10 January 2014

You Know What I Love About Cooking?

“You know what I love about cooking? … I love that after a day when nothing is sure—and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing!—you can come home and absolutely know that if you add eggs yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.” - Julie Powell, in Julie and Julia

I've been feeling stressed, blue, and gross about all sorts of things (RE: a heavy night of drinking on Saturday, work things, The Polar Vortex, working a full work week, need I go on..?), so in an effort to reverse my WTF-Universe attitude, I decided to pull a Julie Powell (or inner-Tess) and bake. Bake my little heart into a double batch of mama's special mint chocolate chip cookies. I softened the butter, I fluffed and churned it in my beautiful standing mixer, and slowly added each ingredient until my batter was temptingly lickable. I rolled up my sleeves, and hand laid my cookies out on parchment paper, and waited with anticipation as my entire kitchen filled with the scent of delicious perfect mint chocolate chippy goodness. And then I ate. I ate cookies fresh out of the oven, because this week these past few weeks, have been nothing short of funky. And when the cookies cooled, I carefully packed them up to bring to work, because as a wise man once said, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," or "kill 'em with kindness," or "everyone likes cookies."

My delicious morsels, fresh outta the oven via Ladeeq
I find that lately, I've been happiest when I am cooking. Doesn't matter if I'm making soup, roasting a chicken, baking bread, or hard boiling an egg. Cooking for me has been my main source of creative output, and I think I am slowly getting better at it (props to the knife skills class I took!). I like that I can follow directions, take my time, and usually what I end up with is something amazing, fulfilling, and made for me by me. I like that the years I spent slowly learning to cook have left me with the ability to sight-read recipes and know if they will be good or not, and the courage to substitute ingredients or measure without a measuring device because I trust my instinct.

All of this for me is something I am trying to embrace in the next phase of my life. I want to be better at cooking, like way better. I want to embrace the more challenging or difficult recipes out there. I want to track down some weird ingredients, get my knives sharpened, stalk weird utensils (waddup microplane and flour sifter), and be the best possible kitchen me I know exists.

Hopefully I'll be posting some of my exploits here... take my mint chocolate chip cookies recipe as a token of my offering.

Happy Friday, and happy cookies!

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