This post comes courtesy of Alison Bickel, blogger at This Homemade Life.
When I sat down to write about what cooking means to me, my first thoughts were of how cooking connects me to those I love. Not just to my own family, but my extended family as well.
I come from a line of women that were gifted in the kitchen — both of my grandmothers, as well as my mom. At their hands, I learned that a stick of butter and cup of sugar turn a beautiful, fluffy yellow under the whirling of the mixer’s beaters. My grandma’s constant shadow in the kitchen, I would listen to her talk about foods my grandpa loved and how she would alter a recipe to his liking or add extra tomatoes to his dinner salad because she knew they were his favorite. Not only was she teaching me what it meant to cook, she was showing me how to care for my family in the simplest of ways.
Pulling out hand-me-down recipes with folded corners, stained from love and time, I put these lessons to use every time I enter the kitchen. Providing for my family, adding my own twists to old recipes, passing on food history to my children by sharing the stories and methods of those that came before us. It is the best kind of inheritance I can think of.
When it comes to beloved family recipes, the first one that comes to mind is my grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. In her family, this is what she was famous for. Each Christmas she would give each of her sons a bucket filled with them. To watch them open the lid, taking in the sweet cookie aroma you would’ve thought they won the lottery. Yes, they were that good.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are not of the soft variety, but thin, chewy and full of chocolate, buttery goodness. Each time I make them, my sons clamor to the kitchen as the smell of baking cookies floats through the house. I know grandma would be proud to see that her legacy lives on.
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups chocolate chips, milk chocolate or semi-sweet
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar, and beat until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Gradually add to wet mixture until well combined. Add in chocolate chips and pecans.
Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Allow to stand 2 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Cool completely. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
About the author: Alison lives in the heart of the midwest where, along with her husband, they raise their three boys. Whether it’s in the garden, the kitchen or tagging along on her boys’ latest adventure she looks for the simple beauty in everyday. On her blog, ‘this homemade life‘, Alison shares tales of mothering, her passion for vegetarian cooking and obsession with farmer’s markets.