i love my dad. to say i'm lucky to be his daughter is insufficient. blessed is more like it, but even that word doesn't seem like quite enough. he is spectacularly hilarious and a terrific joke teller. his humor, inherited from his father, is so irresistible he's able to use it to diffuse the most miserable of situations into absolute hysterics. and his presence makes already happy moments all the more wonderful. he's also completely, startlingly brilliant. watching him seemingly effortlessly reason through an answer to a question, whether it's serious and significant (can democracy really work in all places for all people?), or slightly less so (where should we go for dinner?), is an incredible thing, and i've learned more from him about assessing and analyzing the world around me than i have from the greatest of school teachers and college professors. he's also tremendously accomplished (i'd give you his cv but then you'd feel bad about yourself) and astonishingly generous. the strength and comfort he has provided my family cannot be qualified. he's the embodiment of courage and it is from him that jake and joey and i learned, before we were even old enough to be aware we were learning it, what it means to pursue justice, fight for good, important causes, and choose moral and righteous paths.
so that's my dad. in a nutshell. and every single year i have the same exact problem with him...
what in the world do you get a man like this for his birthday?! how is it even remotely possible to choose a material gift that properly expresses the gratitude i feel for his existence?!
one batter, six ways.
cause sometimes chocolate chips just don't quite cut it.
i have a go-to cookie batter. the same go-to cookie batter i've had since the second grade, when my friend and best sledding buddy peter farrell gave me my very first cookbook as a birthday gift. though i can't for the life of me recall the name of the book, i know the cookie recipe by heart.
ingredients for the cookies:
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/8 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
your choice of chips or nuts. as many or as few as you like.
i used: cinnamon and sugar, semi-sweet, white, and dark chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips.
to make the cookies:
1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. melt the butter and stir in the white and brown sugar while it's still hot, then set it aside to cool a little.
3. mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set it aside, too.
4. add the egg and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and stir it together, then slowly add the flour mixture until it's all incorporated.
5. here's where you'd add chocolate chips or whatever kind of chips you're using. since i wanted to make a number of different kinds of cookies, i divided the batter up and added my chips and mix-ins bit by bit, so in the end i had six kinds of cookies:
triple chocolate chip
cinnamon and sugar
6. roll the dough into whatever size you want (i made tablespoon sized balls) and place them on an ungreased cookie sheets or sheets lined with parchment paper. bake them for 10 minutes.
one more thing. i feel the need to tell you the name of this batter. it's called darrell's "forget-the-cookies-just-give-me-the-batter" chocolate chip cookies. if only...
i don't know who darrell is, but i sure like his cookies.