Tuesday, 18 October 2016

nose hill park + mama's chocolate chip cookies


18 / 10 / 2016

Just behind our house, through a tunnel, is Nose Hill Park. It's proximity is the reason we bought our house, or rather why Patt bought our house (I was on a road trip with my mum in Nova Scotia when he found it- he asked me what I thought, and in what was probably my most easy-going moment ever I told him I trusted his judgement. I'm so glad I did!) We visit the park on a near daily basis, and consider it to be an extended part of our yard, so when plans fell through this morning we decided to jump into our winter clothes and go for a walk in the fog, because we all always feel good when we get out there, and because I've had a lot on my mind recently about hopes and dreams and goals I have four our family.


Since we got married Patt and I have been talking a lot about things we want to work on together, big and small, over the next few years so we can really live intentionally. We've been talking a lot about getting to the point where his work is in town, and where I am working making folkware and engaging more with others. We talk about being more connected to our community in a positive way, and volunteering as a family, about dreams we have for our home, for our daughters and for ourselves as a couple. It can be a really vulnerable thing to open up to even the person you are closest to and tell them what you hope for. Sometimes there were moments that I would worry if opening up about the big dreams I have might be dismissed as being to 'pie in the sky,' but they weren't. If anything Patt has been really encouraging, and its confidence boosting to have him believe in me, and it does make me feel closer to him.

Juliette is so curious about everything outdoors. She notices the coolest things, like the shape of leaves, or the way the snow has landed on branches. I love that she can be so free to meander, its amazing to see her explore.

So much of what I want for our children is to feel confident to explore, to forage paths for their selves, and to know that they are fully loved and supported in their journeys. 

Before making our way back home, we found a good little log to sit on and eat the chocolate chip cookies we brought for ourselves (Juliette's suggestion, fully supported by me!) The girls are really getting to the point of interacting with each other separate from me, which makes me completely sentimental. Despite Louise not talking yet, she is so communicative. She made up a sign for "more food" a couple of months ago by waving her right hand. There was a lot of waving going on when the bit of cookie I gave to her was eaten up! Its such a beautiful thing for a parent to see their children sharing.


Look at Louise's face, she's so proud to be out here with us. I normally sway towards more neutral clothing, but I kind of love how cheery their snowsuits are against the snowy background.




Mama's Chocolate Chip Cookies


Growing up, every time we visited my grandmother Mama, there would be a fresh batch of soft and crispy chocolate chip cookies waiting for us. When I was 16 years old she showed me how to make them with her own arthritic hands. There are two tricks that are critical to this recipe: 1) Make them by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon; and 2) slide the cookies on the entire sheet of parchment from the baking pan onto your countertop to let cool. 

Yields 4 dozen* 

Ingredients:
1 cup organic butter
1 cup packed golden sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 free range eggs
1 tbsp pure organic vanilla
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground kosher salt
1.5 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF.`

In a large bowl, use a sturdy wooden spoon to blend butter and sugars together. Once blended, mix in eggs and vanilla until fully combined. 

In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt together. Slowly blend dry mixture with the wet mixture, then add in chocolate chips. 

Spoon cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, bake for 8 minutes. Slide the parchment paper and cookies onto a countertop until cooled.

* I usually bake only half this recipe, and roll the other half into tubes onto two of the sheets of parchment paper I used for baking and freeze. When company comes over unroll the parchment paper, slice up the tubes of frozen cookie dough into 1/3inch pieces and cook at 350ºF for approximately 10 minutes.

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