I was walking towards the end of the dock when she ran up behind me and said with great pride, “I have sixteen boo-boos on my legs” and then the six-year-old or so, jumped off the dock, water-wings and all. I was a sissy and lowered myself down the ladder – glacier fed lakes are usually freezing, but this day, it was just cool enough to be refreshing but not teeth-shattering frigid.
The brown-haired little girl and her younger brother swam around me with gleeful smiles on their faces. Their bright blue eyes framed with long and thick soaking wet eyelashes. The big sister did all of the talking in a breathless chatter as she treaded water and the brother looked on nodding in agreement with everything she said, the wide grin never leaving his shining face. I gathered from her prattle that her boo-boos were mostly gotten from mosquito bites, scrapes received during romps through the forest and run-of-the-mill falls.
They climbed up the ladder one after the other, and then leapt off together landing next to me with a big splash and then popped up giggling. This utter delight was precious and infectious. I couldn’t help but feel my own bliss being surrounded by these two. It reminded me of days when I too was so joyous, when summers were filled with carefree days of swimming in the Pacific Ocean with my older brother and building sandcastles on the shore. The amusement I felt at the tickling of a sand crab’s legs on my fingertips as I dug up a gritty handful of earth to deposit atop my majestic fortress that the sea would soon wash away, was a simple pleasure that would entertain me for hours.
It’s a genre of happiness that can be hard to access later in life when day-to-day responsibilities are ever-present in the back of our minds. The burden of life can be heavy and difficult to unload when presented with a potentially light-hearted opportunity.
The following day as my husband and I walked down a bustling Seattle street, I was looking up and pointing off into the distance when the uneven pavement dropped out from under me and I tumbled onto the rocky surface landing on both knees. Now I had two boo-boos of my own.
Chocolate Chip Cookie
No matter how young or old you are, there is always a time and place for a hot and gooey, just out-of-the- oven chocolate chip cookie with a cold glass of milk to dip it into. This is the perfect version of that cookie, designed for dipping, it is not too flat, it is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
|Chocolate Chip Cookie|
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack positioned in the lower third of the oven.
- Cream butter until light and fluffy..
- Add sugar, brown sugar and salt and continue to mix until smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda.
- Using a wooden spoon, add the flour and chocolate chips to the butter mixture and fold the ingredients in, stirring until the flour is incorporated.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Spoon heaping teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. I like to use a small 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop which makes nice round mounds.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned, turning the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. The cookies will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven - don't over bake!
- Let the cookies cool for a about 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool further.
- If they don’t get scarfed down in one sitting, store in an airtight container.
When you are ready to bake, simply slice the rounds, place on the baking sheet and bake as usual. Some people swear that chilling the dough for at least 3 days makes for the best cookies.
If you prefer flatter cookies, give the baking pan a quick tap on a countertop half way through when you are rotating the pan. This will cause the cookies to fall.