Love is the Secret Ingredient

Posted: November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty

SecretIngred

Baking relaxes me. At this point in my baking life, the things I make are largely those I’ve made so many times that I have a guaranteed system of getting it just right.

Although I make a wide range of baked goods throughout the year, homemade chocolate chip cookies have become my signature treat since I make them nearly every week.

Everyone loves cookies, and I only slightly modify the recipe on the back of the Nestle package, so they are uncomplicated.

I bring these cookies primarily to my local bar, my extended living room, The Whirlaway for potlucks. Much to the delight of the bar patrons, I live close enough that oftentimes the cookies are still warm from the oven when I arrive.

I also bring cookies to work, sharing them with my colleagues and my students when I can. During Fall term I taught two “Creativity” classes, so for the final project (due today), I asked the students to create something, and thought I’d better do the same; I made cookies.

I asked my students to describe their projects in a short essay of four sections addressing the inspiration, theme, execution, and result of their creative intentions. I feel perfectly comfortable abiding by my own rules, so I shall do the same.

Inspiration

My inspiration to bake is always to make people feel appreciated. I make treats to help people feel loved; to do something simple and nice and, thereby, contribute to the event. There must always be an event to celebrate; if there is not, I invent one.

And, I confess that I have inherited my mother’s trait of “baking arrogance,” which drives me to bake regularly. I simply love when people ask whether or not I made something before they decide to partake. If I made it, they’ll eat it.

Themes

Baking comprises many themes, but indulgence seems the most apt. My friend Richard frequently needs to be encouraged to enjoy a few cookies. I told him just yesterday, “Life is full of things that aren’t healthy, but they are still good.”sweet-indulgence-logo

Bakery is not good for you, at least not nutritionally. In every other way, bakery is extraordinarily good. It embodies tradition; it evokes memories; it creates opportunities to savor something sweet.

Execution

Though my mother disagrees, I’m extremely orderly, especially at home. I clean as I cook, and have little mess after. The key to my cookie execution is thorough preparation, and shelving ingredients immediately after use, and my just-a-bit-too-large measuring teaspoon for salt (shaped like a fish and a gift from the always thoughtful Leah Allen). I bake them at a lower temperature than recommended and take them out before they are quite done, allowing them to cook a smidge on the pan before letting them cool. Small deviations from the recipe, and extensive mixing of the ingredients, create a cookie decidedly mine in both appearance and taste.

For added flavor, I sing love songs to the batter (usually The Beatles “All You Need Is Love” among others), ensuring that my cookies grow ever-more delicious; you can taste the love.

Results

Chocolate chip cookies are wonderful. The ones I make are chewy, and a bit salty, both aspects garnering rave reviews and repeated entreaties to make more.

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Comments
  1. Jenesis Williams says:

    I don’t know about baking but I do enjoy cooking it is relaxing. Its something about making something that tastes delicious.

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