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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

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baking

Best Smell Ever

It’s National Chocolate Chip Day. In my opinion, chocolate chip cookies baking is one of the top smells on this earth. I learned to bake at a very young age and have been doing it ever since. To my surprise, the National Day of Calendar informed me that the Nestle Toll House cookie recipe has only been around since 1939. I know that’s a long time, but I would have guessed it was older than that. At least I’ve had the benefit of it for my whole lifetime.

There are many ways to eat chocolate chip cookies; warm out of the oven with permission (when the chocolate is still gooey warm), snuck out of the cookie tin (just before a meal of course), dipped in milk, in small savory bites. I could go on. Probably the best way is to be able to share the event with another person so you can tell one another if they have chocolate on their face.

These days you can buy chips in lots of different flavors, made by different companies. I suggest you buy good ones, you know the ones that cost more. There’s nothing worse than biting into a chocolate chip cookie and the chip has no flavor because it wasn’t made by Nestle or Ghiradelli.

I have a friend that bakes up a storm whenever we are invited for a meal. I rarely eat her goodies because they are tasteless and usually very dry. I feel if you are going to spend your time baking from scratch, use the best ingredients available, and don’t substitute low-fat this and low calorie that, because the flavor goes out the window. But then again, she’s thinner than I am, so maybe her thought process has something over mine.

Chocolate chips can be used in all sorts of other ways than just cookies. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. And it probably isn’t necessary to have a day to celebrate them because they are almost a staple in anyone’s cupboard that knows their way around the kitchen. Just for fun, celebrate the day by making some fresh chocolate chip cookies for dessert. If you are afraid you might eat too many, give some away. I can already smell them baking!

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

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.

 

 

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