The Redemption Batch

Here’s the story with these cookies:

I bake once a year during the holiday season. I don’t know if I’m overcome with some holiday spirit joy magic or what, but the need to make sugary goodness for others becomes real. I wanted to make cookies for my friends and family but I didn’t want to put in a bunch of work that I didn’t have time for. So I went to the store and purchased some chocolate chip cookie premix thinking that I’d save myself time and energy AND I’d get delicious cookies out of it. WRONG. I burned them. They were terrible. It was an embarrassing moment for all involved. I was so frustrated with the gross batch of pre-mixed cookie garbage I created that I had to redeem myself by making homemade cookies to prove to the world that I could, in fact, be a good baker.

So when I went home over the holidays, I found the old family cookbook that’s been in my kitchen cabinet since before dinosaurs roamed the earth and looked up the recipe that would save my reputation. In faded ink it read:

cookie

1 ½ cups softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3 1/3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy
  2. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well
  3. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into creamed mixture
  4. Stir in chips
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan

 

A bit of knowledge about this recipe should you try it:

You’re going to have SO. MANY. COOKIES.

I’m estimating here, but by the time you’re finished baking, you’re probably going to have somewhere around… 300,000 cookies. Probably. So be ready.

I’m totally kidding, this recipe yields about 8 dozen cookies in reality, but it definitely feels more like 300,000.

 

Now, this is not my first rodeo with this recipe, so it was a successful endeavor. Therefore, telling you the story of how they were made isn’t worth telling. However, I discovered one key fact about myself during this little event:

I REALLY hate baking.

When you’re creaming the butter, sugar and brown sugar together by hand with old, lumpy brown sugar, you’d hate baking too. I had to blare happy music to remind myself that I’m making these cookies for other people and cookies taste better when you put love into them, not bitter hatred and spite. And that was only during the first step of making this redemption batch! Imagine going through the rest of the cookie making process hating every step along the way! It wasn’t fun.

Long story short: I will not be making cookies until next holiday season when I forget what I learned this year. But I have been redeemed for now, so that’s all that matters.

 

Until next time,

Dana

 

Another day, Another Round

Tomorrow I go in for another round of chemo! Woo hoo!

Just kidding. I’m not excited about it, but I’d rather get the treatment than deal with the alternative. Could you imagine that conversation with the grim reaper?

Grim Reaper: It is I! The Grim Reaper come to take you into the afterlife.

ME: No! It can’t be my time yet! I still have so much to do! I’m too young!

Grim Reaper: Actually, it is your time. You could’ve had more time, but noooooooo!! You’re stupid and didn’t take the drugs that could’ve helped you live a long and happy life. You’ve gotta come with me. You dummy. Let’s go.

Me: Oh….Well, I can’t argue with that logic.

Anyways, I’m actually looking forward to this round because the last time I went in, they told me my blood counts were excellent. I’m hoping that they’ll still be excellent because that means I’m that much closer to recovery (Woo! hoo!).

So, yes, chemo is tomorrow. I’ve had several people ask me if chemo is scary or hard. Before I answer that, I want to mention that when I answer, I’m answering for me. Cancer is different for everyone including its treatment, side effects and recovery process.

The first time I went in for a chemo treatment I definitely was scared. I didn’t know what to expect and I was overwhelmed with information about the treatment and its aftereffects. But it isn’t hard to go through a treatment. You sit there for a few hours while the nurse does all the work. And then you go home.

The hard part is recovering. Side effects vary greatly from person to person. I have found that I sleep a lot more to avoid some of the side effects like nausea and dizziness. Each chemo treatment brings on a different set of side effects and that’s the hard part: to deal with each new side effect as it comes and determining how serious it is. Also my dog. Not seeing my dog is hard.

But I’m very fortunate that I’m young. My immune system can bounce back pretty quickly. By the second week of recovery I practically feel 100%. Just in time to do it all over again.

 

Until next time,

Dana

A Strange Christmas

This was an odd Christmas. That’s really the only thought I have about it. With the way my chemo schedule works out, I have a treatment on the 27th. In addition to that, weather has not been on our side (thanks Wisconsin). So my mom and I spent Christmas in my apartment prepping for the next chemo treatment. It’s my first Christmas away from home and it’s the first Christmas my mom has had away from my stepdad in 10 years. If we had it our way, we’d be at home, but we are making the most of it with my baby tree, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and all the Christmas movies we can watch!

Before Christmas even started, I got to host a couple of Christmas parties with friends this year! They came over and we had a potluck of champions. We laughed and talked well into the middle of the night. It was really something special.

DPhiE Fam Photo.jpg

Of course, family wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my sorority family. I am a part of the Beta-Lambda chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon. My sorority is amazing and is very supportive of each other as we pursue our individual dreams. My family line is probably the best family line out of any sorority ever. As individuals, they are all amazing and are always busy. They’re smart, funny, clever and really well-rounded people. Together, we are a crazy weird group of women who enhance each other’s personalities. We push to make sure each one of us succeeds in whatever we set our mind to. Not all of them could make it but a few of the women could come over to celebrate. So we ate all of the mac and cheese we could and unwrapped our gifts in a giant circle on the floor. I felt like a little kid again, opening gifts on Christmas eve. And then we took the best Christmas photo of all time.

I’m really fortunate that I got to go home this past week, that way I could celebrate Christmas with my dad a little early. The greatest tradition that my dad has is every Christmas eve he reads The Night Before Christmas. The book that we own is made entirely of cloth and each picture is special printed. I remember being a kid and hanging on every word of the story, hoping to hear Santa on our rooftop. Even as an adult I can’t help but smile as he reads it. I didn’t get to hear it this year because I came in the morning but we made a fancy Christmas Eve breakfast which was a pretty good substitute. Who could be upset with bacon on their plate?! And then, of course, we went upstairs and played Nancy Drew and got a couple steps closer to solving another mystery.

 

ba-drama-fam-photoI’m not big into celebrating the holidays, but for whatever reason, this year was different. For the first time in a very long time, I felt the Christmas spirit (or whatever it’s called) and was a little less grinchy.  Christmas isn’t about the day you celebrate it on but who you celebrate it with. I don’t mean to brag but if people were presents I’d have the most gifts out of anyone.

So Happy Holidays everyone and have a great New Year! Be sure to give your loved ones lots of hugs and don’t forget to tell them that you love them!

Until next time,

Dana