Growing up I spent the summers between school terms visiting my sisters in Utah, or Mississippi, or Tennessee, creating some of my fondest memories. One summer I remember, I broke my sister Tina’s glass blender. They lived in a small remote town named Magee, in Mississippi about 45 minutes outside of Jackson, on one acre of land. Typically they hired a company to come with riding lawn mowers to cut the grass periodically, but the week I (let me make sure to mention – accidentally) broke the glass blender I received the pleasure of mowing the grass, by hand, with a push mower. Let me also make sure to mention again that this is Mississippi, deep, hot south, land of the fire ants. I had completed the front yard, stepped in 3 ant hills, my feet were swollen from ant bites; I walked inside and fell to the ground, “I can’t do it,” I sighed and cried and lamented. I distinctly remember my sister’s response, “You know, when I was your age I never let anyone or anything tell me I couldn’t do something! I could do anything.” I changed out of my flip flops and finished the back of the yard.
Okay, maybe this memory isn’t as fond as others.
More importantly that same summer, Tina’s kids and I were crazy about this one particular sesame street video. It was the 50th Anniversary video, and we watched it non stop day after day after day. I still love it! When a local Toys R Us store was going out of business a few years back, it was the first item in my shopping cart!
One of the classic songs on the video is: I’m an Aardvark!
I’m an aardvark, and I’m proud!
I’m an aardvark, and I’m happy!
I’m an aardvark,
If I try to be specific
And a little scientific,
I am feeling quite terrific!
I’m an aardvark, fierce and free!
I’m an aardvark, standing bravely!
I’m an aardvark,
And I’m tough and smart and strong
And always right,
And that’s the way I’ll always be …
Until I meet another aardvark
Who’s bigger than me!
Every time I hear this song, I think of chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know, I can’t explain it.
Chocolate chip cookies are just simply delicious. They are quick and easy, and never disappoint.
Cookie: Chocolate Chip
3/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
Mix until smooth and creamy – and continue to beat until mixture turns nearly white
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat again until mixture turns white
3 cups flour (more or less depending on your altitude)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (2-3 shakes of the salt shaker will do)
Chocolate chips (I prefer handfuls of mini semisweet combined with handfuls of milk chocolate – or shavings of a brick of chocolate)
Fold into mixture
Scoop 4oz or more of dough onto a buttered cookie sheet, spread dough equally apart, and bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes. Wait 30 seconds, and transfer to cool on a paper towel (the paper towel will absorb any oil/butter from your pan).
I made these cookies primarily for a little friend of mine, Madyson, who is sick! But I made a second batch to bribe my primary class, which unfortunately didn’t work as well as I had hoped. The 4oz cookies are perfect for parents or primary teachers, because they are the perfect size for little ones. Plus – you can feel better about giving them several, because while the kids think they are getting tons of cookies, you know they are truly only getting the equivalent of 1 or 2.