In this time of separate and distant, as we try to cope with not meeting our favorite person for coffee and cake, or connecting with a like-minded group to discuss a book over food relevant to the plot, I scurried to find store bought cookies to ease me into comfort.
Ah, but to venture into a store was to risk contagion, despite the plastic screens in front of the cashiers at Whole Foods and the yellow tapes marking six foot distance. Not many millennials venture in, but when they do, their sense of immortality tends to drive them to ignore science-based suggestions. I could order cookies from Amazon, but then I would need to wipe down the cartons inside and out, and those handiwipes are precious, better saved for my hands when needed.
A friend, noting my dilemma, suggested I make my own cookies. I always have a stash of semi-sweet chocolate and sugar. Recently, I had bought a ten pound bag of organic flour on sale – before I knew I would be housebound. Why not make the most comfort laden food I knew. And, I could control everything in the process, in a time when control of anything seems almost impossible, from the dough to the oven to the delivery – without packaging.
I’m not sure when it disappeared from the wrapper, bu I still add it. Does it make a difference? I’ve never tried making the cookies without it, so cannot judge, but if you have, let me know.
Ruth Wakefield, the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie, sold Nestlé the rights to reproduce her recipe in 1939 on its packages, with the teaspoon of water included.
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
My mother always had a few dozen eggs in the refrigerator, and I started to have more on hand when I discovered Cosco’s packaging of two dozen.
I remember reading one of the many books about Julia Child’s meticulous research in creating Mastering the Art of French Cooking. With its own section for eggs, from omelets to eggs Benedict, my favorite is her version of scrambled eggs.
Do you remember the running line in The Runaway Bride, when Julia Roberts tries to discover her favorite version of eggs? Mine is scrambled eggs, Julia Child style.
The secret to their fluffiness is to add a tablespoon of water for each egg. Bringing the eggs to room temperature is always a good idea too. I usually just bath my eggs in hot water from the tap for a few minutes to take off the refrigerator chill, and always add a tablespoon a water for each egg. They taste just the way I like them.
Julie Andrews sang about a spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down; a spoonful of water can help too.
Ever since I read Zachary’s favorite drink in The Starless Sea is the sidecar, I’ve wanted to try one. Not complicated to make, the drink has only three ingredients. Zach liked it without the sugar rimming the glass, so I decided I could do without too.
I finally made one and loved it. The sidecar may be my new go to drink. Have you had one?
In J. Ryan Stradel’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest, a hometown cook successfully beats out more sophisticated chefs in a prestigious cooking contest with her simple five ingredient recipe.
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it.
Pat Prager’s Award Winning Bars
2 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 cup melted Grade A butter
1 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon Grade A butter
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs. melted butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Put into a greased 9×12 inch pan. Melt the chips and butter and spread them on top of the bars. Set into the refrigerator until firm. Cut into bars.