Monday, December 13, 2010

I wish there was an inherited gene, like for eye color, that would determine a person’s ability to be a fabulous cook. I would be spectacular. My mom and both of my grandmothers were cooks who really couldn’t tell you how something was put together, they made it up as they went most of the time. I asked my grandmother once how much sage to put in turkey dressing. She said, “You know, just shake it in until you smell it.” When I tried that, all it did was make me sneeze.

I know we aren’t supposed to think negatively about ourselves, but I should have had a hint of what my cooking journey in life might look like when I made a D in junior high Home Ec. Honestly how hard is junior high cooking?

In all the years Jim Brawner has never once complained. He even tried to eat my first attempt at making stew right after we were married. It tasted like a combination of Goodyear tires and Elmer’s school glue. I reread the recipe and it said simmer 6 to 8 hours not 6 to 8 minutes. That’s when I learned cooking has nothing to do with knack, but with reading.

I’ve made progress over the years, but still prefer the drive through and take out. One thing I can always make work is my grandmother’s cookies. Years ago I finally persuaded her to let me watch her bake a batch. I wrote down everything she did step by step.

For obvious reasons I’m not one of those snooty cooks who won’t share recipes. Here’s one of the best chocolate chip recipes on the planet. It looks like any old recipe, but there are little details that need to be paid attention to. If you are having a rough day, make a batch and share.

Grandmother Bollen’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven 345 degrees

1 cup Crisco Oil

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Mix well with mixer

Add to sugar mixture:

2 cups plus 4 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix well with fork

Add 12 ounce package of semi sweet chocolate chips and stir

Drop by spoonfulls onto cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully.

Take off cookie sheet immediately and let cool on counter top.


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