Using your fingers, mix the flour, sugar, water and vanilla into a light, pliable dough. Chill the dough for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, get your grandfather’s portable Remington out of the closet, where it’s been sitting since 1986. Dust it off with a microfiber cloth and a toothbrush to loosen the keys. Put the Remington on the kitchen table and make a cup of coffee.

Put a sheet of paper into the Remington. Adjust the ribbon, winding it first one way and then another until you find a bit of ribbon still inked. Dust the breadboard with sifted flour. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Pull the arm to roll the paper firmly in place.

Cut the dough into 2-3 inch squares. Press firmly on the A key. Type a sentence about a dog jumping over a fence. Keep your chin up. Typing is hard. Turn to your friends for advice. Your mother says something about the ribbon and a bobbin, but her mind is wandering again.

As the keys begin to loosen up, you may discover an unexpected treasure. Turn the oven on to 350 and wait for it to warm.

While the oven is warming, type as quickly as you can with your fingers pounding like hammers or like nails on the railroad, which was built by hard-working Chinese and Mexican laborers 150 years ago, and whose fingerprints are on it still.

Type your sentences, your bromides, your homilies, your dichos, in as many languages as you can think of and have the accent marks for.

Cut the paper into strips. Lay one strip into each 2-3 inch square of dough. Fold on a diagonal, like a baby’s nappy, an empanada or a lumpia. Lay each baby on an ungreased cookie sheet and pop it in the oven.

Fortune smiles on those who wait. An old friend will give you advice this week. Enjoy what nature has to offer.

Using a hot pad for safety, remove the cookies from the oven. Let cool. Repeat three times a week.


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June 2010
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