbread for my pet canary, but it died.”

72 thoughts on “731. Shortbread

  1. thecontentedcrafter

    Poor Prudence! Poor Canary! No wonder the bird died – they don’t eat shortbread!! And Bruce – there is a small, um, factual issue in this story – how does something already in heaven die?

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      First of all, Pauline, I’ve never had a canary that didn’t love shortbread. (In fact I’ve never had a canary). Secondly, eternal life or not, if you were made to eat shortbread everyday, death (a second time) might be a fortunate escape!

      Reply
  2. Cynthia Jobin

    I don’t think I want to go to heaven….you still have to cook, still be impressed with the powerful, and even the powerful have to clean the birdcage, (though Michael probably got some dilly to do that for him)….nope, it’s no better than here on earth after all…..and there’s nothing to look forward to!

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Given their wings, it’s not impossible anyway, that the archangels are simply reincarnated canaries who get the likes of Prudence to do the cooking for them. Millet and sunflower seeds put into an angel cake, for example.

      Reply
      1. Cynthia Jobin

        There you go with that reincarnation stuff again! (And if Heaven is anywhere in Arizona, I hope it’s Flagstaff, not Phoenix…..more like New England weather in Flagstaff)

        Reply
                1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                  Thank you! The recipe sounds a little like those online, where Nora posts her recipe for boiled cabbage, and Annie says “Fabulous recipe! I tried it without the cabbage and my husband loved it”!!!

                  Reply
                    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      I was just having lunch and thinking – I must ask Cynthia for her recipe. So could you send it? I am having chicken curried soup out of a pocket for lunch! It tastes like… chicken curried soup out of a packet.

                    2. Cynthia Jobin

                      I’ll get the recipe together when I have a chance….but I really do cook without recipes so it’s a bit difficult. The trick to making almost any soup “creamy” in texture without adding heavy cream, is to add a cup or so of cooked rice while it is simmering and then, just before serving, to purée it with an immersion blender (or a regular blender, but that’s harder to do with hot stuff, and must be done in smaller batches.) Since I got my immersion blender, I’ve developed my own Mushroom, Roasted Tomato, Sweet Potato and Lentil/Spinach soups, and had a lot of fun experimenting with fines herbes, curry, soy sauce, worcestershire and galanga for flavorings. The blender does a nice job, too with Potato Leek soup and various sauces and dressings that can be better than the store-bought stuff that’s full of you-don’t-know-what.

                    3. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      I shall unravel the cord of my immersion blender, and begin doing the rice thing. The great thing (in my opinion) is that for soups you can do what you like, and it’s just a question of trying something else if it wasn’t that brilliant the first time round.

                    4. Cynthia Jobin

                      That’s true about experimenting with soups, Bruce. And I like the fact that I can cook a big pot of it —too much for one—then freeze it in 2-cup microwavable containers so I don’t have to cook so often!

                    5. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      I am terrible at freezing things. I spend half of autumn freezing soups for winter, and then (because these days you can buy everything for 12 months) go and make fresh stuff all winter. And then come Spring, have to eat all the frozen stuff to make room for the next harvest!

      1. araneus1

        I think that Lucifer got a bad rap. A lot of my friends are into angels…… me? I’ve got a thing going……….angels are not sure if I exist, and I’m still not sure if they exist……. when one of us works it out, we’ll get back to you. Terry

        Reply
  3. arlingwoman

    I love shortbread. I have a recipe for little pecan crescents rolled in powdered sugar that are known in my family as moldy mice. Delicious… I like the plain stuff, too, with a nice glass of scotch…It may be that the bird was drinking as well and got gizzard problems along with the cholesterol build up…

    Reply
      1. arlingwoman

        I’ve used almonds as well and added lemon. I bet the extra color makes the cookies appealing. I confess, I actually like the plain, unadorned, less sweet, buttery stuff the best. The canary is beginning to sound like a greedy budgie!

        Reply
          1. Cynthia Jobin

            I used to shape a whole shortbread batch into a wreath, decorate with red and green maraschino cherries, and bake on a pizza pan at Christmas….an interesting centerpiece…just break off a piece and eat!

            Reply
            1. arlingwoman

              Wow, now that I’ve never seen. Re the soup, though, it sounds like we have the same cooking approach. Whenever you next make it and take a few notes, let me know. Yum…

              Reply
            2. Bruce Goodman Post author

              That’s a great idea! I’ve been making the shortbread into separate cookies, putting them in tins and giving away as presents. But the wreath idea is a great idea – both as a centrepiece and a gift!

              Reply
              1. Cynthia Jobin

                Yes…I gave them as gifts…Made them the size of a large paper plate. Then, once they were cooled, put them on a paper plate (with a hole cut in the center!) so they wouldn’t crumble (as cookies are wont to do), wrapped all around with clear wrap and decorated—as a wreath would be—with a big bow ribbon. They were always a hit!

                Reply
                    1. Cynthia Jobin

                      No, no, it’s the support of the paper plate under the giant cookie that keeps it from breaking when it is handled. I cut a hole in the center just to duplicate the look of the wreath, which has a hole in the center. The hole doesn’t need any support. (And you may quote me on that last aphorism.)

                    2. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      OK – I understand – thanks. And if it’s any consolation regarding the aphorism: the galaxy would fall apart if it didn’t have a black hole.

          1. arlingwoman

            No,no,no. That would involve grinding the flour and churning our own butter. Not sure if we’d have to grow our own sugar cane or just buy the very, very best. And the actual recipes would be very complicated…

            Reply

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