Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Peewee In The Hallowed Culinary Halls

I finally crossed another milestone yesterday when I made an attempt at baking Janie's cookies. It was something I needed to do. Now, for some reading this, there is apathy: so what? Chris made cookies. Big deal. But from others, from those in the know, who have entered into the world of heaven-on-earth rapture that delights the sweet tooth like nothing else on the planet, there is an audible gasp. Chris attempted Janie's chocolate chip cookie recipe? It's too soon...he's just a novice...he's not ready! He's not worthy!

Well, that may be true, but nevertheless, I went in full bore. Let's do this! And I thought to myself, "I know myriads have tried and failed to make them like she did, but it will be different for me." Not only do I have the recipe card - not a copy, mind you, but the original stained and cracked recipe card with her own handwriting on it - but I also
have the overwhelming advantage of owning the actual tools that she worked her magic with: the same Kitchenaid stand mixer - the very one - the same bowls, the same spatulas, the same cookie sheets, and, and this is of critical importance, the very same oven that she baked hers in. Set to 375 degrees, bake six minutes, then switch the racks and another six minutes. Got it. I've seen her do it a million times. Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

My mouth was watering as they I fondly remembered the ever-so-slightly-crispy-edges-yet-so-soft-almost-gooey-texture-of-the-middle. And the chips that just dissolved in a pool of chocolatey goodness on the tongue. Pure bliss.


So how did mine measure up? Well, don't get me wrong, they came out ok, but they just, well, they just weren't the same. They were puffy and they didn't even have the same taste. *Slightly dejected sigh*

Now - and I swear I am telling the truth - I really was trying to make them come out exactly like hers and did not purposely sabotage them. But I realized after mine were done that in the back-behind recesses of my mind, I may have been secretly hoping that, along with the rest, I too would fail to make them I think I didn't want anyone, not even me, to be able to match hers. It should remain something special. Something that's hers.

We still ate my version of the cookies, lacking in deliciousness as they were. And as I chewed, I realized that I had never been so delighted to fail at something. Because though her recipe may be shared around and attempted by so many, the actual yield remains unrivaled. Something that is only Janie's. Sacred. And, just like everything else about her, irreplaceable.


  1. Hi Chris, Loved her, enjoy your blog, probably would have liked your cookies. (Wish I could figure out how to switch out my stupid picture though!)

  2. I know I would have liked them, too. :)

    And I totally understand what you're saying. too.

    And good for you for trying.

    I love it - "Sacred". You are funny, I agree, Becca.

  3. Hi Chris - I seriously laughed out loud when I read this!! This is my first blog response, but the cookies, I couldn't resist a comment! Love you- The Keegans

  4. Ah, so you turn up for the food eh, Vickie? Just like church suppers! hahaha!!

    Just kidding........

    Welcome aboard and you might be interested to know that this was the most clicked-on post in the last month! Maybe I should become a food blogger instead! If only I could cook haha.

    I know you have eaten many of Janie's cookies and of course have so many recipes up your sleeve...I'd be intimidated to have a professional like yourself sample mine...they really are nowhere near Janie's.....I tried her ginger oatmeal cookies....even with the 10x sugar glaze on top....again, ok but not Janie's.

    Anyway thanks for commenting and say hi to the fam..........