I may have to cut our meeting short today because I’ve got to get to a real bakery and stock up on chocolate chip cookies. As I have confessed to you in the past, I don’t like to cook so I eat packaged cookies. That’s got to change.

I’ve been reading a delightful book that is filled with references to bread (and other goodies) being made in a charming bakery in Seattle. It’s a novel but the author was a professional baker.* As I read, I can just imagine the wonderful smells that are wafting through the air. She doesn’t mention chocolate chip cookies specifically but I bet they were there along with the muffins and biscotti cookies.

When I read about food, I think maybe I’ll begin to cook, but when it comes time to haul out one of my dozens of like-new cookbooks, I remember dozens of things I need to do more urgently. Writing this blog, for example.

I learned about cooking when I was quite young. (Notice that I didn’t say, “I learned to cook.”) I recall making carrot cake cupcakes. The recipe called for a teaspoon of salt but my reading skills were as bad as my cooking skills at that time, so I added a tablespoon of salt. My dog, Lucky, would eat anything so I gave him a muffin. He looked royally insulted and wouldn’t even lick the muffin.

My best friend and I decided to make a chocolate cake from one of her mother’s recipes. It called for a half cup of coffee. We added a half-cup of ground coffee. We were at her house and there was no dog to tempt. (By the way, we were middle school age at the time.)

Shortly after I was married, I tried to broil steaks in an oven. It’s a wonder we didn’t die of smoke inhalation. Some friends dropped by unexpectedly and when I heard the knock, I was sure the firemen had arrived.

Years later, we had different friends over for Thanksgiving dinner. When I went to check on the turkey, I found that I hadn’t turned on the oven. We had dinner about midnight. (I was too young for a senior moment.)

My grandmother owned a boarding house and that’s where my mother grew up. The meals were meat baked or fried, potatoes baked or mashed, vegetables very much as they came out of the ground and some kind of simple bread. Desserts were probably the fanciest food grandma prepared. So that was the kind of food mom grew up on and it is the kind of food my family eats. I have tried gourmet dishes over the years but no one ever begs for them to be repeated. (Thank goodness. I wouldn’t want to have to prepare them again.)

I’ve got to go now. I drank my cup of tea with you today without a cookie. You can’t expect me to hold off any longer without my cookie fix. I’m off to the bakery.

*Author of book: Judith Ryan Hendricks
COMING NEXT: Over-Laughing Is The Goal

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