It’s been a bit of a blur lately, but here’s some highlights from our past few days.
1. We attended a couple of my oldest son’s concerts and no matter how hard I tried to get a good picture of him, he always managed to hide behind someone else’s head, hide behind a music stand, or keep in motion so he was just a blur. But the music was really fantastic. As any mother of a musically inclined kid will tell you — it doesn’t matter that there is an 80-person orchestra playing in perfect harmony. You’ll swear up and down that you can totally hear your own kid playing, and he’s brilliant!
2. We went to Scout-O-Rama. (Apparently, anything that ends in “O-Rama” has to be fun. I think it’s a rule.) This shindig is so big that they only do every other year. And although it was a sweltering 89-degree day (and yes, that’s sweltering for Chicago), we stayed there for almost 5 hours, making rockets out of papers and straws, tossing golf balls into buckets, picking up worms out of dirt, walking on stilts, and climbing the faux-rock wall.
3. We ran a 3K run at our elementary school. Okay, so “ran” is a bit of a stretch. C ran it. E ran part of it. S and I walked some, ambled some and even skipped hand-in-hand down the home stretch. That’s right — we skipped. In my book, style trumps speed.
4. We had a slight emergency involving a stubbed toe that bled like crazy, scaring one dad, one mom, and one kiddo who thought she had done some permanent damage to her poor little foot. Did you know you could stub your toe bloody? I did not. We rushed to the doctor’s office. Everything’s fine now. Chocolate ice cream heals a lot of wounds. (That pro-tip was brought to you by my dad. Whenever something traumatizing happened, my dad would suggest chocolate ice cream as the fix — and it works too.)
So what did I do when we had a cooler day (temps only in the 60s)? Did I weed the eyesore garden and the rest of our nonexistent landscaping? Did I paint the patio chairs? Did I plant tomatoes?
Of course not — I baked chocolate-chip cookies.
I used the ubiquitous Nestle Toll House recipe. The secret to lumpy, bumpy, delicious cookie-ness? Use shortening instead of butter. Butter makes a flat, scrumptious, bendy cookie. Shortening (like Crisco) makes the cookies bumpy. I wish I were Alton Brown and could explain why there’s a difference, but no matter. I’ve tried making them both ways and I prefer the bumpy kind.
I made 4 batches and froze most of them. I needed to have enough to include as desserts in lunches for the rest of this school year (7 days and an hour, but who’s counting?). I’ve also found that frozen chocolate chip cookies help me out in a pinch when I need to bring some dessert to a picnic or party. Last year, I grabbed 3 dozen cookies out of my freezer in the morning of our neighborhood block party, and they thawed out perfectly. When I set them out on the picnic table that afternoon, a couple of high-school-aged boys gathered around and ate every last one of them in 10 minutes flat. I don’t think there’s any better endorsement for a cookie, do you?
Are you a fan of a lumpy, bumpy chocolate chip cookie or do you prefer the flat, bendy kind?