Eating at my Grandma & Grandpa's house was always an event. Always. Stuffed shells on Sunday, served on green and white plates, and a crisp salad dressed with oil and vinegar. A buttery crisp pancake, made just for me. Vegetable soup, with oyster crackers, of course. Even a can of Chef Boyardee cheese ravioli. It was always special. For the most part, Grandpa was the chef... but not when it came to my favorite cookie. Those were made by Grandma... stored in a cardboard shirt box, lined with wax paper. My soft-pascottis... that is what I called them. The softest mound of cookie drizzled with white glaze, and colored nonpareil sprinkles. My favorite. I can't remember how often she made them... I just remember that when she did, it was the best day ever.
Two years ago I tried to duplicate them... with her recipe. I was filled with anticipation and could practically taste them as the scent drifted out from the oven. And when the timer finally sang its little song, my elation sank... the cookies had all run together. They were not the sweet little mounds I recalled. I was so sad... overwhelmingly so. I quickly cleaned up and moved on, choosing the pretend I had never even tried. For a while, I looked for the recipe online... realizing that they were probably called soft biscottis, not soft-pascottis, but I just wasn't ready to try again. Until now. I came across a recipe in a magazine, with a photo, and thought This might be it.
Waking at a ridiculously early hour, I decided that today I would try. Even as I documented the journey, I was cautious... with my anticipation... with my heart.
The flavors bring me right back to when I was little, and the excitement that filled me when I saw that Grandma was carrying that shirt box. Maybe the success is just a little sweeter knowing that I had failed along the way. And maybe that little Try, try again lesson is ringing inside. No matter what my head is saying, my heart is full...