Well, summer seems to finally have arrived… and with that comes warm sunny days, lots of time to relax, and of course, no stress at all. Yeah right! We hope for the warm sunny days, especially on the weekends, please! But time to relax? No stress? Come on, who are we kidding?
The events of the last several months, more than ever before, have given us
cause for stress. I don’t know about you, but “comfort food” has taken on more than a new meaning, it seems to be a way of life! These days, there is so little of society that we can control, we need to latch on to the little things and run with them!
While it can be said that current events have taken so much away from us, I am trying to focus on what we have been given, instead. In a life of over booked, must do, gotta hurry schedules, most of us have been forced to slow down. I will admit, I have really struggled with this! I am not used to having blank days on my calendar, especially during the late spring and summer months. My usual routine is to be crazy busy when most people are enjoying themselves… I’m not sure of what to do with myself on a summer day off! Luckily, I have been able to open my eyes to opportunities…
I have taken the opportunity to actually cook dinners and sit down to “normal” meals at home. Until recently, we couldn’t even go out, so, because of that, I have been cooking a lot more at home (you know me, having spent the day cooking at work, I don’t generally enjoy coming home and cooking). These days, I am enjoying cooking at home, although I still struggle to cook for just the two of us, rather than the huge numbers I am accustomed to! If we practice social distancing, we may be able to invite friends over!
I have taken the opportunity to actually read books, not just flip through the cooking magazines that I enjoy, but read actual novels! That being said, however, I am taking extra time to go back through many of those cooking magazines and trying the recipes I flagged when I flipped through them the first time. Usually, I see a recipe and think someday I will try it…well that someday has actually arrived, so I am making the most out of it.
I have REALLY enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with my precious new granddaughter. Blake was born “mid-pandemic” so I couldn’t hold her right away, but I am doing my best to make up for those first few weeks we missed. What a blessing that little girl has been to my life! And, thanks to the current events and their effect on my schedule, I have the extra time to enjoy with her. Heaven knows, I usually don’t have free weekends at this time of the year, but now many days on my calendar have the name Blake on them, rather than just work obligations.
Well, friends, as you can see, I have been trying to keep myself sane by putting a positive spin on these otherwise miserable few months. I am fully aware of the struggles we all are facing. Small businesses especially, have been punched in the gut by the events last couple of months, and there isn’t a quick solution for turn around, but look for opportunities! As my mom always tells me, think happy thoughts. Rather than dwelling on the difficult, unhappy times, make a concerted effort to focus on what you can control and what will put a smile on your face (behind your mask, of course)! And if all else fails, bake cookies! Not much else will put a smile on your face like the hug of a grandchild or a warm chocolate chip cookie and steaming cup of coffee!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 C softened butter
½ C sugar
½ C brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
2 C chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together, then add to wet. Stir in chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes. Do not overbake!
Store in an airtight container.
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.