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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Making Whoopie & Making Whoopie Pies

When I was about half my current age, I worked with this guy who was my current age.

I'm just going to call him Harold. Due to the content of this story, i'm thinking that a little anonymity will probably serve us all well.

Harold was a seasoned baker. In our industry he was what you called a bouncer. Basically this meant that he would work at a shop for 6 months to a couple years max.

Most bouncers were what they were, because they had drinking or drug problems, and then there was the smaller fraction that were just simply socially retarded.

Harold was neither. Dude just liked to bounce.

In his past I think he had a love for the Devils nectar, in fact his girlfriend had to chauffeur him each day because a decade earlier he lost his liscense to DUI and never bothered to become legal again.

But who am I to cast judgement? If I could get a beautiful woman to drive me around, I might be open to that.

However, Harolds girlio wasn't all that pretty. Her hair was a little crispy from being bleached too much and her waistline was starting to catch up to what was rumored to have been a more than impressive bustline.

The bottom line was both of these people were between middle aged and old.

Every morning when "Wendy" would drop her loving baker off, they had a 3-5 year old kid with them that would get shuttled to a day care center before Wendy punched in at work.

One day when we were plugging away at our work load, I asked Harold what Wendy did for a living.

He was scaling ingredients for a bun dough, but he pause long enough to answer my query.

"Wendy works at a sauna, you know....a health club."

Dude was so non descript with this answer I wasn't sure if he was pulling my leg or serious. But before I made up my mind how I would respond to this unusual news Harold continued on.......

"Yeah, I was a client of hers. At most health clubs they don't allow situations to occur that could result in their employee getting pregnant, but one thing led to another."

Then Harold kinda chuckled to himself.

I don't know if I have ever been as shocked in my entire life.

I really liked Harold, and I kinda liked what I saw of Wendy.....It really took a long time for me to process this.

Harold must of realized this, because I could see that he could feel my new discomfort.....

"I'm sorry kid, did I scare you, or make you feel bad?"

I explained to him that I was OK, but I just found it hard to believe that he could be so open about something like this.

Harold went on to explain that it wasn't anything to feel bad about, but then I said.....

"Harold, your wife is with some dude right now in a Lake Street health club, are you telling me that - that doesnt bother you?"

Harold didn't even flinch......

"Why should I? That's what pays our bills, thats the place where our son was conceived. I've got nothing to be ashamed of."

He was so confident in his reply that I felt as if I needed to move to another topic, who knows....maybe I just am too sensitive, but if I lived under those circumstances, I would become depressed to a point where I am not certain if i would be able to find a ladder tall enough to remove me from that pit.

As the day went on, and the conversation was replaced by present moment realities, my mind shifted into a new episode of thoughts.

Both Harold and Wendy were in industries where reliable bodies were mandatory.

Harold was doing work that was typically done by people 1/2 his age. I know that the heat really kicked his butt, because everytime the bakery got over 90 degrees he'd turn all baby gerbil pink and laid on the sidewalk creating sweat angels.

And Wendy, lets face it,if you gave her the once over you could see where she was quite alluring, but that would have had to of been at least a decade prior.

I've never been a "Brothel Guy", but I imagine it's hard for a person to make a buck once their looks and youthful body fades away.

Harold only worked with me a couple months after that. The heat got to him, and I remeber it like it was yesterday, how he would call Wendy and demand that she leave work early, pick him up and take him to the cheapest hotel she could find that had central air.

That's right.....they couldn't even afford an air conditioner for their apartment.

I never saw him, or them, after that, but I have often times said prayers for their family.

I'll tell you one thing though. Meeting them really opened my eyes and helped me realize that some people just end up getting painted into a corner.

To be honest, I don't really care if it was self imposed or forced upon them, the bottom line is that although this family could have been percieved as "suspect", I know for a fact that they loved each other and were doing everything in their power not to live a life of decadence,but just merely survive.

Whoopie Pie Recipe -

Cookie Portion
1 egg (room temp)
1/3 cup salad oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter milk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling
1 cup butter (1 stick) room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup marshmellow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease to sheet pans or place parchment paper on them. Next beat your egg, and veg oil in a bowl. Gradually add your sugar and beat until it turns pale yellow. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, B-Soda and salt.
In a meassuring cup you will coombine your milk(s) and vanilla.
Now combine the wet and dry until forming a batter. don't overmix.
You can scale the cookies by dropping them with tablespoons, or be a real baker and drop them by hand lol. Be careful though....these puppies are going to spread.

The filling is self explanitory, when you are done whipping it, just glob some filling betwwen your 2 cookies.

Whoopie Pies are HUGE in America today and there are many versions. Klecko is kinda partial to the red velvet.

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