I've actually been trying to write this post for over three weeks, but haven't had the words. I've also not had the time, but I think if I had the words, I would have made the time. But finally, tonight, I've given myself the time and space to try and put down in words some thoughts that have been rattling around in my head, with no words to describe them.
I'm not a good-enough word smith to put together eloquently the feelings that need to be represented, words to describe what it is like to experience the death of a childhood friend. There is this profound emptiness that comes over the once full memories of childhood and a change in the color of those memories. What were steady, consistent, innocent memories suddenly change and become different, more faded and less bright. My friends and I lost a bit of our childhood in the death of our friend - not that the memories changed, but the innocent feelings about those memories are less so.
A few of us have been sharing childhood pictures of us, some Halloween, some church retreats, and seeing her present in those photographs pinches my heart because even though she is still in the photographs and our memory, she isn't here on earth. It's almost like the pictures lie to me - that she existed, but no longer so. Wrestling with that, with her absence on this planet, is not something that I ever imagined doing. She left, too quick, too soon, before I was ready. I do have my reassurance that she is with our Heavenly Creator and Father and that finally her body is at peace. We will meet again in heaven, and for that knowledge, I am grateful.
My friend loved cookies. She loved chocolate chip cookies. And I've made this particular permutation of cookie 11 times since her passing. It was my own way to grieve I guess, a way for me to feel closer to someone who has gone, a way for me to feel better, to taste sweet innocence again, to share cookies with those whom I love. Maybe it's my desire to master something of my childhood, to slip back into the past memories, but whatever the reason, I made them each time thinking of my friend. They are rich, sweet, crumbly, the stuff of childhood.
JHP - When I get to heaven, make sure you pretend to like these cookies.
Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 4 dozen
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) room temperature butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Position rack into center of oven. Preheat oven to 375
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat butter until fairly smooth. Add both sugars and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes until mixture is light and creamy. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add egg beating and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Mix in chocolate.
The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 weeks. Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers. (Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)
Using about 2 level tablespoons per cookie, shape dough into balls. Arrange cookies on pan, and using the pal of your hand, slightly smoosh them down so they will spread. Bake for 12 minutes or until tops are firm and the edges golden brown.
Serve warm. Or cold. Or with a cold glass of milk.