Tuesdays With Dorie – Rugelach?

In the long, storied tradition of things I don’t know how to pronounce, I made up a batch of rugelach this week.  For those of you who don’t know what rugelach is, you’ve come to the wrong place.  I have no idea.

What I do know is, it tastes pretty good.  Sure, I was a bit of a mess in the making, but that’s how I do my best work.  When it goes easily, I end up with freaking Pumpkin Muffins or Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes.  When my dough falls apart…well, that’s rugelach, baby.

I think I put too much jam on my dough, because it overflowed and burnt all over my parchment paper.  It was a little too sketchy to bring into work, but a little too delicious to throw in the rubbish bin.

DID YOU KNOW:  Rugelach is 80% cream cheese by volume.

My name is Mike and I approve this made-up fact.

The Grammarphile at Red Pen, Inc. tagged me for a meme.  Guess I’ll meme.  NB: I’m not going to tag any of you because nobody memes when I tag them.  Here are six random things about me.  This post will be relatively emo-free, too.

1.Today I stationary-biked for 85 minutes on the highest setting (20) of the “aerobic training” course.  It was very easy.  I think I am developing a callous to the bike.  I want to start running again, because my new goal is a marathon.

2.  I generally hate watching sports, but lately I’ve been getting the urge to go catch a baseball game sometime.  I don’t care about the sport at all, but I think there’s something to be said about the atmosphere of the park, the camaraderie of the crowd, the bad music, and the food.  I do not think any of my friends would be up for this endeavor.

3.  I feel like I’m cursed because I stopped hugging my grandmother. My maternal grandmother came down with shingles when I was fourteen years old. Every day I went over there and I gave her a hug. Afterwards, she always talked about how thankful she was that I would hug her, because everybody else was afraid they would hurt her and never touched her. When I was seventeen, my grandmother came down with a whole slew of illnesses. I never touched her again until the day she died, over three years later. I’ve never felt like a bigger piece of shit about anything in my life (and I feel like a piece of shit an awful lot). A year later, my paternal grandfather was suffering an equally miserable illness.  On Christmas day, my dad and I were with him.  I touched his knee and he died in an instant.  The exact moment I touched him.  It was like I had flipped a switch.  His breath disappeared, his eyes went glassier.  I had given him the touch of death.  I feel like if I had hugged my grandparents earlier, I could have saved them years of pain and trouble.  God complex much?

4. I know that I need to eat healthily and gain a little bit of weight for my own health.  However, it strikes the fear of bejeezus into my heart that I now fit into my 200-lb jeans and my “skinny jeans” are too tight.  I need to find the switch in my brain that tells me that gaining weight is not the most terrible thing in the world.  Also striking the fear into me:  I used the phrase “skinny jeans,” which should be relegated to Weight Watchers meetings and “Gilmore Girls” marathons.

5. I just bought the CD “Big Songs” from the old TV show Dinosaurs.  You know, the one with the big Muppet dinos that pretty much aped The Simpsons?  It was at the used record store marked for the low-low price of “$0.00.”  A reasonable bargain, right?  The cashier did not think that was right, and arbitrarily charged $5.99 for the thing (making it my most expensive music item of the purchase).  I gladly paid it.  You see, that album and I have a history.  There’s a song sung by the teenage male dinosaur (Robbie, I think) featuring the heartfelt lyric, “I want to be king/Of rocking Pangaea/And I want you to be my queen.”  In first grade, I would serenade the ladies at lunch with that very song (replacing the word “Pennsylvania” for “Pangaea,” natch).  I also serenaded them with “A Whole New World” from Aladdin.

6. I’m a little plagiarist piece of shit.  It all started with “Disney Adventures,” a magazine I subscribed to from the ages of 5 to 12.  My first plagiarized piece was a short, environmentally-themed poem from a user-submission contest.  The thing was cliched and trite and probably the best a kid could do.  I stole it and made it a rap for my first grade class.

“I’m Mother Nature/And I’m here to say/You gotta save the Earth/In a kind, kind way.”  Straight-up plagiarized.  Never got caught.  Who would catch me?  It wasn’t all that good.  Why would somebody be so bold to copy that trash?

I went on to compose many “raps” throughout that year.  I actually wrote these, yes, and I can’t say they were any better or worse than the aforementioned one, but they were statutorily worse because they were written by a plagiarist whore.  One rap was entitled “Can’t Live Without A Batman 3.”  At that point, my idealistic eight-year-old heart could not have imagined the horrors Joel Schumacher would bring to the Batman franchise, including rubber nipples and Chris O’Donnell.

I also composed an original song to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey.”  I called it “On Top of Old Shakey,” a reference to the Walnut Street Bridge that was damaged during Hurricane Agnes in 1972 (oh god why do I remember that?).  The lyrics began:  “On top of Old Shakey/All covered with cars/And if we should fall off/We’d fall off to Mars.”  This song was shit.  When the talent show came around, I abandoned my friends who wanted to sing it with me.  They sang it with no accompaniment and little reaction.

And what did I do instead?  I performed stand-up comedy the best way a second-grader could (also plagiarized from any number of “101 ____ Jokes” books).

In third grade, I plagiarized from “Disney Adventures” again.  This time, it was a poem by a staff writer retelling the tale of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”  My parents and grandparents were shocked and amazed at my newfound quality of writing.  Obviously, they caught on pretty quickly.

I gave up plagiarism for years, which led into a terrible, terrible high-school-poetry-writing phase.  Oh boy, could I have used some stealing then!  If I had to pick a stylistic influence, it probably would have been Jon Bon Jovi (ahem, Poet Laureate Jon Bon Jovi).  Lyrics like “You broke my heart/You broke my soul/Everything that made me whole/Was broken/And all I want/Is my money back.”  Really, really, really, terribly awful stuff.

Then college rolled around and I discovered a way that plagiarism was okay.  It was called “English major.”  Stealing…er, borrowing…uh, okay, “allusion” was most welcome in all of my writing classes.  I lifted entire lines from things I liked (poems, songs, cereal boxes).  Of course, this lazymania was probably enhanced by the fact that I was only eating 600 calories a day (3/4 of which were candy).  Why bother writing stuff when you can rearrange lines from an Elliott Smith song and call it a day?

I don’t know where this is going.  You can bet your bottom dollar that if I still plagiarized, this post would have been a lot more coherent, terse, and interesting.  Thanks, Nikki, for memeing me.


22 Responses to “Tuesdays With Dorie – Rugelach?”

  1. Mike: Rugelach looks awesome (and you taught me a new word! Yay!); you should totally go to a baseball game sometime (I recommend you check out a Phillies game next season–it’s the closest MLB team to you, and you KNOW the crowd’s gonna be rowdy and fun after the year the Phils have just had); #3, just WOW (I have no idea what to say to that, except “that’s deep,” which sounds way more cliched than I mean it to!); and you’re welcome for the meme. 🙂

  2. That picture is amazing – would you look at the sugar sparkle? Good job on the rugelach. We may all learn what it is and how to spell it some day!

  3. Congrats on making rugelach! You should be so darn proud of yourself, dude!!!! Yay you 🙂

  4. We are totally TWD twins this week. Practically the same title and subject. ::high five:: I think yours are way purdier than mine. I totally should have done the rectangle roll up route the way you did but I was overly ambitious with my crescent wanna-bes. Ah well… c’est la vie. PS. The meme randomness is fun to read. Seriously its all about basketball though 😉
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  5. Looks great.

    Fabulous picture.

  6. That’s just too much information to process this morning. I’ll just comment and say that the rugelach look yummy.

  7. Your rugelach look wonderful. And I agree with Jules – that’s a lot of info to process. But things like skinny jeans are definitely meant to be relegated to watching Gilmore Girls marathons (which there aren’t enough of). While eating candy. Love the made up fact, btw.

  8. I was told to pronounce it rugula (rhymes with Arugula!). Yours didn’t turn out ugly though…(in reference to your blog title!)

  9. hm yea, the non-crescents do look a lot neater! glad you liked them. you should keep putting too much jam inside, that way you won’t ever have to give them away:)

  10. MIKE! Awesome post! DINOSAURS?! NOT THE MAMA! And I was so pissed about Batman. Rubber nipples and “Holy Rusted Metal, Batman!” ruined that franchise for me. That is, until Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan.

  11. Pa-lease if you are going to insult shows I watch by coining terms and attributing them…please use proper reference.

    Skinny jeans are used in a whole episode of Sex and the City after Miranda has her baby and has lost a lot of weight…her skinny jeans pop at the end of the night when she eats a banana split.

    Gilmore Girls eat nonstop and do not worry about skinny jeans because they metabolize at the speed of light.

  12. Go here for an audio: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rugelach

    My jam leaked out, too. Burnt marmalade is my new favorite comfort food.

  13. My jam/filling leaked out too. I think they were just leaky cookies. (And not chilling before baking didnt help me. I skimmed the directions…bad bad bad.)

    Awesome meme- very random- gotta love it. 😉

  14. I’m a fellow TWD baker, and I was thinking that it would be nice if we all could chip in and get Laurie some small token/gift for all the work she does. Would you be willing to contribute? If I can get enough people, it would only be about $1 per person. No pressure 🙂 Let me know! bethberg12@yahoo.com

  15. I’m sorry, it is so sad about your grandparents, but reading about the plagarism, etc. I could not stop laughing. Thanks for giving me a good laugh tonite. And, your rugelach look delicious. Great job.

  16. “Terrible high school poetry” — is there any other kind? Gorgeous rugelach! My 3 year old would love that sparkle.

  17. Your rugelach are much prettier than mine turned out. Except that one in the top right hand corner that looks like a sphincter a little bit. And I’m so not trying to be gross, it’s just that it does.

    How tall are you?

  18. Your rugelach looks awesome.

    ….and Happy Birthday!

  19. Amanda and I went back over the last couple years and re-watched the entire series of Dinosaurs–brilliant stuff. Although, the series finale is brutal, on par with Alf with the most depressing ending… ever.

    I, too, plagiarized as a kid. Stole something once for a school writing collection, and later, took the plot of a really cool episode of Are you Afraid of the Dark? and used it, literally scene for scene, for a creative writing paper in elementary school.

  20. I too have plagarized as a kid. I won the State of Connecticut Young Author’s award for my piece of fiction “Scooter and Catherine are Friends.” Ah, I feel better now. Off to eat more rugelach. 🙂 It is nice to have a guy on TWD. Welcome.

  21. […] Brownie Cake 15) Lenox Almond Biscotti 16) Pumpkin Muffins 17) Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes 18) Rugelach 19) Kugelhopf 20) Arborio Rice Pudding 21) Thanksgiving Two-Fer Pie 22) Linzer Sables 23) Sugar […]

  22. […] 21, 2008 – Pumpkin Muffins October 28, 2008 – Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes November 4, 2008 – Rugelach November 11, 2008 – Kugelhopf November 18, 2008 – Arborio Rice Pudding November 25, 2008 – […]

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