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Friday, February 18, 2011

What is Baking Soda?

I was eating one of the delicious cookies that Josh and Caitlin sent me. It was sweet and vanillaee and heavenly! I was so excited to unwrap it and partake in its decadence. It was bliss!

But I started thinking about the cookie in general. My kids think I'm strange sometimes because all of the sudden I will ask a question out of nowhere.  I'll be sitting watching TV with Alyssa and ask a question that has nothing to do with anything that is going on. But it is usually something that I have been pondering on for a little while. I'll be watching the fish  in the aquarium, instead of the TV. Watching them flow through the water and fight with each other.  Carefully, paying attention to their eyes, "Do fish blink?" I'll blurt out. Alyssa, watching Say Yes to The Dress, seeing no connection, will look at me like I have lost my mind, "What?"

Today's question.... Who invented cookies and how did they figure out it was the best idea they would ever have in their entire life? Was it on purpose? Did they put the flour and sugar and baking soda together thoughtfully and with a specific goal in mind? Or was it a happy accident? Was the real goal a bread? Were they trying to make pancakes and put them in an oven to make more at once and ended up with cookies instead? Who were these geniuses?

All good questions lead to more questions. What the heck is baking soda? Seriously, we use it in everything. We know what it does, it makes our cookies light and airy. I think. Well, it helps make our cookies good. If you accidentally use baking powder instead, your cookie is NOT good, and visa verse. Some cookies take both, how come? What are these powdery white substances really? Where do they come from? Is there a baking powder mine, like a salt mine? Are they concoctions of other things? And who was the first person to figure out to use them?

You don't hear about cookies in Biblical times, but they definitely had bread. Did they have baking soda and baking powder way back then? We know there is talk of unleavened bread, which means they had leavened bread, which means they had yeast. How did they know to use yeast? Did God give Adam and Eve a cookbook? What a cook book that would be. Did stone age man carry baking soda in his wallet as he moved from place to place? Ok, yeah, that is just absurd, he wouldn't have room for his emergency condom if he did that.

I'm not sure where cookies first came from but I, along with Cookie Monster, am very glad we have them! The world would be a much sadder place with out them.

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