Throughout my childhood and well into my twenties, the buttery, chocolate-y, sugary fragrance of chocolate chip cookies often wafted through our house. They’d be cooling on a metal rack on report card day. When my dad finished a house-painting job. After the death of a friend. Friday evenings when I came home on breaks from nursing school. When my mom and I lived a couple thousand miles apart, a metal tin of cookies greeted my husband and me and our kids when we visited.
Those cookies cheered me on in happy times and soothed me through grief and disappointment.
When I graduated from nursing school and moved into my own apartment, Mom gifted me with a wooden box filled with index cards. There was a card with ingredients and instructions for each of our family’s favorite dishes. Yep, there was one for chocolate chip cookies. And yes, my mom typed them on a manual typewriter, switching to the red ribbon for recipe titles and especially important instructions.
As you can see, the Chocolate Chip Cookies card shows plenty of use. I’ve pulled this card out more in the last three weeks than in the past two years. Despite many years of strain between my mom and me, her chocolate chip cookies are my ultimate comfort food. Like everyone I know, comfort is something I’ve been seeking.
I’m fortunate that Stephanie Smith, owner of Holly B’s Bakery, is a chocolate-chip-cookie-maker extraordinaire. Her salted, dark chocolate chunk cookies have been my go-to ever since she introduced them when she became the bakery’s new owner. Stephanie’s cookies, and those I make with my mom’s recipe, are good medicine right now.
Should I grow tired of chocolate chip cookies (hard to imagine, but I think we’re in for a long haul), I have another family recipe to calm me.
*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets.