Procrasti-baking

People have many, many different strategies for procrastinating things they don’t want to do. I like to do dishes, fold laundry, make beautiful color-coded to-do lists, sort mail, organize papers and folders…anything that feels productive but isn’t what I really need to do.

I’ve heard of this being called “productive procrastination” before; the process by which you do one thing on your to-do list to avoid another thing on your to-do list. At some level, so long as I’m moving forward it counts as forward! But at another level, things can only get put off for so long before a) they expire and b) they start to stress me out because I know I’m avoiding them. So I try to engage in productive procrastination cautiously.

Of course, there are a lot of other things I do to procrastinate. I read anything, be that fanfiction, regular fiction, or on the rare occasion the news. I have definitely gotten sucked into the Harry Potter Mystery game (which will likely feature in next month’s nerd blog post, so watch out for that!) I have a list of favorite YouTube channels, including Super Carlin Brothers, Peter Hollens, and Malinda Kathleen Reece, The Piano Guys, and CGP Grey that I adore wasting time on.  These things are just straight up procrastination – there’s nothing productive about that!

I would like to quickly point out that there is a very important difference between procrastinating something and taking a break. Procrastination is an avoidance behavior where the ultimate goal is to not do something else. Taking a break is a self-care behavior where the ultimate goal is to rest and refresh. When I watch this video by Malinda Kathleen Reece and her friends singing “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman, I’m purposefully engaging in lifting my mood and taking a break. When I proceed to click on three more videos about that movie without really deciding to, now I’m procrastinating. (Yes, this definitely happened. Tonight.)

But I still haven’t told you about my favorite procrastination behavior, and that is procrasti-baking. Haven’t heard of it? It’s about to be your favorite new thing too!

It sounds like what it is; baking instead of doing whatever to-do list item is at the top. Sometimes when I do this I use one of my go-to-I’ve-had-this-memorized for years recipes, and sometimes I try something brand new and complicated.  It depends a little bit on how much energy I have and how big the thing I’m avoiding is!

The second-best thing about procrasti-baking is that I get a tasty treat at the end. But the very best thing about procrasti-baking is that I currently live by myself, which means I get to share. Generally, if I’m stressed about a school thing, my whole department is stressed about the same school thing; leaving a tray of brownies or cookies in the science office is a beautiful thing for everyone.

Does this make me a super-young department mom? Yep. But then again, I do claim the old-lady part of myself, so I’m totally fine with that!

My favorite go-to recipe is my chocolate chip cookies, which I’ve posted about before.

Your homework: How do you procrastinate? Do you differentiate between procrastination and taking a break?

Hej då,

Jamie

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Workbench of Dreams

 

Ha! Surprise! I bet you thought you were going to read something eloquent from a nice young lady, didn’t you. But instead, you get me, Jonathan. I was going biking this afternoon but I hardly slept last night and when I returned from work it hailed for a while, then rained with heavy thunder, and now it’s sunny? I think I’m done with today.

Today is the fifth Monday of the month, which theoretically means I can write about anything I want to. What I would like to write about is rediscovering old hobbies and the adventure that can be had at home.

I don’t spend many weekends at home. You might say I’m slightly deficient in the “hobbit” portion of Jamie’s three-part personality. I live in Northern Utah, and there’s just too many adventures to be had! I was in Jackson, then Moab, then Boulder. Next weekend is Boulder, then Steamboat, then Fruita, then… You get the picture. I don’t spend many mornings going slow.

But this past weekend I was on call for a production process at work. If they had an issue I had to be ready to drive out to the plant to help figure out a solution which kept me here in town.

It was weird.

I remember waking up Saturday morning and wondering what I was going to do with myself. I slept in, rolled out of bed at 7 AM (I get up for work at 4:50 AM; 7 AM is a luxury) slid into my slippers and strolled downstairs for a leisurely breakfast. It was kinda nice actually. I did some biking, went for a short hike with friends…and still had time.

So on Sunday, I tackled a project I had been waiting for quite some time to complete. I love to work with my hands to build things. I build anything, but electronics are a personal favorite. I have a small, very well built workbench that a friend and I built years ago. (I’m going to be real honest here, it was mostly Jake. Welding is not my forte.) While an awesome workbench, it’s small. I constantly fall off the sides and it feels like there’s not enough room for my tools and whatever I’m working on. I’ve wanted a nice, large bench for a long time now.

My dad, the awesome gent that he is, gave me a circular saw as a housewarming gift and I sensed the perfect opportunity to break it in. I borrowed a friend’s truck, headed to a local lumberyard and bought the materials. You would be amazed how much lumber you can get in the back of a Ford Ranger.

I got back to the house, pulled my car out of the garage and surveyed my neatly stacked lumber. The straight rows of wood were the stuff dreams are made from. Literally. I was a bit nervous to start as I hadn’t done any appreciable amount of woodworking in probably 8 or 9 years. That’s not to say I wasn’t once pretty handy with a skill saw. My dad started me off at a young age and years of shop class in middle and high school and a short stint flipping a house with the elder Melton had given me some skills and a small amount of confidence. But an accident with a table saw that sent another kid to the nurse my junior year somewhat killed my enthusiasm for woodworking and I hadn’t really built anything since. I’m still terrified of table saws.

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A bench a friend and I built for the City of Ketchikan during high school. I’m not this good anymore.

The project before me was a simple one, and I felt pretty confident that I could make it happen. I started out slowly, measuring carefully and cutting pieces for the larger workbench on my small workbench. (Workbench envy?) I gained confidence as I went and started going faster as I remembered the rhythm of the saw in my hands, the sound of a clean cut through the wood, and the satisfying click of the drill clutch when the screw is driven home.

And that’s when I realized I hadn’t been keeping track of the saw curf and some of my cuts were the wrong length. A good reminder to go a bit slower, but by now I was really enjoying myself. The day was calm, warm and sunny. I had the garage door open, and the blaring guitar of Beck’s “Colors” album pulsated between sharp shrieks of the saw. The world was a bit smudgy behind my scratched safety glasses, but I remembered why I once loved to work in wood. The adventure of creation, the process of something starting as an idea, then taking shape before you is hypnotic. I could see the dream of my mind’s eye slowly growing with each new cut and drill.

The day was growing long and slightly chilly as I completed the base, flipped it over and started screwing down the top of my new workbench. Something that was once no more than a figment of my imagination now stood before me so solid I could literally lean on it. It was huge, as long as I am tall and almost half my height wide. I might have overbuilt, but too much workbench is far less of a problem than not enough.

One of the most fun things about building a workbench is that you are building potential. A workbench is a tool the same way a hammer or a drill is. Having a great bench enables other things to come to life in solid form. It’s a factory of dreams. I’m incredibly excited to see what comes out of my new bench.

What’s the moral of this story? I love to go adventure off in the wilderness and the stillness and the high mountain air, but sometimes great adventure can be had within your own home. It was a great weekend and a fun reminder of something that used to mean a lot to me.

It’s a bit of redemption too. After high school, I was so terrified of power tools I tried building things using hand tools for a while, but there’s a reason that Roy Underhill toils alone in his workshop. Power tools rock. It’s always a blast to get back in the saddle and discover the horse didn’t kick as hard as you remembered.

I have a problem now though.

I need more tools.

Your task for this week is to go do something cool with your hands. Put some flowers in a vase, build a robot, plant a tree. Do something that you can stand back, look at and think: “Neat, I did that.”

Until next time,

-Jonathan

Taking Care of

(Photo notes: This was from high school state championships when my parents hosted the Steamboat Springs High School team for a tuning party in our garage. I would absolutely not recommend tuning barefoot; metal filings in your foot aren’t fun!)

Ski racers spend hours and hours and hours and hours taking care of their skis. This is called tuning. We sharpen the edges, but that’s the easy part. The part that takes forever is waxing and brushing. I spent a significant portion of my racing career picking wax, melting it onto my skis, letting it cool, scraping it back off, and brushing my skis until they gleamed.

A lot of people are fairly confused by this whole process. Sharpening the edges is fairly intuitive; the snow is hard and a sharp edge holds better. But waxing and scraping and brushing? The trick is not to compare ski wax to car wax, which protects the paint and should be left on. Ski wax is more like conditioner for your hair. Without wax, ski bases get dry and the material of the base can start to fray and add friction. However, if you never rinsed your hair after you conditioned it, it would get sticky and gloopy and awful. The same is true for skis.

Ski wax is also special because there are different waxes formulated for different temperatures of snow. Cold wax is typically harder because cold snow crystals can strip a soft wax of a ski in a single run. Warm wax is softer and helps repel the water in the snow so the skis aren’t fighting adhesion. Some waxes had fluorocarbons in them, which made the ski really fast but also dried out the base like crazy.

Waxing is the easiest part of the whole process; it involves using an iron to melt the wax onto the ski base and get it all smooth. Then you have to leave the ski to cool. The longer you leave a ski, the more the wax soaks in and the better it is. Once the wax is cool, you can start to scrape it off. Scraping removes the visible wax. The better job you do scraping, the easier brushing is.

Brushing is the long process. When I traveled, I had three brushes; a brass brush, a horsehair brush, and a soft nylon brush. The brass pulled the most wax out of the ski, the horsehair pulled out a little more, and the nylon brush polished it. When I was in high school, I had a callous on my palm from how I held the brush. Done properly, brushing can take up to an hour for both skis.

I certainly had my moments of getting annoyed with brushing, especially on nights mid-series. It was hard to race all day, get off the hill and stretch, get dinner, do homework, and still be motivated to brush. Plus there’s all the other gear to take care off; wet mittens and bandanas to lay out to dry, boot liners to pull out of the shells…the list goes on. There were definitely days all these things didn’t happen.

But in general, I loved brushing and taking care of all my gear. It made me feel like the real deal. It made me feel capable. It made me feel like I was doing the right thing. And dry boots and mittens are a beautiful thing!

I don’t ski race anymore, but I still have plenty of gear to take care of. There are hiking boots to be rinsed off, a lot of the same gear for free skiing, bike chains to lube, and swimsuits to hang up to dry. I love taking care of my stuff. It serves me longer that way, but it also just feels good to do it.

This doesn’t stop with sports stuff though. I love washing dishes and wiping down counters and I’ve even gotten to the point where I appreciate sweeping the kitchen floor. I love the warm water and the smell of the soap, and I love seeing the kitchen all clean. But this is another form of taking care of my stuff. Is it easier to wash dishes right after I’ve used them and before everything has dried on to them? Absolutely. But that doesn’t change the fact that I truly enjoy cleaning my kitchen.

Again, I will put in the caveat that this is mostly true. My dirty dinner dishes are currently sitting in the sink waiting for me.

Laundry falls into this category too, as does putting things away. It’s really satisfying to have a place for everything and to have a neat space. The other thing that falls into this category, for me, is getting ready for the next day. This semester, one of my goals has been to have more relaxed mornings. To this end, I’ve been packing my lunch the night before, which generally involves spooning left-overs into a smaller container. I’ve also started packing my gym bag the night before. (I would like to point out that my gym bag is a fabric bag printed with the spines of the seven Harry Potter books. Mom got it for me for Christmas and I LOVE IT.) This is doubly-great; not only do I not have to scramble to do it in the morning, but I don’t forget socks anymore! (There was also one memorable time I forgot a shirt. I went swimming that day.)

There was a side-benefit to this that I didn’t anticipate. I stop working on school stuff at 8 pm in order to start doing dishes, packing lunch, packing my gym bag, and picking up anything that wandered out. (Seeing that I spend about four conscious hours in my house, I don’t know how this happens. But it does. Every single day. I blame mail.) This means that I’m not thinking about school and being stressed for the hour before I go to bed. And it means that I’m not sitting and staring at a screen, which I appreciate. I like the gentle movement of walking around my house and the calm that I get from putting my life physically in order.

I tried this out one other place in my life; I start my teaching day by getting my classroom totally ready for the day. The first thing I do is put my lunch in the fridge and turn on the heater in the office. Then I take care of writing the objective, agenda, and warm up on the whiteboard. After the whiteboard, I take a moment to sort papers and make tea. Only at this point do I take out my laptop. I love it because I start with something that’s guaranteed to be productive before I deal with not getting sucked into any of the distractions that come with the internet.

Just like brushing my skis, taking care of my things and my spaces make me feel good about being in them and with them. It makes me feel capable and productive and like I’m doing a good job with this whole adulting thing. Sometimes, at least!

Your homework: What do you enjoy taking care of? Why?

Hej dá,

Jamie

Yarn Stash

Anyone who does crafts knows that there must be, and always is, a craft stash. It’s where the magic happens. It contains the supplies for that one project you haven’t started yet, the odds and ends from the last six projects that can get twisted together, and everything in between. It’s inspiration and a blank canvas and proof of old accomplishments.

It’s also usually completely and utterly chaotic. And it usually drives everyone, including and especially the crafter, completely nuts.

As a knitter, my craft stash is a yarn stash. And for quite a long time, I did a pretty good job keeping my yarn stash to a minimum. I bought the yarn I needed for a project, wound up the extra yarn, and I even did one project for Hannah’s wedding that used up some that extra yarn.

Then Facebook figured out I liked knitting; it started advertising yarn sales. And I have a lovely heathered purple that will make a gorgeous lace baby blanket…when I get around to it.

Then Granny and I toured yarn and quilting shops; Showers of Flowers was having a major clearout of a brand that had changed its packaging. And I have a soft yellow that will be a star-and-moon baby blanket…and a beautiful purple and blue variegated yarn that will be perfect for my favorite garter stick baby blanket…and a rich warm variegated brown yarn that might end up as an extra-wide scarf and fingerless mittens…when I get around to it.

Then I moved into Marilyn’s house, and Ellen lives downstairs. Ellen knits. Ellen knits a lot. Ellen taught me to make socks, and a new casting-on method, and the Kitchener stitch. And Ellen started to give me yarn.

At first, it was a bright variegated yarn for baby mittens that was white and pink and green and yellow and purple. Then it was a heathered grey to practice socks with. Then she started to clean out her yarn stash, and two giants paper grocery-bags full ended up on my bed.

Last week, it was TWO GARBAGE BAGS FULL. Ellen is really going to town cleaning things out! Some of it is just odds and ends. I’ll make a lot of smaller projects like mittens and muffs and hats. (I’ve never made a hat before.) There’s also a luxurious maroon mohair, enough to do something really cool with. And there are types of yarns I’ve never used before! There are wool and cotton and some bamboo and of course acrylic blends. There’s sock yarn and worsted yarn and chunky yarn and some kind of yarn that sends fuzzies off every which way. There’s yarn in every color imaginable!

Of course, this incredibly generous contribution to my yarn stash happened right before I get ready to move. But that’s the universe, isn’t it? It loves to laugh.

I meant it when I said Ellen was incredibly generous. I can’t even begin to calculate the worth of the yarn she gave me, and that’s not why she did it. She’s delighted to have someone use it and create something with it. Knitting is an art form, one that was passed on to me by Granny and Mom. And now, also by Ellen.

I have a lot of winding and sorting and storing to do with my yarn, but really what will be happening is a lot of daydreaming about what to make next. At the moment, I have to finish the project I have on needles (it’s a secret!) and then a couple of baby blankets for dear friends will be in the works. But once I get those done…let the creating begin!

Your homework: What do you stash? Why? Is it a source of inspiration or a source of chaos or both?

Hej då,

Jamie

Spring Break!

Weeeeeeeee did it!

I can say with certainty that my students and I were very, very ready to not be in school for a little bit. I know I was flagging! My piles of grading stared at me, I stared at them, and not a lot got graded. Take that idea and apply it to the rest of everything school-related, and that’s about how it was going. To quote the lovely Anne Shirley of Green Gables (and yes, I’m rereading them all again this spring!):

Studies palled just a wee bit then; [the students] looked wistfully out of the windows and discovered that Latin verbs and French exercises had somehow lost the tang and zest they had possessed in the crisp winter months. Even Anne and Gilbert lagged and grew indifferent. Teacher and taught were alike glad when the term was ended and the glad vacation days stretched rosily before them.

And now I’m on spring break! It’s not quite the end of the term yet, so I gave every student a very serious injunction to SLEEP over break, and to do something fun. We won’t have another day when we get back – we go straight through all the way to graduation. I wanted my students to come back refreshed and ready for the last six weeks of content.

And as for me? I’ll be refreshed too. I’m spending my break in Utah with Jonathan, going back and forth between playing, catching up on aforementioned stacks of grading, and acting like an adult.

I’ll start with the adult bit; Jonathan and I have a HOUSE. In the four days I’ve been here we’ve made two trips to Lowe’s and one to Home Depot and we’ll go back again tomorrow I’m sure. We’ve been spackling walls and painting and scrubbing and replacing handles and putting up blinds. I really like painting! And I’m good at scrubbing, which is incredibly satisfying. Of course, we’ve done a tiny fraction of the things that could be done or the things I want to do, but I really am finding myself to be very excited to work on all these projects.

I’ve also been playing a lot too. I’ve been skiing at Snowbasin, the site of the Olympic downhills in 2002. Both times it was snowing, which made it feel a little more like winter. The slush at the bottom, however, paired with all the green grass, made it feel a whole lot more like spring. Either way, it was lots of fun to explore a new hill, whether I was skiing by feel through fog or sailing through heavy crusty powder behind a gate or tooling around on the groomers.

And on Saturday, Jonathan surprised me by taking me to Salt Lake for dinner and a show. He took me to see Audra McDonald, backed by the Utah Symphony, sing her way through the history of American musical theater. It was so much fun! Audra played the wardrobe in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, as well as having played in multiple shows on Broadway. It was really different than anything we normally do, but it was great fun.

So now it’s Monday, and I am finally tackling the grading from…pretty much the entire month of March. Sorry to all my lovely wonderful students – I know feedback is better immediately! I’m excited to say that I’m finally out from underneath several major projects. My licensure application for my Utah teaching license is in the mail and my job applications are nearly finished (for the moment, of course). I successfully TD’d all of my three races, and once this stack of grading is taken care of I’ll be on the path to just finish teaching the year strong. I have to say, it’s a really exciting prospect.

In a little bit. There’s still a lot of spring break left to enjoy!

Your homework: How do you refresh?

Hej då,

Jamie

Bedtime

There is a running joke in my classroom about my bedtime. I won’t respond to emails or questions after 8:30, and I’m asleep by nine. Well, this is my goal, at any rate.

I have always been a child that needed a lot of sleep. When I was an infant, I scared Mom because I didn’t wake up as often as she was told I should in order to feed. When I five, Mom had to put me in morning kindergarten because I still took afternoon naps. Throughout middle school and high school, I slept through almost anything my ski team threw at me. Music, lights, van rides through blizzards, you name it; I slept through it.

I’ve attempted all-nighters three times. The first two were for prom. My junior year I made it until 7 am when I promptly went to bed and slept until 2 that afternoon. My senior year I fell asleep in the corner at 2 am, much to the derision of my friends. The third was a night my sophomore year in college including two papers, a calculus exam, and a presentation being due on the same day and a lot of procrastination on my part.

I do have memories of my sophomore year of high school when I had about a week straight in February of six-hour nights. I felt fine for a week – maybe I didn’t need all that sleep after all! Then the week after hit me like a train. I’ve tried throughout my college career (and while teaching) to run on six hours a night; I just can’t do it. I end up cranky and thinking slowly and eating way too much chocolate.

College was, of course, the first time I didn’t have Mom and Dad telling me to go to bed at a certain time. And because of that, my bedtime fluctuated wildly. As I grew older, I got more and more protective of my bedtime. But there were still plenty of things that could derail me; talking with people I loved, a really good book, laundry, that last stack of grading…they all served to keep me up past my bedtime, and frequently still do.

But, my friends, let me announce that I have had a success in the war on bedtimes. This weekend I was in Philadelphia at the Knowles Teaching Institute spring meeting. Now, normally, this means my bedtime is 100% ruined. I only get to see these people three times a year normally, and they’re AMAZING. Nerdy, thoughtful, wonderfully amazing. Some of them speak skiing with me, some of them speak poetry and/or music, and I always learn an incredible amount simply from being around them. Knowles meetings generally follow a pattern of working really hard all day and staying up way late talking at night.

But this time I tried something a little different. On Friday night, I set myself a bedtime of 11 pm (given the 7 am wake up and the fact that I was in the Eastern, this worked). Until that 11 pm time, I sat on a bed with six other Knowles people, drank wine out of a paper cup, and giggled as we swapped stories about our lives. I felt like I belonged, like I had participated, and like I’d still taken care of myself.

Halfway through the day on Saturday, I started getting my tell-tale signs of a cold. It got painful to swallow, my ears hurt, and I was freezing! A lot of the fellows decided they were going go to out to a pub after we got back from dinner, and I hung around in the lobby with them until they all had left. Then I put myself to bed at 9 pm, a glorious 9.5 hours before I had to be up.

Despite missing the last bit of our time together, I still felt like I belonged and like I had participated. People asked me if I wanted to come, and when I explained I was feeling the beginning of a cold, everyone was super understanding. They really appreciated the fact that I was taking care of myself, and that in other circumstances I would have wanted to go. I balanced taking care of myself with hanging out in the lobby of the hotel while the people were still there and saying goodbye to everyone. I still practiced my desire to be a part of the community, even though I didn’t go out with them.

And boy did it feel good to sleep. I am speaking as a biologist, as a teacher, and from personal experience: SLEEP IS THE NUMBER 1 WAY TO GET BETTER IF YOU’RE SICK. Water helps a lot too. But SLEEP. SLEEP A LOT. DON’T GO TO SCHOOL (or work).

At prior Knowles meetings, I would put pressure on myself to stay up late and be social, though this is not my normal mode of operation, in order to fit in. I still do push myself to be more social than normal; it is a unique weekend and it’s ok for me to do something different. But I also know that my Knowles people completely understand when I need a quiet moment or to go to bed early, and they love me anyway.

Your homework: How important is your bedtime to you? How do you protect your bedtime?

Hej då,

Jamie

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Winter Carnival

Last weekend I got to go home to Steamboat for a day during our Winter Carnival. It was a crazy short trip – I got up on Friday and went to Vail on Saturday afternoon to TD a race – but it was worth it. It’s always worth it to go home! Jeff brought up tons of friends, Jonathan came from Utah, and Mom cooked a mountain of food.

Winter Carnival, for those who don’t know, is a winter-skiing-ranching-fireworks extravaganza. High school students get out of school to build snow sculptures, and little kids race the Soda Pop Slalom (my very first ski race). We pave Main Street with snow and have street events like skijoring and skiing off jumps while being pulled by a horse. Sunday morning we have a parade where everything is on skis, horse, or treads (like snowmobiles). But Saturday night is the best. Saturday night is the night show.

My first experience with the night show was when I was five. My coaches told Mom and Dad to dress me in something that was old and not super flammable, so I wore my dad’s old wakeboarding sweatshirt that fell nearly to my knees. I rode the poma up to the top of Howelson in the dark, and then skied down with my teammates and a road flare in each hand. We skied down in a figure-eight criss-cross pattern. Dangerous? Probably. Awesome? Absolutely.

These days they tape glowsticks to the little kids, which is not quite as hardcore, but definitely safer. The big kids still get road flares though and carry them down the outrun of the 90-meter jump and off the 60-meter jump through a flaming hoop. We have the lighted man – a guy in a suit wired with LEDs and a backpack full of Roman candles. And we have a guy who builds fireworks that require FAA clearance because they get launched two miles high. And fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks!

This year was Steamboats 105th Winter Carnival, and it was a huge part of my growing up. I was a Winter Carnival Princess when I was five, and a Royal Attendant when I was sixteen. I love taking friends home and showing off Steamboat’s particular brand of madness! And this year was no different.

As cool as Winter Carnival is, just going home is better. This year I surprised Mom; I just showed up about three hours before my brother without giving her any notice at all. And without fail, when I walked through the door I smelled chocolate chip cookies. Mom’s are special; even though we use the same recipe (in Granny’s handwriting, which is the best!), Mom’s are better than mine. They’re the right amount of fluffy and chewy and all-around delicious. It was the first recipe I memorized (although I vividly remember eating so much cookie dough that the recipe for 52 cookies only made 25) and one I still make all the time. So I thought I’d share it with you!

You need:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (Seriously, let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. It makes your life way easier.)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • half a bag (or slightly more) of chocolate chips

What you do:

  1. Cream the sugar and butter together until smooth. Mix in the eggs.
  2. Add the 1 tsp of everything and mix.
  3. I like to add the flour next; Mom likes to add the chocolate chips next. I think adding the chocolate chips first makes it harder to stir, but that might be a holdover from making these when I was really little.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. Spoon the dough onto trays. I make rows of three, two, three, two, three (13 total) on one tray.
  6. Put two trays in the oven at a time. Bake for six minutes, switch them, and bake for 4-6 minutes more. If you have a single tray (Mom magically gets to a fifth tray) bake it for ten minutes.
  7. Immediately pull the cookies off the tray and let them cool on a tea towel.

To me, chocolate chip cookies mean home. Mom makes them to celebrate things and whenever anyone comes home. She makes them in the summer and the winter and just because. One summer she made extra batches and froze them, thinking we wouldn’t find them in the basement freezer. She was wrong. We ate them all!

The best part about chocolate chip cookies is sharing them. So your homework is about that! Find or make your favorite chocolate chip cookies and share them with someone this week.

Hej då,

Jamie