One of my favorite smells is chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. It’s not only the smell; it’s the satisfaction of mixing them up, licking the beaters, having well used cookie sheets, and family waiting to eat them while they are hot.
I grew up in a 4-H household so I learned early how to measure ingredients correctly, use good ones and have the butter and eggs at room temperature. We rarely bought any baked goods; Girl Scout cookies and Oreos were exceptions. Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate chips were, and still are, my chip of choice. I’ve tried others, but nothing comes close to the familiar taste I came to know as a child. I can probably recite the cookie recipe on the back of the Nestle’s bag.
My mother was born in 1906. I’m not sure her age had anything to do with it, but it was customary to serve a snack whenever coffee was poured for a visitor. Mind you, the definition of visitor was usually a neighbor, a best friend or one of my father’s hunting buddies. I have carried on that tradition and I like that I am known for scratch-made cakes and cookies.
My grandson stayed overnight when he was about five and asked if we could make cookies. Of course I said yes. He opened the refrigerator door, stood there inspecting the shelves and finally said, “I don’t see any.”
I smiled when I realized he was looking for a package of pre-mixed dough. I told him, “Grandma doesn’t do it that way. How about you help me.” He watched wide eyed as I got out all the ingredients and the mixer. He had a ball cracking the eggs and being my taste tester. I got a call about a week later from my daughter. She said in a sarcastic tone, “Thanks.” I asked, “For what?” Her answer, “William now expects me to make cookies the way you do.” I told her to think of it as a bonding opportunity.
I find it sad that families today are so busy that baking from scratch is not the norm anymore. Heck, I know a bunch of young women that don’t cook at all. It doesn’t make sense to me that they never learned.
May I suggest, the next time you eat a chocolate chip cookie try to imagine yourself at a kitchen table eating it hot out of the oven. I guarantee it will taste better.