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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seeing the Everyday - Cookies equates Celebration

A few months ago, I was doing something I do routinely; I was making cookies with my kids.  These cookies are a family staple.  I call them sea shell cookies because the cookie dough texture looks something like washed up beach sand.
(notice one cookie has a bite in it)

Near the end of the day, I received a text from a friend of mine Daryl, a friend of mine I met in high school who now lives in Boston (you can read more about him here).
Daryl is the editor of the magazine Seeing the Everyday; a publication focusing on every day rituals and routines that make up our life; a prosaic because nothing is really ordinary.

When we were teenagers, Daryl and I used to make cookies all the time; after swim meets, while doing homework  or just hanging out.  It didn't matter if we were at my house or his, we spent a lot of time with butter, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, chocolate chip, well you get the idea.

So, when I received Daryl's text to call him that day, I of course, sent over a photo of a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, letting him know how much I'd like to share some cookies with him.  Immediately my phone rang.  It was Daryl, letting me know his magazine photographer had just done a gorgeous photo spread of the process of making cookies.  "I can't think of a better person to write about the lessons of life learned through making cookies than you."  We brainstormed a bit about family, cooking and reminisced about the good old days.  After that, I got to work.

 Who knew cookie making was so full of love and fun and wisdom, but that's what I realized as I dissected this family routine.  Food attracts conversation and warmth and giving.

I grew up with a cookie-making mom.  I don’t remember a time where the cookie batch wasn’t doubled, as a paper plate was filled with a dozen or so and taken to a sick neighbor or church member who’d just had a baby.  Cookies equated sharing. My mom was a giver and I was the lucky daughter to see this gift time and time again.

I now live down the street from my parents.  My mom doesn’t make cookies as often as she used to, but once the cookies I make cool down, my son volunteers to take a plate of cookies down to his grandparents.  Did my mother know she would someday be a recipient of all those given-away cookies coming back?  “Like mother, like daughter,” some might say.

Hanging out with my family.
My brothers and sisters and their kids.  There's a lot of us, a few are missing but when a family grows to be this size, it's almost impossible to have everyone in a family photo!
Nieces and nephews with Auntie Rachel.

As a parent, it was a surprise when my kids starting requesting certain meals or they'd come inside and see me making something. "Oh, is that chicken noodle soup, Mom.  I love when you make that," one of my sons might say.  Although it is routine and consistent, I find satisfaction knowing they are aware of the foods I make.  Cooking takes sacrifice and preparation; it's nice to be appreciated.  On the flip side, they love to eat.  I want them to be healthy, so I slip zucchini in homemade breads, shredded cauliflower in spaghetti sauce and spinach in enchiladas.  Meal time is one thing, but they associate my seashell cookies as celebration.

Seashell cookie recipe

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 white sugar
Cream together
Add 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together again.  This is when it gets fun.
Add 2 cups oatmeal
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 cup crushed golden grahams cereal
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 cups flour (white or wheat, depending on your preference)
1 cup chocolate chips
Stir together.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.  Prepare to fall in love.

Remember to pick up your Fall 2013 edition of Seeing the Everyday magazine.  Available at Barnes and Noble and online.  

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