Through a mutual friend, I recently met a wonderful young newlywed named Margaret. Our backgrounds couldn’t be more different, but once we got on the subject of food, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Over a lunch of curry and other Indian delights, we talked about relationships, cooking, the joy of sharing food and, of course, mothers. Here is a bit of wise advice from Margaret – and her mom.
My mother used to say, “Don’t tell a man any bad news or ask him to make a decision until you’ve feed him dinner.” She was Donna Reid without the full skirt and heels. I never saw her make a martini, but she did cook dinner almost every night, even though cooking “wasn’t her thing.” Dinner was meat, a vegetable, and a grain – Shake and Bake chicken, green beans out of a can cooked with a bouillon cube, and a dinner roll or instant rice.
I’m a vegetarian; Shake and Bake, to put in nicely, is not my taste. I’ve read A Doll’s House, but I haven’t written off everything Mom passed down. My husband, getting home before I do, typically makes dinner, and I do have to say that “eat first, ask questions later” doesn’t only apply to men. Often I’m so glad to come home to a warm meal cooking in the kitchen that I could eat about anything except green beans out of a can for dinner.
Tired from a long day, a treat does a lot to improve a weary mood and make you feel settled, even if it’s not needed as a buffer for bad news or a precursor for a decision. When I was a kid, my mom would sometimes bake chocolate cookies so they would be warm when I came home from school. The whole house smelled like comfort. Thinking about Mom and wanting to do something nice for my husband, who had been traveling for a few days, I baked chocolate chip cookies today, timing it so they came out of the oven when he got home.
Keep the romance alive. Bake some cookies.
Margaret is the author of the blog, www.figuringoutfulfillment.com. Check it out. And here is her recipe for chocolate chip cookies:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ½ cup shortening
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 bag chocolate chips (I like Nestle Minis)
- ½ cup walnuts (optional)
Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Cream shortening, preferably with a beater but with a spoon is fine too. Mix in sugar. (If you’re using a mixer, mix until dough is light and fluffy.) Mix in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients gradually just into mixed. (Don’t over beat or the dough will become stiff.) Stir in chips and nuts.
Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes depending on your preference. I prefer 10 minutes or just until the edges turn the slightest brown. I recommend using a no burn/insulated cookie sheet. Set cookies to cool on parchment paper.
Hint: If you manage not to eat them all out of the oven, microwave a cooled cookie for 8 to 10 seconds on a paper towel for the out-of-the-oven taste.