Sunday, September 22, 2013

The best cookies I've ever eaten.

I’m a linguistics grad student/science lover/vlogger/reader of funbooks/inventor of words like “funbook”/overall internet denizen (@nonesuch42). I come from the bleak era of Standardized Testing, but I always enjoyed (or at least tolerated) the writing portions. This was probably because I had one story I liked to tell, and I fit it to the prompt year after year. It’s a story of reckless bravery and adventure. It’s a story of family. It’s a story about the power of nature. Or maybe it’s just about the power of cookies.

Most of my dad’s family lives scattered throughout California. Around my dad’s birthday in June, we all went on a camping trip to the Pinnacles. My parents (wisely) brought an RV, the rest of the adults slept in a giant tent, and the four cousins slept in the back of a truck. We heard rustling all night, but thought nothing of it.

In the morning we went on a grueling hike. We brought enough snacks, but not nearly enough water. California gets pretty hot and dry in June, but apparently all of us native Californians had forgotten this particular climate fact. My dad saved the day by taking the empty water bottles, hiking down to the bottom to fill them up, and rescuing my dehydrated family members.

As if that weren't enough excitement for one day, when we got back to the campsite and had made dinner, we started hearing more rustling over by the food storage. Thinking it was probably a raccoon or something, my aunts, parents, and grandparents go over to investigate. Naturally, the kids follow. It’s not a raccoon. It has tusks and is GIANT. It’s a wild boar. And there’s another one. And it’s eating our garlic bread!

My biologist grandpa starts clapping and making a bunch of noise, but the boar doesn’t seem to notice and keeps chomping away. Foldable metal chairs are brandished, flashlights are turned on, someone even thinks to snap a photo of the lunacy. But it’s not until the boars go for the cookies that my aunt goes for the boars. Wielding a folding chair, she snatches the cookies, and the boars, apparently satisfied, saunter off.

I hear that the wild boars have been exterminated from the camping area. I guess that’s good for future campers, but it’s sad for future timed-essay writers.

The best cookies I've ever eaten:

Dry stuff
1 2/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar

Liquids
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

The tasty bits
1 3/4 cup chocolate chips (11.5 oz bag)
1 cup coconut
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup chopped walnuts

Oven: 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Bake Time: 8-11 minutes

People say you're supposed to mix the liquids with the sugars separately and then mix that with the flour and stuff. And that you're not supposed to melt the butter. Who has the time? Sometimes you just want a cookie, you know? I melt the butter and mix all the stuff in one bowl at pretty much the same time. I do put the chocolate, coconut, oatmeal, and walnuts in last. I've experimented with different sized cookies, but they are tasty when tiny or enormous, so just try not to burn them and you'll be alright. Usually makes about 3-4 dozen, but if you make them small you can get a lot more.

Oh, and DFTBA!


Jessica Harmon
nonesuch42[AT]gmail.com
Los Angeles, CA

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