Sorry no cookies.

Where is a wall so I can beat my head against it?

Oh those dents? From the day I shopped for baking soda.

I went to 3 grocery stores today, of varying sizes and brand names, to try to find baking soda, baking powder and brown sugar (the packable kind, not the raw kind). To no avail.

I searched in the spices, near the flour, in the sugar and even by the cleaners (hey, doesn't baking soda also deodorize?). Once I even came home with granulated yeast and wheat starch (see photo). Even Cream of Tartar would have gotten me halfway home, but still I am batting zero. (I always get them confused, but baking soda plus cream of tartar is essentially the same as baking powder---unless it is the reverse). Either way, I was out of luck.

So no cookies.

That was the plan, to make my famous lunch box cookies (please bake a batch on my behalf, and snub your nose at me while you eat them---readily---in non Florentine cities). They are a treat we all love: a filling and relatively healthy snack that packs the requisite punch for soccer turnouts, rapidly growing adolescents and resident tourists alike. And yet, at the end of the day, all I was munching was biscotti (really, she is complaining?). Skip the espresso, give me some Vin Santo for dunking (super sweet wine---both espresso and Vin Santo are classic beverages to supplement a plate of biscotti).

My options are: ask mom to shop at Costco and SEND huge bags of brown sugar, baking soda and powder OR plug along and figure out sufficient Italian ingredients. Give me another day of asking my neighbors, then I will decide.

Click here for lunchbox cookie recipe.


  1. Anonymous13.9.09

    Thanks for the recipe! Good luck with your ingredient search..

    I'm curious what if any, was the discussion there regarding the 9/11 anniversary?

  2. Hello a friend of mine asked me to help you out. The baking soda equivalent they use here in Italy is "bicarbonato di sodio". Brown sugar is zucchero di canna - but it's "grezzo" i.e. raw. A quick google has revealed that there is a "zucchero di canna bianco" which you can find in some supermarkets and organic food shops. It's refined brown sugar and for some reason this makes it white - go figure. Hope this helps. Ciao

  3. Happy 14th birthday Anthony!!

  4. Anonymous: I am not a fair judge of what is in the public eye over here---I have done a pretty bad job staying current with the news! We went online and read some US papers/sitess re: 9/11.

    Mia Oia: thanks for the help!! I actually found bicarbonate di sodio and made the cookies! They were pretty good, but I still need to find pecans. OH and I found brown sugar---the soft kind---at a tiny little Asian market in town. Go figure! It was about as funny as me trying to track down taco seasoning... no worries everyone: I am cooking a lot of pasta and risotto too;).

    Michael: I will let Anthony know you wish him well! I hope your year is going well!

  5. Anonymous15.9.09

    As a follower of your site 'Talk of Tomatoes', I have finally read all of your posts on 'Family Frolics' and have completely loved reading about your family's amazing adventures so far!!! I'm looking forward to reading 'what's next".

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this with the rest of us and I wish you the very best year ahead!!!

    Thanks, Barb

  6. Barb: thanks!!! I will write again on Talk of Tomatoes---it took a bit of a detour due to our cycle trip! But now that I have landed in the land of tomatoes;) I have no excuse!


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