who doesn’t…?

14 09 2008

It’s early evening on a rainy Sunday and of course, the boy says he needs some chocolate chip cookies and an ounce of guilt goes a long, long way.  When I’m here, it’s good to cook or bake just to re-establish my presence.  In my house, this standard American cookie is loved by one and all.  If ten people were polled – how many do you think would say these are one of their favorites?

As standard as this cookie is – I’m always surprised by the subtle variations in the recipe from house to house.  Some are more perfectly formed.  Some softer, chewier…others crispy and oddly shaped.  But everyone seems to be reading from the back of the same package and putting things together basically in the same order.  Some stay on the cookie sheet to cool, some cool on tin foil, some on wire racks.  How hard can this be?

There have been times in my cookie baking history that I have followed the directions to the letter of the law and they have been a total flop.  Was it the oven?  Was it the flour?  Which was the evil ingredient?  Just as many times as that has happened – they have come out unbelievably delicious while maybe skimping on something that was in short supply.  Maybe its just these magical marvels.

When we lived in Spain, packages of chocolate chips would line empty crevices of any suitcase that was bound for our apartment – our own suitcases, any family members coming to visit, or any friend or acquaintance we had any remote contact with could be talked into being a mule.  We couldn’t buy them in any store.  Most wives there don’t bake things like cookies at home so it was quite the novelty for birthday parties and other social gatherings.

There would always be a critical moment when someone would turn up their nose up at one of our precious cookies.  How could they NOT like a chocolate chip cookie?  It was unheard of  – bizarre – irrational.  Then I’d get some cultural clarity and realize even these little cookies were a totally American taste…and guess what?  The rest of the world is not under obligation to like chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter or blue kool-aid for that matter no matter how much MY kids liked those things or how novel they seemed to us.

Cookie cutter people don’t exist either- nor do perfect chocolate chip cookies that are palate perfect for global consumption.  In our homes little things make us who we are – whether we are extremely active or couch potatoes, book readers or movie watchers, neat freaks or comfortably unconcerned about perfection – they are all the bits and pieces that make us who we are.  And once we’re “formed”- it doesn’t mean that we are going to be loved by everyone either – sometimes it’s an acquired taste. 

Billy always thought that chocolate chip cookies would be the perfect cookie without the chocolate chips.  “Too sweet for me,” he’d say, “too sweet for me.”

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9 responses

14 09 2008
Matthew

Happy to report that as Carlos Zambrano rocked to throw the last pitch in his no-hitter just now, I reflexively hollered at the TV, “Strike the bum out!”

(He did.)

14 09 2008
1eyedmonkee

CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! what could be better than if THIS was the year…in honor of Billy – should we hope? We are Cubs fans and hope springs eternal!

15 09 2008
chas0154

With the world seemingly veering headlong towards a one-size-fits-all, uni-cultural, ‘cookie cutter’ status, it might make one think that the last days may not be that far off. Thank goodness for those who cling to the Truth.

15 09 2008
Amy Jo

Two comments:
One, on the Cubs. I have thought more than once since Aug. 25 that this IS their year. My grandpa, had he been present on this Earth, in both mind and body, would have LOVED last night. I can just see his smiling face. I think that it would be too perfect, though, if it was their year. Too much poetry.

Two, in my book, the best sweet/salty combination known to man are my grandma’s peanut blossom cookies and a bag of Katy’s potato chips. I used to LOVE going to the Spartan with grandpa to buy Katy’s. I’ll be willing to bet he was whistling, too!

15 09 2008
1eyedmonkee

A future blog will be about Billy – when he DID eat chocolate cake – he’d put salt on it…and it was oh so good!

19 09 2008
the Howard mama

One of my bosses won’t eat choc. cake without some potato chips on the side!

19 09 2008
Jules

I’m not much help in the kitchen but CC cookies were one thing I eventually perfected. In discovering what steps create the perfect consistency and taste it is imperative to melt the butter correctly. I correct myself, not melt but soften. You must put it in the microwave for 10 seconds, open the door and the add it for another 8 seconds. If you were to simply heat it for 18 seconds, it would come out too melted. The dough is to be stirred by hand as well, in a somewhat mashing motion, NOT a mixer as this will cause the dough to be too fluffy and flat after baking. mmmmm maybe i need to bake some this weekend. What’s your address again??!!

22 09 2008
Mandi

Reading through the comments I realized something that had happened one of the first times I met my future grandparent in-laws(not sure if this is a real term, but it seems to work for the moment). In any case, as Jason and I were leaving Grandpa felt the need to give me a “gift”. It could have been that it was Christmas or it could have just been the need that every grandparent has to not send the kids off empty-handed. He quickly grabbed a bag of Katy’s potato chips and a comfortably worn Cedarville sweatshirt, one of the most tasty gifts I’ve ever received.

22 09 2008
1eyedmonkee

HA! I think I know what I’m buying everybody for Christmas…you can expect to be receiving bags of Katy’s potato chips!! W

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