I only slept for two hours last night. Why?
I don't know. Dozed off, woke up, couldn't sleep. Got up. Can't believe I made it through the day. I imagine the sugar helped, along with starting at Starbucks, where they gave me half a cup refill for free.
Love Starbucks at Westchester.
Worked, cooked dinner, then decided it was high time my JMU girl got a box from home. Started in on the cookie baking.
I am a sucker for cookie dough. I probably eat the equivalent of a dozen cookies in dough.
I fight the kids for the dough.
By the time the cookies are done, I'm ready to throw up.
I started putting together the ingredients for the Tollhouse Chocolate Chips and was a bit surprised to realize that I didn't need to look at the recipe on the package. (Which is good, because these days I am having such a hard time seeing small print...curse you, ever-advancing-age-issues!)
"Bake at 375...3/4 brown sugar, 3/4 sugar...2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla...."
I didn't even have to think about it.
And for a moment I was in my mom's kitchen, watching her manipulate ingredients for this same recipe without looking. I remember asking her how she knew.
She just knew.
|Part of the finished product|
These days, it's me that just knows. I know, and they come out nearly perfect every time, unless I put them in the oven and then wander off to color my hair, because I've forgotten that I'm in the middle of baking cookies...but that's another post, isn't it? Anyway, I can make these cookies by heart, just like I can hear one of them cry out and know instantly whether or not it's serious. Like I can take one look at Syd's face and know what kind of day she had.
Like I can sense when we've put off doing the laundry too long. Like I intuitively know that we need milk because I know how much they drink.
Like I can make a killer pot of chicken soup, making it up as I go along. Like I know what biscuit dough feels like when there's enough milk. Like I know each kid by the shape of their foot, even now. Like I know anything I've ever known.
I say none of these things to brag about myself. It's a revelation for me, really, that I have finally arrived.
The night before she left I made homemade chicken strips for Shannon. Rice, beans, a huge pile of chicken. The crowning touch: homemade cream gravy for the rice and the chicken.
I emptied the cast iron fryer, leaving just enough grease. Added the flour. Started in with the milk, alternating with water, a little salt. I made the girls watch, let them whisk until it thickened. Showed them how to pop their finger in for a taste without getting burned. Did it all by feel and intuition; no recipe, just enough of this and a little more of that.
Somewhere along the way, I arrived. I know things.
And I'm ready to pass them down, these things that are intuitive, internal, hard-wired into my soul.