Big Guy is finally home from his grueling international tour. He’s planning to leave all the problems in the world behind this weekend (i.e. don’t call him, Pooty) by unwinding with a marathon session of Sweet Sixteen playoffs.
What a nightmare last week’s trip was: First they dissed BHO in the Netherlands by not even applauding his best rhetorical efforts off-prompter. Then there was Belgium – oy! Does nobody in that country even understand the meaning of political correctness? I mean good grief, a life-sized gingerbread Barack Obama cookie presented as an official gift from the Kingdom of Belgium to the first black President of the United States of America?
“Nobody cares that Ronny Demedts is a famous cookie artist in Belgium, or that they've been talking this up on Belgian radio for weeks. Nobody cares that this is a special kind of gingerbread called speculaas, which has even more spices and is often shaped into really fancy animal crackers. They'll probably just harp on the fact that it sounds like an OBGYN device. Let's be honest, the problem is that it sucks. A lot of people will also try to say that it's racist, but more on that later. Did you know that Ronny Demedts made a mold of the President in order to bake the cookie? Well, it's true, despite the fact that literally nothing about how it turned out makes it look that way.”
What were they thinking: that their world famous Belgian chocolate would be considered racist? Trust me, chocolates would have been a better choice, as long as they weren’t made in BO’s image and likeness.
The fact that the original gingerbread men, known as speculaas in Holland/Belgium, was none other than kindly old St. Nicholas didn’t even seem to cushion the blow.
Because even though the kindly Sinter Nicholas (predecessor of our own beloved Santa Claus)
brought cheer and Christmas gifts to all the good little boys and girls, he did so on the back of little Zwarte Piet:
And frankly, many people think it’s time to end that tradition as well.
Boy, Barry can’t cut a break lately; talk about inadvertently stepping into the middle of another country’s heated controversy.
To borrow a phrase from the more multi-culti advanced Scandinavian culture: uff da!
All I can say about this controversy is I’m certain the Belgians, as is their want, did not intend to offend. I believe they thought they were just presenting a Belgian cultural icon to the American cultural icon. After all, Big Guy has been called American’s first black Santa Claus.
And perhaps if we all remember the original story of the gingerbread man, the gift will seem more political than racist. After all the gingerbread man was made by the white couple who lived on the farm. Anyway, if you think about the recurring verse:
“Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man ."
the last 5 years will begin to make more sense.
Of course, things didn’t end well for the gingerbread man, so I presume there’s a moral in there somewhere, butt I don’t think it has anything to do with racism.
Oh well, at least they didn’t give him a doily.
UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SPECULAAS:
As I am a bit of an expert on gingerbread speculaas of the Dutch variety, I thought I would share a few additional observations on the cookie. Did you know that the very word, speculaas, comes from the Latin word speculum, which means…mirror?! Coincidence? I think not.
The spicy cookies are traditionally made by pressing the dough into a mold, hence producing a mirror image.
You can make them in German springerle molds, and they will look and taste quite wonderful,
butt technically they will be neither “windmill” nor “St. Nicholas” cookies. Butt a fine cookie nevertheless.
If you grew up Dutch (I did) there were always windmill cookies in the house and fresh coffee for dunking them in, which even the wee ones did. Way back then, if you lived in Dutch country (I did) you could pick up excellent windmills at any local bakery or grocery store. Today, with one exception, the commercial variety are not worth bringing home (Archway and Voortmans used to be good butt somewhere along the line were bought up by “Big Cookie” and now are butt a mere shadow of themselves). The one remaining cookie worthy of the name is made by a bakery in Hudsonville, Michigan: Steenstra’s Almond St. Claus Cookies. So good, they come complete with their own legend, and 5 different shapes. Alas, the formerly 16 ounce box is now a mere 9 ounces, which is probably okay because most people can eat the entire box in one setting.
Oh, how I wish I had one now, to dunk into my afternoon coffee!
DISCLAIMER: STEENSTRA BAKERY IS IN NO WAY CONNECTED WITH THIS SITE, AND THE VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE MOST ASSUREDLY NOT THOSE OF THE PROPRIETORS. THEY JUST HAPPEN TO MAKE DELICIOUS “MIRROR” COOKIES THAT MOTUS LOVES.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: THE MOTUS TWILIGHT NOCTURNE LOUNGE WILL NOT BE OPEN TONIGHT, BUTT FOR THOSE OF YOU LIVING IN LOCATIONS WHERE BLUE LAWS ARE NOT IN EFFECT, IT WILL BE OPEN TOMMOROW, SUNDAY, EVENING.
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network