What’s with cookie dough?

“The best way to eat cookies,” said our young guest as he plopped a spoonful of cookie dough on top of a baked cookie. “Best.”

And that made me think about my cookie-making history, because I thought I had seen every method of eating and snitching bookie dough. But this was new: cookie dough as frosting.

I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies for a long time, long enough that all the adult children know the rules: no snitching of dough until the flour is in.

And now I have grandchildren helping me make cookies and I’ve had to start the process all over again with the snitch rules.

Recently, I made cookies while the two-year-old sat on the counter by me and the four-year-old stood on a chair so he could turn the mixer on and off. (They know the rules about the mixer, too.) The four-year-old was busy adding ingredients. The two-year-old, meanwhile, had lifted the lid on a canister of raisins and was eating handfuls of raisins.

He’d crack the egg if I wanted, but otherwise he’d eat raisins.

He ate raisins until the chocolate chips appeared and then he traded handfuls of raisins for handfuls of chocolate chips.

Then the boys switched to spoons, once the flour and chips were mixed in. They know which drawer and they know they get one spoonful before dropping their spoons in the sink. This is making cookies to them.

I think cookies are meant to be baked but my family would differ. I could leave the dough out and it would soon be consumed.

“We’re saving energy,” one son told me.  Yeah, his sons are the ones with the spoons at ready when the dough is mixed.

When I described the new way of eating cookies to our son, his eyes lit up. “That is the best,” he said and reached for a spoon.


When you need a translator

“What do you think this says?” my husband studied a small box he’d lifted from the shelf at the grocery store. “Do you know any of these words?”

I browsed the ingredient list.

Story_squareBrowsed in the sense that I tried to put letters together to make words. I knew the letters but I didn’t know the words.

Humbling for an English major.

“Well, this picture could have something to do with an antibiotic,” I said.

His frowned. “That picture could be a pumpkin for all I can tell.”

He was right. The printing was not clear.

We should have brought a translator but the available ones weren’t, well, available. They were tending to our son’s wounded knee. Somehow, in the construction of the new church, his knee had connected with something rough and hard. We had been sent in search of antibiotic cream while they cleaned the gash.

We went, confident that we were reasonably intelligent adults but we were in a Spanish-speaking country where we didn’t know the word for antibiotic. We didn’t even know the word for first aid or bandage.

Finally we settled on a slender box that appeared to have an image of a wound along with the brand name printed on the front plate. It could have been a logo of a whirlwind, too. We weren’t sure but there was a tube in the box. Close enough.

We took our find back to the church and handed the box over to the nurse. She pulled out the tube.

Sometimes you wish you had a translator and you don’t. Sometimes you have a translator and wished you didn’t.

She translated for us then. In between giggles.

Instead of buying antibiotic cream for our son, we’d picked up a tube of Preparation H.

Our adventure

From the time he decorated himself like a Christmas tree , our youngest has brought adventures to our life.

He was the one who rummaged through his father’s toolbox so that he could remove the training wheels from his bike after one day. “Those get in the way,” he said.

Story_squareI awoke once at 2 am to a noise like a strangled cat. He was sitting in front of  a computer screen playing with a digital cat. Do you know that when you selected a digital spray bottle and squirt the digital pet cat, it squawks in a way that makes a three-year-old giggle like a strangled cat?

He knows how to hypnotize a baby rabbit and dodge a paint ball. He didn’t master the ability to separate his clean laundry from the pile of clothes on the floor but I digress.

I always wondered what career he’d pursue. Cat tamer? Graphic designer? Sci Fi novelist? Now he’s graduated, employed and moved out.

He loves his job. It has to do with rummaging through phone settings rather than a toolbox and teaching others how to untangle their own phones.

And he’s laundering money, too.

Truly I am thrilled. If he’s laundering money, that means he’s actually putting his clothes in the washing machine.

My work is complete.

A cookie assault

Pushing the beaters into my mixer was guaranteed to bring at least one small person into the kitchen. A little like how the cat responded to the electric can opener.

No, exactly like the cat’s response.

So my four-year-old son appeared at my elbow right after I clicked in the beaters.

Story_square“Let’s make shape cookies,” he said, pushing a chair to the counter.

Impressive. The process to make sugar cookies cut into shapes with cookie cutters took longer. But I would teach him.

We mixed our cookie dough. “Now, we start with a ball, like this.” I scooped a handful of dough from the bowl and rolled it in my palms.

He watched intently, his nose drawing closer and closer to my hands. Yes, he was being a good student.

“Then I put the ball on the counter.” I set it lightly on the flour I had sprinkled out. “And then we use a rolling pin to flatten the dough.”

His eyes were glued to the dough. I rolled out the mixture into a smooth thin pancake and let him press the cookie cutters into it.

He selected a star. “That one looks like an explosion.”

What a creative idea for a cute little guy.

“I’ll do it this time,” he told me after the first batch was transferred to cookie sheets.

Maybe I was training a future chef. He took initiative and had obviously absorbed my careful directions.

He grabbed a handful of dough from the bowl and squeezed it hard.

“Well, you might not—“

Too late. He slapped the crushed dough onto the counter and began pounding it with the side of his fist until the mixture surrendered into an uneven flat lump.

For me, baking cookies is about the aroma and flavor.

For my would-be little chef, apparently it was more about hand-to-hand combat.