Capturing the clover fields of Ireland and cramming them into a cookie (through the magic of food coloring), results in a fantastically unappetizing-looking bakery confection. If this cookie were to grow legs and walk into an airport, all kinds of alarms would sound. Yes, a dozen of these, lined up on a baking sheet, resemble an army of green “sick face” emojis, but I assure you that they taste like the happy, smiling faced emojis. And, this St. Patrick’s Day, I was faced with a choice: Either I could sound the craft alarm and make a craft, or I could bake some vanilla chip cookies and add a harmless “surprise” of green food coloring. I don’t know about you, but the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks household is a bit jumpy with all of the alarms and “live updates” regarding the coronovirus. Here’s how we’re holding up:
–On Wednesday, March 11th, it was announced that groups of 250 people or more could not gather. The neighborhood book club I started was supposed to meet that night, but on a good night, maybe a feisty crowd of 6 women gathers over 6 bottles of wine. We are definitely not 250+, so I walked over to the book club hostess’s house and drank all of her wine. I felt much better, until the school called, and I put the message on speaker phone: Alex’s school will be closed until April 24th—and no, there do not appear to be any lesson plans or assignments online at this point.
–On Friday, March 13th, I was going to help Alex continue with his studies at home. I decided that I would create immersion classes in Spanish, and we’d have fantastic literary discussions. Here’s what really happened: I let Alex sleep in late, and then we watched several hours of Dr. Phil. One episode was about “open marriages” and wow—did we learn a lot.
–On Saturday, March 14th, Nate warned me that people could be vicious at grocery stores, and he decided that I might need some back-up with muscle, so he and Alex were going to come with me. Nate also wanted to get a week’s worth of canned goods, just in case.
Nate: People could be fighting over the last can of soup on the shelves.
Me: Can’t we just grow soup in the backyard?
Nate was too busy getting his car keys to answer me. We flew down deserted streets to get to Freddy’s, which had more cars in the parking lot than usual at 6:45 a.m. The shelves were a little empty, and the stockers looked a bit concerned, but we got almost everything on our list. (Toilet paper was not on the list. The family cat will just have to step up if we run out.) The rest of the things we needed were tucked away at Safeway. We did attempt to go to Costco for a few extra things, but we took one look at the line that snaked around the building and said,
“We’ll grow soup at home.”
–On Sunday, March 15th, I woke up to the headline, “Americans Must be Prepared to Hunker Down.” I realized that my days of carousing in the streets with 5,000 of my closest friends is over. I won’t be taking a swig from a stranger’s green beer and saying, “Hey! It’s okay—we’re family now!” Instead, I remembered that I should try to calm the freak down and maybe whip up a batch of delicious cookies that just look a little suspicious, that’s all. I’ll share them with you all—virtually for now—and through the recipe below. On March 17th, I’ll continue to “hunker down,” but that won’t stop me from throwing open the windows, blasting Drop Kick Murphys songs, and shaking my shamrocks from a safe distance.
Recipe: (Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.)
2 ¼ cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
¼ tsp of salt
1 cup of butter
¾ cup of granulated sugar
¾ cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
A few drops of green food coloring
Vanilla chips (one package)
Method: (Preheat the oven to 375)
–Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
–Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and the egg. (I added the green dye here at this point. I should NOT have done that. It made the batter a grayish brown. Add it after all of the other ingredients are mixed together.)
–Add in the flour mixture, a little bit at a time. Mix well.
–Add in the vanilla chips—and a few drops of green food coloring.
–Drop one-inch rounds of the mixture onto baking sheets.
–Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Wishing you all peace, love, sanity, good health, and at least a smidge of laughter each day.
Your Turn: Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? How are you holding up in your part of the world?