Monday, July 6, 2009

Cookies: Deployed!

After letting last night's batch of granola cookies-turned-granola bread cool, I cut it into large pieces and packed them up in a plastic container. Tucking some apple peel in for freshness, I stuck the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight. This morning, I tucked the Tupperware package inside my backpack and headed off to work.

There, we conducted a baking operation of our own. I work with kids who have behavior issues that prevent them from being in a mainstream classroom. For the summer, we're holding a five-week session of short days to help the students remember how to be students. We're discussing themes like trust, respect, and community -- all ideas that might not cross my kids' minds in their often every-man-for-himself view of the world and living in it. This week, we're talking about following directions. And what better way to practice following directions than baking from a recipe? So we had a double-whammy of baking -- for the first half of the morning we worked on cupcakes, and for the second I headed up the cookie-making efforts.

I selected a simple recipe that has just about nothing nutritionally redeeming about it, but I suppose it's okay to kick back and enjoy some old fashioned butter now and then. And thankfully, the easy chocolate chip cookies recipe that I chose lived up to its name. The kids did a fabulous job of helping out, sharing cheerfully, and, of course, following directions. They even helped wash dishes! My students made mini cookies at first, and then I put a second batch in the oven made of cookies of a more standard size. The cookies smelled and tasted great! The recipe made a lot of dough, though -- I had to freeze at least another cup of it! The Best Husband Ever stepped up by accepted the extra cookies that I dropped off after school wrapped up for the morning.

Following work, I caught up with a good and beautifully pregnant friend over lunch at one of our favorite spots, then biked over to the post office. After all, I still had to mail my package of goodies for Team Oven Loving For the Recovering! I sealed the granola bars-come-bread into a padded envelope, paid the postage, and sent the treats on their way. Hopefully the master chief and wounded soldiers at the destination hospital will find the bread has traveled well and that it tastes like home and healing.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King