Yesterday, at work, someone offered me a homemade Swedish XXXXXXX cookie.

I thought, “Wow, homemade cookies, how cool is that.”

I took one of the tan, super thin cookies and put it in my mouth.

And it was bad.

My brain, as it is wont to do, went into mulit-function, multi-voice mode.

One part of my brain tried to identify what exactly the fool had just put in the mouth. … spicy… like a pepper coated potatoe chip… probably not fatal… but very, very bad.

Another part of my brain focused on keeping my poker face in place and not ejecting the thing back onto the plate of offending cookies–and tried to find the right thing to say to the perpetrator of this culinary disaster. …chew…chew…swallow… swallow again… “Wow… interesting.” (It was the best I could do.)

And the third part of my brain tried to replay the tapes… what did she offer us? a pepper cookie? … Yup, that is what she said, a “pepper cookie”. Why did we agree to try a “pepper cookie”? Did we think a pepper cookie would be good? No? Were we not listening? Ahhh… we didn’t believe what we heard. Of course. I mean really– who the hell puts pepper in a pastry.

This morning, after enough time has passed for the trauma to subside, I did an internet search. There I found the Pepparkakor cookies from Sweden.

You’ll note that there is no pepper in the cookie. But it does have cinnamon, ginger, clove, and freshly ground cardamum.

Folks… pepper or not… traditional or not … this is NOT a cookie.

I’m really going to have to start paying better attention to what is offered, and be much more discriminating in what I accept.