Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Series of MisFortunate Events

Today was one of those days where I probably should have never got out of bed. I woke up early for exercise only to find that my sneakers we washed last night were broken at the heel and I am not the type to have multiple pairs of the same type of shoe if I can help it. Then I took Aedan to a local Touch A Truck day with fire engines, motorcycles, monster trucks, etc., and even took my camera along however I forgot to replace the memory card so no pictures (my sis-in-law took some so I will have to wait for those). Aedan got scared of all the loud horns that filled the air and so he was upset. Aedan spilled a whole lot of juice onto the couch. I just spent precious time on the phone trying to convince a customer service rep for Target that it doesn't take 3 weeks to process an order for a gift card. I baked some cupcakes to give to some certain someones only to remember (all too late) that one does not eat chocolate. I suppose it wasn't the worst of days, we had some fun moments, but I decided to give up and make something to cheer me up.

Many years ago I started hosting my own Chinese New Year dinner (although it has been a while since our last one) and I have found the highlight of the event is making/eating our misfortune cookies.

Sure I could spend time writing about how people believe the fortune cookie is an American invention, or how others believe that it's origins are Japanese. I could tell you I am interested in reading The Fortune Cookie Chronicles to better understand the American craving for faux Chinese cuisine or I could just give up and give you a taste of some weird fortunes that are really out there.

But no, today I will share our fun tradition, one that I shoulda-coulda-woulda posted for April fools and instead am posting it in the wake of the April Fool Food event and feast.

MisFortune Cookies
makes approx 12 cookies (multiply and replenish)

3 Tbsp softened butter
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Write or print fortunes (see below) on strips of paper about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch high.
-Drop rounded teaspoonfuls at a time onto greased baking sheet, placing batter at least 4 inches apart. Shape the batter with the back of a spoon for more uniform, round cookies. cookies should be between 3 & 4 inches in diameter.
-Make no more than 2 cookies per cookie sheet as they cool fast and you will need time to fold each one.
-Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until your cookie is slightly golden brown (may be a bit patchy in color but that is okay)
-Remove from the oven and QUICKLY lift the cookies off of the cookie sheet with a thin, metal spatula. (don't use plastic and don't use a thick metal spatula)
-Flip the cookie upside down onto a smooth flat workspace. Place the fortune in the middle of the cookie, and fold the cookie in half, trying to join ONLY the edges. Don't flatten the middle of the cookie if possible.
-Gently fold the cookie again, seam side up, against the rim of a cup or mug. Hold the pointed edges down with your burning fingers. (one edge will be inside the cup, the other outside.)
-Place the folded cookies in a cool, ungreased muffin tin to help hold their shape. We use a mini-muffin tin, but a full sized muffin tin will work as well, and you can lay them on their sides instead of on their ends. Allow them to cool in the muffin tin until they are firm. Store in Ziploc bags after completely cooled until ready for use.
-Eat the ugly ones - you can't save the poor things so you might as well.

Now for the misfortunes....
If you don't end up making these, at least read a few misfortunes. I made up some, others I got from web misfortune generators, others from Demotivators, and others I pulled from a Weird Al song. Ya, you read that right. If you are looking for similar gems of wisdom in a book form, might I suggest you turn to Ashleigh Brilliant or Jack Handey.

Act natural. Don’t turn around.
You have a big future in food service
Avoid large, heavy objects travelling at a high rate of speed.
At any time, you can marry anyone you please. Trouble is, you can’t please anyone.
They say you are a true miracle worker – if you work, it is a miracle.
You regard free speech not as a right but as a never-ending obligation.
You are far from lazy. You put in a hard day’s work… every week.
You are as much a danger to yourself as you are to others.
This year, people will stop judging you by your appearance and dislike you for who you are on the inside.
Maximum adventure awaits you this year at a minimum wage.
Do not read this fortune under penalty of law.
Before year’s end, you’ll finally find yourself or someone who looks just like you.
People think you’re dull and uninteresting until they get to know you. After that they know for sure.
The words Watoo-Owan-Koha will bring bad luck and premature death to all who read them.
If you live a long life, it will be a remarkable testament to your friends’ and relatives’ self-control.
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others
You are not one of those people who “goes places in life”.
Simplicity and boredom are your themes in dress.
The star of poverty is shining upon you.
Nice and soft words indicates a weak cause.
If you fall, don’t get up.
If you are given an open-book exam, you will forget your book.
All your hard work will not pay off.
A friend is a present you can buy yourself.
Those who fail to properly care for cars and trucks risk being run over while asleep in bed.
You will have difficulty finding new outlets for your own minor creative abilities.
You will become a great bore in your later years.
To get what you want, you must commit yourself forever to dark forces.
Always remember to pillage before you burn.
There’s travel in your future when your tongue freezes to the back of a speeding bus.
You are the true Lord of the Dance, no matter what those idiots at work say.
Fill that void in your pathetic life by playing Whack-A-Mole seventeen hours a day.
A big promotion is just around the corner for someone much more talented than you.
Help! I’m being held prisoner in a Chinese bakery!
When it comes to helping others, you’ll stop at nothing.
Your fear of monkeys turns out to be not so irrational after all.
Some people have great depth. You have great width.
At the rate you give people headaches, you should buy stock in Excedrin.
You have a big future in food service.
If at first you don’t succeed, nobody will be surprised.
If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.
Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.
This fortune was hacked by the Fortune Cookie Liberation Front
Your life will inspire a Country & Western song
Don’t forget, the light at the end of the tunnel could be a train.
In everyone's life a little rain must fall. You, however, would be wise to invest in flood insurance immediately.
This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Your lucky numbers: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

**These cookies are great for parties where you have each person read aloud their fortune. These might be nice to make for Halloween too. **


  1. I was dying laughing reading this post. Isn't it depressing how many days you have like that as a mom? Sigh. I'm excited about this recipe! I've always wanted to try making fortune cookies.

  2. When we did misfortune cookies for Halloween, we added food dye to turn them black. The result wasn't necessarily appetizing, but it was entertaining and fitting.

  3. We should have hung out yesterday because I am afraid that we also had a bummer day :( Not nearly as exciting as yours though. I love that you know how to make fortune cookies. I tried to make them once when I was in elementary school and they were a complete disaster! I now consider you a gourmet chef because you can make those. You amaze me!!!! by the way- sorry for not making it to touch a truck...we ended up watching a movie because Gigi was driving me crazy and I was exhausted :(

  4. Black fortune cookies huh? I might try orange colored ones or green and dip in chocolate for Halloween. I haven't tried dipping these in chocolate because they seem a bit more fragile so I don't think they would do well. I might have to play around with it to see. But yes, food coloring would be a fun twist!

  5. You seem to be missing a very important fortune--"your birthday party will be ruined once again by your explosive flatulence."

  6. kristy - those ones are reserved for the black list boys...

  7. Haha! I am laughing my guts out over all your misfortunes (and Kristy's too). Thanks for the laugh!

  8. Oh Jackie! You didn't have to make special cupcakes just for me! We would have taken the chocolate ones! No one at this house complains when chocolate is delivered, even if we don't all eat it. Since I stopped eating chocolate, Katy requests it more than ever. She and Mike would have loved chocolate and the note meant a lot to me. However, I hope you earn extra brownie points (pun intended) for going to the extra effort to bring non-chocolate treats today.

  9. WOW FORTUNE COOKIES! I'm totally impressed. I will definitely be trying these out...lets just hope it isn't to much of a misfortune.

  10. Michelle - it worked out good because we had someone else over that was on a chocolate strike so I had something else to offer... but I have more chocolate ones if you want me to bring more by! :)

  11. Linz and Kristy - I remember one year Elizabeth got the one that said, "Some people have great depth. You have great width" and the typical Ebeth reaction was, "ha ha! Hey! wait a minute!" She was too much fun to tease...

  12. Yay! I know know how to make fortune cookies thanks to you! I'm sorry you had a rough day, though. I'm glad you could blog about it and share this great recipe! You are the queen.


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