I got to visit my granddaughters this weekend. There was a teaching moment. Unintended consequences 101. Welcome to Miyagi dough.

We were making stained-glass cookies. Those are cookies with the center cut out and filled with crushed jolly ranchers. The candy melts and looks like stained glass.

Their stand mixer was either broken or still in a box somewhere so we were using a hand mixer. Cookie dough is not good for a hand mixer as it tends to burn out the motor. So before you add the last 1 1/2 cups of flour, you have to start mixing by hand. We used a scraper. You start at the farthest edge of the bowl, scoop down to the bottom, scrape to the right against the side of the bowl and then fold it over. Then you give the bowl a quarter turn to the right and do it again. My granddaughter is 12 and taller than me and can easily do an overhand serve in volleyball. She is not a weakling. Her arm got tired. I told her to do it left handed.

“My left hand is weak and stupid.”

“Noooo, don’t give yourself that rule! It is strong, but unused to doing things independently.”

“It doesn’t work!!!”

“Yes it does, it’s just awkward right now.”

Gradually she started getting better with her left hand.

We got cookie dough on our hands and did a flick into the bowl…right handed and then left handed. It didn’t always go where we planned. There was much giggling coming from the kitchen.

The pan spray for the cookie sheets was on the top shelf of the cabinet. She was able to reach it if she jumped.

I started to laugh…”Wax on, Wax off…”

She asked, “What does making cookies have to do with anything?”

“You know that elbow move you use to keep people from stealing the basketball? Stir the cookie dough!”

She tried it and looked astonished.

“You know that wrist movement when you throw a free throw? That snap when you do a kill shot over the net in volleyball? Flick the dough.”

Her eyes got wide.

“You know that jump for jump shots and blocks in both basketball and volleyball?”

“NO! Reach for the pan spray?!!”


“So then during the basketball game, if the opponents are playing press defense, you yell from the sidelines, ‘Stir Right, Stir Left!”

“And when they’re on the foul line?”

“Flick the DOUGH! And then when I’m doing my jump serve or a block??”

“Grab the Spray!!!!”

This will totally change the games for her. I would guess she’ll be making lots of cookies now.

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