Raisins ‘n’ Rum.
I don’t drink. So you might have wondered what happened to the rum left over from my banana rum bread. I could have just shoved it to the back of the shelf and forgotten about it, but just because I don’t like alcohol in its liquid form (in baked goods it’s an entirely different story) doesn’t mean I wanted to waste a perfectly good bottle of rum. Let’s just say I could never disappoint Captain Jack Sparrow in that way.
Besides, it took effort to get that rum. First I had to be laughed at by the Albertsons clerk when I asked where they kept their liquor. Answer: in a liquor store, stupid. (When I say I don’t drink, I seriously mean I’ve never drank. I had never bought anything stronger than a Hard Mike’s before my banana bread project.) Then I had to wander humiliatingly around the state liquor store before finally giving up and asking the guy behind the desk where to find the rum. I wanted the smallest bottle they had, not the giant bottle like the ones my parents keep at the top of their pantry. (Is that weird? They don’t have unruly teenagers or short drunks in the house that they have to hide the booze from.) He produced something squat and plastic from behind the counter and I handed over my five bucks, all the while wondering whether I was getting ripped off, being conned into buying the most expensive rum in the place in the same way that a naive, college-freshman me was sold the most expensive pair of snow tires in upstate New York. But even if it was expensive for the airline-style bottle I took home, five bucks is five bucks: less money than a fancy bag of pastry flour.
So that’s the back story. Moving on to the cookies: I have a standing request from my father for oatmeal raisin cookies. I often soak the raisins in boiling water before mixing them into the dough to plump them up, but I’ve never tried rum. Let me say that it worked. The flavor profile, as a Food Network or Top Chef snob might say, was rich and subtly . . . rummy? All right, so I’m terrible at describing food. Just make the recipe. You’ll love it, I promise.