The high cost of almond paste

When I go to Alaska next month I’ll have time to post the 50 or so back-logged entries I’m holding. While the economy has not been good, it has been great for my line of consulting – which is always feast or famine, but has been more feast since the stimulus plan went into effect. Don’t think of me as taking advantage of the misery of others, think of me as doing my part toward alternative energy sources. ‘Nuff said. I’m glad I’m bringing in money, because Steven picked up a tube of almond paste for me at Lucky and it was NINE dollars! I’m surprised he even bought it because he’s on the frugal side. I told him that I normally buy it elsewhere, and to call me if he is confronted by this kind of price for 7 ounces of ANYTHING. Plus, who the hell needs 7 ounces of something? I am so sick of this downsizing, which makes it difficult to bake, especially, since you need to be precise with ingredients. Even a “quart” of mayo is down to 30 ounces. Anyway, I made pignoli cookies using my friend Tonina’s recipe, which requires a half-pound of almond paste. I love these Italian cookies, which are a bit crisp on the outside but dense, soft and chewy inside. I used to buy them at Franks Bakery on 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, when I lived there and they were a real treat, given the price. Tonina still lives in Astoria, and she’s Italian, so she knew exactly what I was talking about when I described the cookie I missed. I am now down to needing one cookie recipe. When I was a grade-schooler, I used to have these flat, leaf-shaped, butter cookies that were coated withchocolate, with the chocolate being thicker in the middle and then thinning as the leaf fanned out. These were to die for, and I have never had them since those days visiting Stork’s Pastry Shop in Whitestone.

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