Full Circle Cookies
My wife and I were drafted today for a bit of an unplanned day with Bella, one of our grandchildren. Some mix-up and a work schedule change led to Bella spending the day with us. Leave it to my wife Michelle, a very experienced grandmother, to know how to make the day mutually beneficial. “Do you want to bake chocolate chip cookies after lunch, Bella?” Of course, she did.
Cookies are the treasure of exploration. They require an arsenal of measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, wooden spoons, cookie sheets and spatulas that all need to be found and brought out from various cupboards and drawers. Then there are ingredients to accumulate like flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, nuts and chocolate chips.
Cookies require preparation and planning. Just with the nuts alone you have to get the nuts from the pantry, retrieve the nut chopper from the shelf, fill it, turn the handle until the nuts are all chopped up and then add them to the mixing bowl.
Cookies are very instructional. There are directions to follow. Like most children, I suspect that Bella is more interested in correctly following each step in the cookie directions than she is in following the directions of her school homework. The reward is better too. I will take a warm cookie over a “smiley face” sticker any day.
The afternoon brought to mind a winter day from my youth. It was the best of all winter days - a snow day. Unexpectantly, my mother had my brother and I to keep occupied for the day as the snow storm howled outside. I remember that after lunch she suggested that we bake chocolate chip cookies. I recall that when we finished the lid did not fit on the brown ceramic cookie jar because the cookies heaped over the top. And I also recall that when Gary, one of my older brothers stopped on his way home from work to help shovel us out, that by the time he left, the driveway was cleared and the cookie jar fit just fine.
Just like I did in the “work world”, I have worked my way up. My job when there are cookies to be baked is Quality Control. That requires snitching a spoonful of batter despite the warning of the raw eggs in the dough and the possibility of getting sick. A man had got to do what a man has got to do, and if that means taking a personal risk to ensure that my family is protected then by gosh by golly that’s exactly what I will do. I have been taking such risks for decades. And of course, there was post-baking samples that needed to be tasted – best when taken internally with a glass of cold milk.
So much has changed from when I was Bella’s age. But it’s nice to know that we can still find common ground in fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies.