This brought up memories of a friend who did his first postdoc in NYC and ended up sleeping in the kitchen during the winter because the stove was the only reliable heat source. No kidding. But, hey, Germany, you're almost there! Consequentially, we thought it's the right conditions for some serious Christmas bakery.
Baking activities start with a visit to the parental kitchen, grabbing everything that looks useful, for example the huge collection of cookie cutters and related utensil (it also never harms to have a look into the fridge and the wine rack). It follows a Google search for the recipes, and sending the husband to the grocery store. You do have a rolling pin, yes? Wait. Last time we used a wine bottle. No, he still doesn't have a rolling pin. Pleasantries of living in German suburbia, stores are closed from noon to 3pm. Let me submit this manuscript then. And where's the maintenance guy who wanted to look at the heating? And can you grab me a coke on the way?
Sun starts setting and it looks like we're ready to go, so turn on the stove then. He doesn't know how to turn on the stove. Never used it before. Can't be so difficult, can it? What's this button for, and what's this light and is this on now. Where's your laptop. The laptop. Yes, for the recipe. Where's the mixer. The mixer. Here's the mixer.
Can't bake, no music. Your laptop can do music right? Wait, here, online radio. Get a bright smile in only 6 months, no braces. Must be an US station then. War is over. Good, butter. Butter is too cold, in the microwave. Microwave doesn't work. Why doesn't the microwave work. Because it's unplugged. Okay, mixer out, microwave in, on, where's the sugar? Did you take the sheet out of the oven? Why aren't the eggs in the fridge. Let's open the wine. Is this your phone ringing? The scale doesn't work, battery is dead. Pling. Shit, butter is too hot now. Why doesn't the mixer work? Because it's unplugged. Microwave out, mixer in. Don't you have a splitter. Jingle bells. Oops, flour on the laptop. Drums please for the cookie dough. Way too sticky. Hand me the wine. Wass the recipe sayin? Put in fridge for 3 hours. 3 hours? Put in freezer for 5 minutes then. Can you answer the phone? Your stove stinks. Did you see this month's SciAm is about the multiverse. No, really?
Where's the 3rd pack icing sugar? The 3rd? Yes, I think two times 250 is less than 600. Ohm. Okay. We'll scale it down. 5/6 times 8 eggs is. Ooh. How much flour? Doesn't matter, scale doesn't work anyway. Here's my favorite story of the year: Plumber goes bankrupt and sets out to blow up clients who haven't paid their bills. That happened only some miles from here. Well, you better pay your bills, man. Here's the splitter. Wait, shit, there goes an egg. Santa Claus is coming to town? Take the dough out of the freezer. Damn, it's frozen to the plate. Where's the rolling pin. Okay, now it's glued to the table. Why did you buy walnuts for the hazelnut cookies? Ohm. First round into the oven! Oops, egg yolk on the laptop. Have we send any Christmas cards yet? Why not? More wine?
Did you put the sugar in the fridge or was that me? Second sheet into the oven. Did you hear that JHEP will be published by Springer from Jan 2010 on? Let's do some little Springer's then. How's your colleagues taking it hat Springer is now part of the Swedish empire? Who's dreaming of a white Christmas? Can you sprinkle some chocolate here? Oops, chocolate on the laptop. I think you could need a new one. These cookies smell very done. Hothothot. Not on the plastic! Watch out, the cable. Did I tell you I've put together the Christmas quiz for the blog. The blog. Yes, the b l o g. What's the phone doing on the baking sheet? When you're done eating the cookies, can you figure out where the cinnamon is?
24 hours later: the cookie turnout rate is higher than 50%, the laptop survived it, and the house is now nicely warm. And in case you missed the essential piece of information: We will continue our Christmas tradition from 2007 and 2008 and have a little quiz for you also this year. It is presheduled for Dec 25th 8am East Coast Time.
Recipes used to heat the house: Butterplätzchen and Haselnussmakronen.