[Daring Young Dad here. I’m a Guest Blogger Schmoop today. Hi! *waves wildly*]
Once upon a time, I did not know how to make chocolate-chip cookies. Shocking, I know. This is the story of how I learned.
My mom is a good cook. At least she has been for as long as I’ve known her. When I was small and trying to spend as much time as possible underfoot, I spent a lot of time with her in the kitchen. I loved to cook with her. I was fascinated with how you could put a bunch of stark, homogenous ingredients together in a bowl, mix them into some kind of batter or dough, and cook it, and then end up with ACTUAL REAL FOOD, like bread, or rolls, or cookies, or pies.
Hmmm… I don’t think I knew the word “homogenous” at the time. If I did, though, it was because my Mom taught me””she was well educated in the ways of organic chemistry, and explained lots of fascinating stuff to me about how yeast worked, and gluten chains, and how soap works (cleaning is too part of cooking! to my great chagrin).
Unfortunately, we kids were a lot of work. Also shocking, I know. I remember at one point that my Mom seemed to be extra tired all the time. In my defense, I think she may have been pregnant with her third or fourth kid at the time. She just didn’t seem to have as much time or energy to fritter the day away making cookies with me in the kitchen. But that certainly didn’t stop me from asking.
One day, she was lying on her bed with one arm draped over her head trying to shade her eyes, but I wanted to make cookies. Alas, I was not the caring and sensitive man I am … still trying to become. I’m sure I used all my little-kid wiles to coax her into some kitchen fun, but she just couldn’t muster the energy. So she finally said, “How about YOU make some chocolate-chip cookies?”
“But I don’t know how!”
“But I don’t know how!””That’s okay, I’ll tell you what to do.”
“But I don’t know how!”
“It’s okay. Just go get the big mixing bowl out of the closet and put it on the counter,” [editorial note: yes, she really did have to be that specific] “and then come back.”
So I did. And then she told me to get two cubes of margarine out of the refrigerator and put them into the bowl. I did, and then came back. Then she told me to get the white sugar out, and to find the one-cup measure, and to measure a cup out, and put it in the bowl. I did, and then came back. Then for the brown sugar.
This went on for some time, with some confusion at some points, but generally making it through. For some hard mixing parts, I actually brought the bowl to her in her bedroom and she helped do the hard stirring. (My mom was STRONG””she could totally cream cold butter out of the fridge! With nothing but a spoon! Wow!)
And that’s how I learned to make chocolate-chip cookies.I don’t know the recipe by heart anymore. And I think perhaps in my mind I may have coalesced several experiences and maybe forgotten some unpleasant parts involving gross mistakes on my part, but I didn’t have a journal back then and that’s how I remember it now, so that might as well be how it was, to me anyway.
What were your special times when you were small? What did your parents do with you that you loved? That made you feel special? That was fun?