Monday, October 29, 2012

Lunch Box Chronicle Day One Hundred Sixty-Eight (In the Shadow of the Storm, Make, Bake, Eat Cookies)

This day is beyond surreal.  One of the largest natural disasters is about to hit NYC, and I'm waiting impatiently in my apartment for all hell to break loose.  All public transportation is closed - no subways, no buses, no rail service.  All flights are cancelled.  The threatened eleven foot water surges have caused the closure of the tunnels.  More than a quarter of a million people have been ordered to evacuate from their NYC homes.  

The talking heads on the t.v. are murmuring non-stop, holding on to swaying trees, sopping themselves, repeating to us again and again The Obvious.  This storm is going to be Big.  Bigger than Big.  How-to-survive messages from friends and family who are out-of-state and out-of-country are appearing on my Facebook, in my email, and through texts.  

All kids are home from school - indefinitely.  The apartment building has become a refuge for all the children, huddled together, roaming the halls and apartments as if the world belongs to them; playing make believe, and showing the adults that a hurricane is nothing but a chance for all kids to just be kids.

Somehow, this close living, the quick stop with neighbors to share goodies, the endless play of the kids in the building, the Super making storm preparations, all make this impending event seem less lonely, more communal, and perhaps safer.   But, what do I know?  It is only the shadow of the storm that has reached us thus far.

So, I retreat to doing what I do best in these situations - cooking, baking, and writing.   Here is a recipe to offer a little bit of calm before the storm.   

Whole Grain Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies.

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter - REAL BUTTER softened
1 and 1/2 cups organic cane sugar (this stuff has sooo much flavor)
2 TBL pure molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking SODA
2 eggs
1 teaspoon REAL VANILLA 
1 1/2 cups organic whole spelt flour
1 cup organic white (sifted) spelt flour
12 ounces mini semi sweet Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth.  Add sugar and  molasses.  Keep beating until smooth, add in eggs and vanilla.  Keep mixing.  In separate smaller bowl, mix together spelt flours and baking soda.    Beat flour mixture into butter mixture, slowly adding in the flour.  Stir in chocolate pieces.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in 375 oven for about 10 minutes.  Because these are spelt, they tend to flatten out.  Done when edges are slightly brown.  Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.  

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