The kitchen burned down.


No, I did not burn it down.  Thank goodness.
No, the building did not burn down.  Thank god.
Everyone is safe, but there was major damage done.
I am hardly the one most affected in this whole ordeal.

Let me tell the (theorized) story.


People staying over Thanksgiving break understandably wanted to make latkes to celebrate Thanksgivukkah with the house.
They deep fried the latkes, took the pot of hot oil off the burner, and placed it on another burner.
All good.  Except they failed to check if the second burner was off (people were cooking like crazy, and it’s an electric stove, so)… It was not off.
It is no ones fault; there is no blame to lay.  It was a complete and total accident.

Apparently, the fire alarm went off while they were eating dinner, and it was discovered that there was a grease fire raging on in our house kitchen.

The sprinklers dumped gallons and gallons of water into the kitchen. It flooded.

The lounge flooded.

The remediation crew came in and threw everything out.

Everything.  From my hoarded Madagascar vanilla beans to my favorite, homemade apron. (This one.)
My carefully curated pantry was emptied.

Where bags of flour, sugar, cocoa, and spices once resided, there is nothing.
Today, they’ve gutted the kitchen.  There is no longer even a cabinet.
I cried.  Not gonna lie.


The apartment below the kitchen, a faculty member’s, has had extensive water damage and flooding through the ceilings.  They have 2 dogs and 2 small children.  My heart goes out to them in this trying time as they attempt to put their life back together.

Our kitchen will (fingers crossed) be back up and running at the beginning of winter quarter.

None of you are probably wondering what will happen to this blog in the two weeks to come, before I can go home.
A lot of no bake stuff, some posts I have saved up, some cookie swapping.


Enter these memorable cookies, which I made 2 weeks ago and which are still fragrant and melting on my tongue.
I was craving something buttery and sweet, something that balanced coconut, raspberry, and salt.

Putting raspberry jam in cookies has proven to be too steep a task for me recently, so I decided on something simple, that could be served with the jam on the side: enter the classic Scottish shortbread.
And, honestly, no one touched the jam but me.  It’s not necessary, but you will include it on a serving tray with these cookies if you know what’s good.

The cookies are a mash-up of ingredients I had in my pantry (before it burned down, RIP).
Coconut oil, butter, cream cheese.  Flour, salt, sugar.  Simple, simple, simple.

The dough is easy: cream, mix, press, crimp, bake.
My friend who thought she didn’t like coconut loved these!  Yay!  Yet another victory for coconut oil!

Back soon with peanut butter.  Or lemon.  But not both. (Ew ew ew that’s probably something only my dad would like.)


Coconut Oil Shortbread

makes one 9-inch pan
2.2 ounces (4 1/2 tablespoons) butter
3 ounces (5 1/2 tablespoons) coconut oil, solid
1.5 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
7 ounces (1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
scant 2 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan.
Cream butter, coconut oil, and cream cheese together for 3 minutes, until homogeneous and smooth.
Scrape the bowl and add the sugar, flour, and salt.
Mix on low until a crumbly dough forms.
Scrape the crumbs into the prepared pan and press down firmly.
Prick all over with a fork; crimp the edges and score if desired and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, until shortbread is golden and fragrant.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Eat with raspberry jam!  Please!

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