I can’t believe it. This is the end of the challenge. Already.
Today is the last day that I am cooking for my challenge One Cook, One Book. The last recipe? A staple. Shortbread.
I expected to cook this earlier in the day, but found myself caught up in editing videos and bracing for the thunderstorm that hit. Finally with my video posted and the storm subsiding, I sat in bed anxious.
Did I really want to make the shortbread?
The only thing holding me back was that once it was done, I would have completed this challenge. Exciting, but upsetting: When the challenge is done, this part of my life is going to be over…
Doing this seven part challenge was really good for my soul, but to know that it is going to be over after this also means a big part of my life for the past couple of months is going to be over too! But when one door closes, another opens. I’ll get into that another time.
Until then, onto our final recipe for this challenge. Shortbread.
Of all of the recipes, this was the best to end the challenge with. It was easy to make and only required about ten active minutes. The rest consisted of cooling the dough and baking. As for the ingredients? Only three (though I added an icing topping, so I guess in my case it was four.) All three are ingredients that I always have on hand anyways, so this recipe is actually quite convenient if in a pinch and need a quick dessert!
The process was incredibly easy. Mix ingredients. Cool. Bake. Cool. Eat. Minimal appliances and tools required. The only part I struggled on was figuring out what shape I wanted to make the shortbread in, so I made one in a 9×9 inch pan, and then hand rolled and cut some smaller pieces as well.
Turns out that I actually love it when they’re smaller pieces. They’re much cuter and the perfect size to eat! I’m actually a little nervous to cut into the big square of buttery, crumbly sweetness. Any suggestions? Anyone?
As for where it’s going? It’s not staying at my house. We already have way too many leftover sweets from father’s day. I’m thinking of giving it away to some friends to celebrate Litha Today (A day late, but better late than never!)
Onto every college student’s favourite part, pricing. To make one entire batch of shortbread that fills a 9×9 inch square pan, with some leftover pieces, costs $3.10. Compare that to:
Walkers Shortbread Highlanders, 4.7 oz box: $4.55
Traditional Bakery Shortbread: $2.25 per piece
Sam Mills Shortbread: $2.04
Many of you may be wondering why something with such minimal ingredients can cost so much. The answer? Butter. Butter is a rather costly item. Even so, I always splurge for the higher quality butter. Higher quality tends to taste better. Better tasting butter means better tasting shortbread!
Eat these responsively. They definitely are not the healthiest. Remember those cheese sticks we made and how they were basically cheese in crunchy, cracker form? This is basically butter in crunchy, cookie form.
Do you think Polly was really in love with Tarnie? Can you be in love with two people at once?
Ah, the question of love is such a difficult question to answer. Especially coming from a 22 year old who does not exactly specialize in the area of love… Even so, I’m not quite sure! I feel Tarnie was certainly filling a void that was in her heart. He seemed much like the mysterious man next door that she wanted a piece of, but did not want the whole cake. The only moments they were together, they were lovers. When they were with more people, the two of them acted like they were just friends. It was a mutual understanding. In my experience, if you’re in love then you’re willing to show it.
Conclusion: Tarnie filled a void she so needed filled. When it was done, it was done. She was able to forgive him for his mistakes, and they were able to continue on as friends. He completed what she temporarily needed.
Were you satisfied with the ending? Do you think Polly found what she was looking for?
I really was satisfied with the ending. No matter how hard it was at first, Polly focussed on herself instead of her love for a man, and was able to become financially stable and successful. All ends tied in a happy and practical way, which made this story seem all the more realistic. Honestly, I think now that it’s been a little over a month since I’ve read it, I think I’m going to give this book a quick read once again. Easy. Happy. Motivating. Just what a college girl needs.
I have to say that this challenge to cook through these seven simple recipes given at the end of Little Beach Street Bakery was an absolute wild ride. Some of the recipes were easy, while with others I faced great challenges. Even so, I learned something new every time.
I learned how to make bread.
I learned not to spend a ton of money on cheese if you’re going to bake it all into a cracker (and that the more chili flakes you add the better.)
I learned to make sure to be EXTREMELY careful when frying corn.
I learned that cinnamon roll filling can be temperamental, and that cinnamon rolls don’t need to be perfectly swirled to be delicious.
I learned that chives blossoms are a delicious topping for focaccia.
I learned that bagels are by far the most fun items to cook, and can really bring a family together.
I learned that even with minimal ingredients, something incredibly flavorful can be created.
I want to thank all of you who have been following along with this challenge. There are many of you who motivated me to keep going, gave me feedback on some recipes, and even taught me a trick here or there on how to improve. If it weren’t for you, there would be no reason for me to be sharing my experience. I hope that these posts gave you the motivation to go out and try something new, just as I have done here. Thank you so much, and I hope you come back soon to check out other future adventures I plan on having!