An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Featured community question with accompanying wacky antics

Today’s featured question from the community comes from user aslapintheface:

Which is the perfect segue into what happened over the weekend, starting on Friday afternoon when Jon announced that I would be making gingerbread cookies with Leta the following day, didn’t I know? Hadn’t I heard? Because that’s all she talked about on the ride home from school: gonna bake homemade gingerbread cookies with Mom! HUH? WHAAA? I would have been less surprised if she had said, “I cannot wait until Daddy teaches me about tampons!”

Don’t know if I have ever talked about it here, but I don’t cook or bake or whatever it is you do in the kitchen. I mean, I can boil water, and occasionally I can manage to pull a bag of popcorn out of the microwave without it being attached to three-foot flames, but other than that Jon does all the cooking. In return I do all the, well, the… I can’t really talk about what I do in return because this is a family-friendly website read every morning by my father. So let’s just say that my husband is well compensated.

So who put it in my child’s brain that I could ever bake a cookie? One that you don’t take out of a package and put directly into your mouth? Hello Oreos! The whole snack aisle at the grocery store exists so that you don’t ever have to use an oven, am I right? No? You like to cook? That’s awesome! I’ve got a huge kitchen you can use, and at least three times a day I like to eat. COME OVER.

But who’s not up for a challenge?! At least, that’s what the two cups of coffee told me Saturday morning, and after putting Marlo down for a nap I headed out to gather all the ingredients we’d need for a recipe I found online. And UUGHHHH: THE BAKING AISLE. Do you know how hard I try to avoid that Dark Corridor of Horror whenever I go grocery shopping? All those tiny bottles of spices and powder and self-rising… whatever it is that self-rises. Jesus? Didn’t he self-rise? Is that blasphemous? I’M SORRY. FORGIVE ME, THE GROUND CORIANDER MADE ME DO IT.

And oh my God, I guess I wasn’t paying attention, but do you have any idea how much a bottle of spice goes for these days? Like, TWELVE DOLLARS. TWELVE. DOLLARS. Why go through all the trouble of making meth in your basement when you could be out peddling nutmeg? Are kids snorting cinnamon these days? Because some cinnamon drug lord in Sri Lanka is making A KILLING.

So. All ingredients assembled:

Doesn’t look like that much, right? I am not even joking, it took me two hours to locate all this stuff in that aisle, and even then I almost got baking soda mixed up with baking powder, AND WHAT A FOOL I WOULD HAVE BEEN THEN.

Marlo is all, fool? THAT DOESN’T EVEN COME CLOSE.

And then the first step calls for sifting together the flour and the spices, and I was all sifting? You mean just throwing them in there all together? And Jon, The Cooker, goes, Heather, please tell me you know what sifting means. And I was all, Jon, I graduated valedictorian in high school. CUT ME SOME SLACK. But as a matter of fact, no, I have never sifted anything, that wasn’t on my final English exam.

Turns out we don’t have a sifter (THAT IS AN ACTUAL OBJECT, A SIFTER), so we improvised:

Also, I guess a tablespoon and a teaspoon are very different things. And so I had to apologize to everyone involved for sticking my hands into that mix to dig out the whole tablespoon of ground cloves I had so casually tossed into the bowl, STOP SHAKING YOUR HEAD, JON.

Or as Leta would say, IT’S NOT FUNNY!

And would you look at Leta? The saddest little helper in the world. You know she’s thinking, dude, this sucks. And I’m all, I KNOW.

Although, grinding pepper is a total fucking party:


And a half a cup of molasses. Which I suggest you keep very far away from your hair. Don’t ask me how I know, ask the scissors I used to CUT IT OUT.

Also, I think I may have put an egg in there. I don’t remember, I was busy cutting molasses out of my hair.

And then the fun part, or I guess it was fun, if pouring sifted flour into a bowl is your idea of fun. My idea looks more like a huge shot of tequila on the beach, someone rubbing my feet, maybe Johnny Depp brushing my hair.

So then we mixed all that stuff for a bit, and then we got to the part in the recipe where it says “let dough chill overnight.” And I’m all WHAAAA? And Jon goes, HEATHER, did you not read the recipe first? And I was all, why would I read it all the way through? Wouldn’t that spoil the ending? Seriously, shouldn’t that have been at the top of the recipe, or couldn’t they have given me a warning? HEY STUPID! THIS RECIPE TAKES TWO DAYS.

Instead we just chilled the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. And during those two hours we searched for a rolling pin that we did not own. Oops. Hello, cylindrical glass vase. God, I am good at this.

So I’ll just let the pictures tell the rest of the story…

At least until this part:

SPRINKLES! Not very different than SHINGLES! Except maybe a little less painful. And get this. GET THIS. Turns out that this whole “baking with mom” thing was just a gateway to the SPRINKLES! That’s all she wanted to do. She wanted to sprinkle some SPRINKLES! Because she did not eat the cookies, oh no. Not a bite. Why would she? They are not French fries or chicken nuggets.

Had I known about the SPRINKLES! part I would have just thrown down a bowl and gone, GO TO TOWN KID! Shake that bottle! SPRINKLE THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

So now we have a dozen uneaten gingerbread cookies sitting in a container on our countertop. I may or may not have sneaked a bite to Marlo.

  • hungrybruno

    The end of that story is completely hilarious, about Leta not eating any of the cookies. If you want, you can send them to me. But really, I wouldn’t want to eat gingerbread cookies either, not when there are so many other delicious cookies to be made and eaten. Gingerbread is a lower tier cookie, in my book… but I’m one of those crazies who loves to bake.

  • Mays45

    This recipe is very easy, very tasty, and kind of healthy, at least compared to most holiday treats. I made it with raw almonds, pecans, and walnuts and just added a bit of salt after baking. To make it even easier, pop regular popcorn in a paper grocery bag, closed by folding the top a few times. We used 2 cups of unpopped popcorn with a little oil. After 2 minutes in the micro, take out the popped popcorn, and then close the bag again and cook the remaining kernels for 2 minutes. This prevents burning it (Heather!).

  • abbyjaye

    Uh oh. Somebody better tell The Pioneer Woman to watch her back.

  • christa bader

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! “Cinnamon drug lord” Funniest thing today! And very, very true.

  • maybewithme

    I love that you hate cooking but have the nicest cooking accessories! I’m jealous.

  • JBird

    BEST cookie making story. EVER.

    My homemade shortbread cut-out cookies I make with my kids have FOUR ingredients, and they are to die for. (butter, sugar, eggs, flour).

  • Sursi


    It’s not even a recipe. But it’s awesome. Get a whole package of those Oreos. Buy two so you can eat the second. Put a whole package of them in a food processor. And add……A PACKAGE A CREAM CHEESE!! Now grind it all up until there’s no more grinding to be done. Make little balls of the stuff and put it on some waxed paper. Stick it in the refrigerator. Then get some chocolate/candy coating (from your baking aisle), and get ready to dip those balls in chocolate. Let them set up, then give them away and call them Cookies and Cream Truffles.

  • LolaLola

    I haven’t laughed out loud for so long.
    To quote Homer Simpson (not something I have ever done before or plan to again) “It’s funny cuz it’s true.”

  • mandinka

    wait a damn minute…
    There’s pepper in cookies?
    I really prefer not to know these things.

  • proud momma of one

    LOVE LOVE LOVE times infinity!

    I can’t wait until my little one is old enough to bake, shop, and covet expensive shoes with me!!!!

    Awesome entry! xoxo

  • proud momma of one

    BTW that picture in the suave advertisement, is that when you got MOLASSES stuck in your hair?! awesome…

  • Anu

    Marlo sure looks happy after she may or may not have eaten the cookies. So that alone totally makes it worth it….right?

  • Svaha

    Should this ever happen again you can use one of those wire strainers to sift with. If you have one of those, most people seem to have large plastic colanders now.

    And sugar cookies are way easier and you can obviously sprinkle the ever loving shit out of them as well.

  • ATXGirl

    OMG That reminds me of when my mother decided to make velvetta fudge. Sounds gross, but the velvetta was more for texture than taste. It was definitely very chocolatey!

    So, I’m about 9 years old. She was letting me be the navigator. But you would think she would have read the recipe first herself. She did not.

    1 c.. this… 2 c… that…. and so on… we had to go to the store THREE times to get more stuff! You would have thought she would question why this fudge needed 4 c of sugar and 5 c of flour, but no…

    After our last trip, I’m still reading… mix together… ladeda… and I decide (probably because I was bored with making fudge that was taking 5 hours) I skipped to the bottom.


    My mother looked at me completely shocked. “What did you say??” Like I had just cussed her out or something.

    She spent the next 3 weeks trying to give the fudge away, but since it was called Velvetta fudge, she didn’t have many takers (UHM, STOP CALLING IT THAT MOM!)

    I still like fudge, but I refuse to eat velvetta fudge ever again….


  • Dharma

    Marlo is clearly high on nutmeg. Bad Mommy. lol

  • Ashley_the Accidental Olympian

    I don’t know what it is about that baby, but I always feel compelled to go on a little road trip after seeing a new picture of her, and then STEAL HER FROM YOU.

    What an adorable little baby bird you have on your hands…

  • Mama Ark

    Think about it, now you have a lot of the basic ingredients to bake so many more sprinkle carrying vessels.
    Seriously, I’m hear if you ever need baking help. I’m not a master, but I’m a damn good home cook and food writer ( And yes, I put my 18 month old on a stool and let her/make her knead bread.

  • Kim

    Cripes, Dooce, I am an enthusiastic cook, and even I was like: “That’s a heck of a lot of work for a few cookies!” Still, it looks like Leta had fun and your story and pictures may start a new Christmas tradition.

  • MadameQueen

    What is it with little girls and gingerbread cookies? My 4-year-old has been talking non-stop about making gingerbread cookies. I DO bake (occasionally anyway) so I thought, what the heck, let’s do it. Dude. Gingerbread cookies are hardcore. Did yours call for parchment paper? ‘Cause mine did (which I also did not know about until I got to the bottom of the recipe).

    We did chill ours for a couple of hours, but once we rolled it out, it was too gooey. The effing effers would not stay gingerbread man shaped and we couldn’t get them off the wax paper. So, we scraped up all the dough and put it back in the fridge and tonight we shall try again. With parchment paper.

  • Squeetthang

    Those momtributes are totally passed on to generation to generation. My mom hated cooking/baking/kitchens and I feel the same! Except to eat of course. I am all about eating. That is why you marry/date/stay in contact with a cooking person. That is how I roll in my house. I have two on standby! Thank you girlfriend and roommate!

  • TexasKatie

    Very “Pioneer Woman” – but better! And now I have a craving for gingerbread cookies, damn it.

  • Hagan Squared

    Is it true about the nutmeg? Cuz that’s, um, awesome. This post made me laugh so hard, especially the “saddest little helper” photo. You can just see the thought bubble… “Sigh… When are we going to get the the sprinkles?!” Oh and I totally agree about the spice prices. Seriously? This is oregano people, not pot.

  • undernova


  • ModaMags

    LOVED THAT!!! Gingerbread is the essence of Christmas. Family members making it weird; the subtle undertone. Happy Holidays everyone!

  • gewd

    I enjoyed your version of the cooking/food/photos post. I read some foodblogs and I kind of get tired of seeing the recipes and how-tos being posted like “BUY 9,000 EXPENSIVE INGREDIENTS AND DO ALL THIS COMPLICATED SHIT” even though they’re like “YOU CAN DO IT! :D” the whole time. No, no, today I can’t. I’m making boxed mac & cheese, thanks.

  • JanetP

    It took me awhile to figure out that my niece wanted to make cookies just so she could eat the dough. Luckily for me, everyone else loved the baked cookies so they didn’t stay in the cookie jar for very long. If Leta acquires a love of raw cookie dough, just get her a roll from the dairy case – lots cheaper than buying all that stuff! And you can always roll it out and put sprinkles on it!

  • the5williams

    Ok, the pictures are awesome and the story is hilarious! Thank you for reminding me why I NEVER want to make gingerbread cookies. TOO. MUCH. WORK!

    I’ll stick with Oreo Truffles. They are so easy Marlo could make them! 🙂

  • kristing104

    Does Leta’s beauty take your breath away every day? Because it takes mine away and she’s not even my daughter. Absolutely gorgeous family. Thank you for sharing.

  • val0552

    My goodness those girls are adorable!

    I love to cook, bake and entertain but can totally relate to the drug lord nutmeg comment. What’s up with that anyway?!?!?!

  • MommitIsTired

    But…who CARES if you can cook? You have one of those industrial-sized expensive mixer things, a giant shot glass/rolling pin, and you can spell “coriander”. It’s all about how it looks, right?

  • irritableblogsyndrome

    Those cookies look SO STINKIN GOOD! A mesh strainer works good for sifting too.|4|1||4|sieve||0&cm_src=SCH

    I am totally trying #56’s recipe for Oreo truffles!

  • sczos

    i heart you. i don’t cook. i assemble. i don’t own a strainer and have a 3 year old begging to make gingerbread men. and i am dreading it. DREADING. ugh. too much work that will add pounds to my ass.

    and you know what – sprinkles can be put on anything. sprinkles on pancakes and waffles are a favorite here. sprinkles on pudding, too. we sprinkle the hell out of our food here in my house.

  • bawb23

    What? You used cookie cutters, and didn’t modify the results? No two-headed gingerbread men? No Apple logo? Not even an Ipod?

    Opportunity lost, and think of the educational value. You could make a gingerbread spider for Leta, so she could break off it’s legs one-by-one.

    Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the photo of Chuck with a sprinkle-covered cookie on his head.

  • lotuspixie

    Did you know that nutmeg is a psychotropic drug? not a good one, but still, it is in fact a hallucinogen. Remember learning about it in my psychopharmacology class. Apparently you make a tea out of an ass-load of nutmeg (sounds foul to me), then drink it. some guys in my psychopharm class thought it would be fun to try it. apparently it was NOT fun.

  • Essembee

    Marlo’s face made me laugh… That’s a talented baby right there.

  • thejunebug

    Aw, your cookies came out looking great. 🙂 And next time, try the farmer’s market for the spices! I get mine at my local market, and they cost literally a fraction of the damn grocery store (less than a DOLLAR for an entire giant thing of cloves, for real). I don’t know where the grocery stores get their spices but they must charge for shipping. 🙂

  • Jojo

    You win the mythical contest for the pickiest eater in the world. Leta won’t eat cookies? I don’t know if that’s good or bad. She is her own person, though. If I were there, though, that cookie container would not be full for very long.

  • d3 voiceworks

    cool how the measuring spoon looks like a pee stick … ahem.

  • nonsequitur

    OMG. CUUUTest blog post EVER in the history of blogposts. especially the first 2 pictures of leta and marlo, and their expressions… something along the line of: Marlo: You forgot the Saffron?? WTF?!? and Leta: Stupid Adult. Do I have to show you everything? sigh.

    oh and I am ~loving~ marlo’s shirt today. so cute.

  • strawberrygoldie

    Wait wait wait wait wait…

    Br’er Rabbit Molasses?


  • etpiro

    Brer Rabbit Molasses, eh? Sounds racist to me. (Just teasing you, of course)

  • TexasKatie

    Can I ask why the fuck your cookies called for ground pepper? Weird! 🙂

  • Lena

    You get HUGE “Good Mother” props for making those cookies!

    Your daughters’ looks of dismay punctuating the story are HYSTERICAL!!

    I love this sort of *show and tell* format.

    Also? Please send the cookies to NY. I will eat every one. They came out great!

  • Bree

    You picked a mighty ambitious recipe for your first cookie. I HIGHLY recommend this one:

    I, too, seem to destroy everything I attempt to cook, except for these cookies. And people think I’m amazingly talented. And they are DELICIOUS. Just ignore the whole “twisting” part and just make regular cookies and it’s so freaking easy.

  • kidsmom

    Best post in a long time. Love the ending!

  • Alta_Gal

    I love the rolling pin improvisation! Last Christmas, my friend and her soon-to-be step-daughter (who is 7) decided to make sugar cookies. They got to the part in the recipe that says “roll out dough …” and my friend realizes that she, too, does not own a rolling pin.

    What to do?

    Oh don’t worry, she used a Heineken can straight out of the fridge!

  • Christina_MT

    Yeah, my kids just like doing the sprinkles too. Which is why I buy the refridgerated cookie dough and save myself some time. Although even that is a pain. Especially since I also don’t own a rolling pin and have to use a Sigg bottle.

    What a fun day though, I’m sure Leta will remember it always.

  • Crazy Card Lady

    You can get a $1 rolling pin at Target or the Dollar store. Don’t deprive yourself of such important kitchen tools. It’s also good for smashing small amounts of crackers or nuts. Or just waving around to look tough.

    Cute tutorial on making cookies. I noticed Leta has Jon’s hands. Don’t know why that caught my eye.

  • WVKay

    I saw gingerbread house and cookie kits at Wal-Mart. Just go crazy with the sprinkles and forget all the measuring, flour and butter stuff. But, good job Heather! You’re a better Mom than I was.

  • Rainyday

    Ooooooh, looks like fun! I spent the day making sugar cookies and sugar/dairy/gluten/yeast/wheat free pumpkin spice cookies and muffins with my boys. (And a 3 year old dumping on sprinkles is a sight to behold!) Tomorrow will be fudge and ginger crinkle cookies. Though, after reading this post, I now want to make plain gingerbread people!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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