Saturday, Gia and I were inspired to get in the kitchen and cook up some goodness together. After running all the errands that I needed to do for the coming week, I was super tired and my list of baking goodies had become shorter and shorter. We intended to try out three different recipes of sweet treats but the list of three became only one. So we threw ourselves into baking the quintessentially Black and White cookie that Seinfeld, himself, talks about in one of his episodes.
After the cookies were done-I realized that I over mixed my batter, and instead of having cake like domed shaped cookies, instead I had some tasty, but chewy, oblong shaped hockey pucks. The whole process got me to thinking…
In life, we take the good with the bad. We say when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade. We say, “Roll with the punches.” Gia and I went through the whole process of baking, (which we really enjoy) with the expectation that we would have yummy treats to share afterwards. She cleaned the kitchen before we even started, putting lots of little things that were laying around back in their rightful places before we began preheating, measuring, cleaning up after ourselves, and then arranging cookies all in a row on our cookie sheets.
I miscalculated. I made the mistake of using the little hand held mixer instead of my Kitchen Aide mixer. I was tired and didn’t want to go through the hassle of bringing out my big mixer which is 110V so instead I grabbed the 220V small handmixer because it was easier. The batch was quite large, calling for 4+ cups of flour and I should’ve gone over the recipe beforehand but I was just too tired to go through the hassel. My heart wasn’t exactly into what I was doing because I was already tired from the days activities, I underestimated the amount of dough and I over mixed it because of my cutting corners.
We laughed about the failed cookies while they were baking though, because being in the kitchen is a happy place for us, with music playing, and Gelli crawling around-exploring the cabinets she is encouraged to explore. I knew that the cookies would be a tough sell because I could see how glutinous the dough was when I was scooping it out onto the prepared cookie sheets.
As we were laughing and icing the failed cookies, Gia said (with a mischievous smile) that she was icing the egg shaped cookies like they were in fact, eggs, accentuating the fact that they weren’t round at all. Giggling, we nibbled on the mistakes that I wouldn’t dare serve any guest who might be invited for tea and cookies, but these cookies were perfectly fine for us to snack on while I was preparing dinner.
Later that night, our kitchen mishap got me to thinking. My daughter and I were laughing about our mistake in the kitchen. It still gave me a giggle that she pointed out the flawed cookies even more by icing them in a way which would distinguish them even further from their NY counterpart. Big round Black and White Cookies grace baskets and counters in many of the delis and bodegas scattered all through out the 5 boroughs. They are not considered gourmet by any means, but for many New Yorkers, they are a reminder of home.
As I reflected on our cookie misstep, I thought about this book I’ve been meaning to read.
It’s called The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz.
A friend told me about this book many years ago. I remember we were talking about some of the problems in our lives and he said that it helped him tremendously. It’s a shame I’m only remembering it now, but better late than never, right Don?
My cookie fail can easily be explained by the fact that I was quite tired and not being mindful. I was too lazy to bring out the proper equipment to mix the dough. The fourth agreement Ruiz writes about it is how we should always do our best. He goes on to say, “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.” Because I was tired, I didn’t do my best. Because I didn’t do my best, I was left with a cookie that was subpar by my standards…a cookie that I couldn’t share. What’s the point of baking cookies if you can’t share them?
So, on Saturday, I was reminded that even when I’m not feeling my best, I should still try to do my best, otherwise, I will regret wasting ingredients on a cookie that would crumble. (or in this case can double as a hockey puck)
I will work on the recipe for this cookie-I’m adjusting three different recipes to see if I can come up with a better “mix.” Once Gia and I have a successful batch, I will share it here on the blog.