Wednesday, August 18

Rainy Day Reads (Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies)

I read a book a few days ago, an actual novel with a plot and characters and no reference to blood pressure medications or post-op interventions.  Do I have time to just go around, reading whatever I please and blowing off my school work?  Not really, but I did it anyway.  Because sometimes you just have to. 

Anyway, this book was called "The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life" by William Nicholson.  I thought it was fantastic.  It was about a small English village of people who go about their normal lives, and the subplots and the stories that connect them are very well written and woven together.  That's not a great explanation.  It's about the passion that we each have for the little things in life, and that the moments that take your breath away are sometimes much smaller than you might expect.  It was very insightful, passionate and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Plus, I'm a sucker for novels set in the English countryside.  If you're looking for something to read for the last few weeks of summer, I highly recommend it.

In the book, there's a village clergyman.  He's an interesting character, and he has a lot of great dialogue.  This is my favorite:  "...say to them that the world makes too many demands already.  We're beset by threats on all sides.  What we lack is kindness.  Perhaps kindness seems a small thing to you.  It's not even one of the seven virtues.  But I rate it very highly, because kindness means wanting to make someone else happy.  To do that you have to imagine what it feels like to be them.  You have to know them not as you wish them to be, but as they are.  That, I believe, is a truly good thing to do.  Perhaps it's the only act of true goodness of which we're capable."  It struck me that he's right.  A little bit of kindness, of sweetness, might be all you have to offer someone, but sometimes it's enough.  I see it in nursing all the time.  Sometimes a smile, a therapeutic touch, goes further than pain medication or physical intervention.  Not to say that the meds and the interventions aren't necessary, but given in the absence of caring, they work far less well.

Sometimes you just need some sweetness.

Peanutbutter Chocolate Chip Cookies

6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/4 tablespoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 bag chocolate chips
2 tablespoons granulated sugar for rolling

Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.  Add the chocolate chips, stirring until well mixed.  Roll a golfball sized dough ball in the granulated sugar and place on the cookie sheet.  Press a fork into the dough in a criss-cross design.  Bake for 12-13 minutes at 350.

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