When it comes to my jam-packed study schedule, Eli is a Very Supportive Husband. I capitalize, here, as a sign of affection and appreciation. It is thanks to him that our apartment remains hospitable to human life. These days, he washes more than his share of dishes, keeps the garbage and recycling moving from our apartment at a steady clip and, because he knows that - even two rooms over in my office - I work better knowing that our bedroom is tidy, he makes the bed every morning.
But there is one very special thing that he does for me even beyond all this. It's probably his most important contribution to the whole project of exam preparation: He leaves me alone.
When I have to study, Eli doesn't complain. He simply goes rock climbing with my sister, or to a movie with a neighbor, or cycling with a co-worker. In edible terms, he makes like a banana and splits. Eli has no trouble whatsoever keeping himself entertained, and for that, I am grateful. Is it weird that of all of Eli's many winning qualities, it's his self-sufficiency that's making my heart burst of late? "He leaves me alone." Surely this is not the most romantic statement ever uttered by a woman about her man. But still. I love that the one with whom I could happily spend every second of the day is also one who has a full and fabulous life without me. Dare I say, it's kind of a turn-on.
Last Saturday afternoon, I burrowed into my office for a study session. Eli left me to my books and went out to a barbeque at a friend's house. I read, flagged pages, and outlined like mad. When I finally looked at the clock, it was almost 10pm. I had had enough of Imperial Russia for one day. I closed the books, pried myself from my chair, and as the blood returned to my extremities, I suddenly didn't feel like being alone anymore. One moment aloneness had felt powerful and productive. The next, it felt just plain lonely. It's funny how that works.
Eli called to say that he was enjoying the bonfire and would likely be another couple of hours. All of my friends were either out of town or otherwise occupied. I had no choice but to take matters into my own industrious hands. A stick of butter, an egg, and a heaping cup of chocolate chips later, things were looking up. I snatched a couple of still-warm chocolate chip cookies from the cooling rack, poured myself a glass of milk, and called my mom. We discussed all manner of girly things. It's nearly impossible to feel lonely, I find, when you've got milk, cookies, and Mom.
Eli came home shortly after I had polished off my fourth cookie. He smelled like fire. I, presumably, smelled like chocolate.
If ever you are forced to settle for the company of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on a Saturday night, look no further than this recipe. And really now, with a plate of warm cookies on your lap, who's settling?
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Make Fine Company)
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Great Book of Chocolate, via Smitten Kitchen
I like that this recipe is on the smaller side. It produces only about 20-25 cookies, just a couple of tray's worth. The smaller ingredient quantities make prep time a little faster than when you're dealing with one of those monster recipes. Plus, it's nice ending up with a batch that doesn't take up every level surface in your home while cooling.
The original recipe contains 1 cup of toasted, finely chopped walnuts. That sounds good to me, but I left them out this time around.
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips (I use Whole Foods brand, 70%.)
Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the sugars and the butter together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.
Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips (and walnuts, if using.)
Scoop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon into balls, and space them several inches apart on the baking sheets. (The dough will spread in the oven)
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until pale golden brown. The cookies will be pretty soft when you remove them from the oven, but will cool to a pleasant firm-but-still-chewy consistency.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.
Using the rounded 1 tablespoon measure per cookie, makes 26 cookies.
Posted by Jess