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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Gift of a Chocolate Chip Cookie...

When a young lady turns 10, her thoughts begin to turn toward, well... herself and the woman she will become. I asked my great-niece Caitlin what she wanted for her birthday via text message and we had a bit of a text-versation going when I asked if she needed me to bring anything to her party at a local restaurant.

Her response, "Can you make some chocolate chip cookies for the people who don't really like cake?"

The rational side of the brain exclaimed, "Cookies? Bake in July? Can't I buy some instead?"

My actual response, "Sure."

After talking it over with my husband, my sentimental side of the brain softly explained, "Caitlin asked me to bake cookies. I don't think I could say no."

And so after shopping very carefully for just the right birthday gift, I stopped at the grocery store for that famous yellow bag of chocolate chips with the recipe printed on the back, some vanilla and brown sugar (and hoped I had everything else I needed at home). For good measure, I also bought a boxed brownie mix and thought if the cookies failed for any reason brownies are an excellent fall back treat.

At 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning the baking began with the brownies while I sipped hot tea and turned up the air conditioner. Not much of a baker to begin with, I tend to reserve this culinary activity for Christmas time or at the soonest, Thanksgiving pies.

I gathered ingredients, the cookie sheets and cooling rack and before I knew it, the process began. The brownies were done and sliced, the cookies were baked and cooling - time to plate. I used one of my favorite footed platters and purposely alternated between brownie and cookie until the platter was full.

I brought the platter to the restaurant and Caitlin at first placed it in the center of the long table for guests then changed her mind and put it on a side table with the gifts.

The party progressed, the food was served and eaten and the cake was brought out with candles while everyone sang the traditional "Happy Birthday to you..." to a beaming young lady. She cut slices and passed them to her guests but before you knew it, she walked around with the platter of cookies and brownies and offered them to every guest. Children sang and danced and clutched handfuls of cookies. I believe a birthday wish or two came true... happy to be a part of it.

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