Day’s Verse:
The whole earth is at rest and is quiet;
They break forth into shouts of joy.

Isaiah 14:7

Red, Black, and ReflectionsToday’s title comes from a word coined by one of the scientists here. As you might guess, English is not her first language.

Last night I decided to make frozen chocolate chip cookie dough balls. This idea has been rolling around in my head for a while, and while talking on the phone with my mother I finally decided to go for it. Unfortunately as I assembled my troops, I realized that our artillery had taken off entirely: No eggs!

Undaunted, I simply decided to use some of the five-pound box of generic cookie mix Ian and I received as a wedding gift. With this shift, I also had to shift paradigms because I could hardly expect three-year-old cookie mix to perform well at all. The benefit of this cookie mix was that it required only the addition of water; other modifications could enhance the experience, but were only optional. I measured my mix and added water… Only to realize the instructions I followed were written for a whole recipe, rather than the half recipe I measured out.

The simple solution would be to add enough mix to bring the recipe up to a whole batch and leave it at that. But my doubts regarding the mix’s efficacy and tastiness made me wary enough not to want to double the volume. Stirring the goopy mixture together, I noticed its consistency reminded me very much of cake batter. At this thought, a light went on and I decided (after some muffin-pan debate) to cook it as a cake rather than as cookies. Freezing definitely wouldn’t work, as it wouldn’t clump anything like cookies (I could have tried cooking it like pancakes, too, since it was about that consistency as well).

Feeling rather suspicious of the mix and its propensity to affix itself semipermanently to the sides of any pan I baked it in, I lined the pan with foil before pouring the batter in. To add a little interest I sprinkled chocolate chips across the top of the pale, smooth top and stuck the whole concoction in to bake at 350° for (eventually) 45 minutes.

At 45 minutes, the top of the cake/cookie hybrid had turned a beautiful golden-brown and I removed it from the oven. I melted more chocolate chips on top, spreading them like frosting, and set the entire thing in the fridge to cool. An hour later it was still warm, but we tired of waiting. Gingerly we each cut a small square and took a forkful.

The first word that came into my mind was probably Interesting. Ian’s neutral face didn’t give away any of his thoughts, but we both agreed that it had turned out much more edible than I expected when I accidentally put double the water into the mix. Somewhat boring, I thought, even with the excessive chocolate slathering, but distinctly edible. A little ice cream or fruit could add interest and transform the rest of the pan into a perfectly viable dessert. Even so, I certainly won’t be adding this particular successful faux pas to my baking repertoir.

Speaking of food, at lunch today I learned the hard way that cornbread kept more than a day after baking should be refrigerated. This lesson came via my extremely disappointed mouth, when I took a bite of what I expected to be delicious, sweet, crumbly, corny cornbread and found myself eating something flavored rather like spoiled milk and vinegar. This is a serious bummer, because if you know me you know how much I adore cornbread; this, combined with the unmet expectation of momentary taste-bud heaven, has left me feeling quite bummed out. Cheese-grease-drips-on-pants kind of bummed.

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