Friday, September 19, 2014

Foodie Friday: Cooking with the PBA

So, as you may or may not recall, I am doing a “life skills” lesson with the PBA each Friday. In addition to our regular house cleaning, and sheet & towel washing, I have added cooking to the docket this year.

Apparently I chose this due to a momentary memory loss…did I fall and hit my head?

I can’t recall. 

Oh the irony.

I am trying my best but Cooking with the PBA sometimes makes me want to rip out all my hair.

They are sweet sweet boys, but thus far they do not seem to have much of a penchant for this whole cooking business.

And maybe I am not being entirely fair. "Cooking" might be ok. The mac and cheese came out fine, as did the roasted chicken. And the scrambled and hard-boiled eggs (two separate lessons, lest you be confused).

Frankly, it’s the baking where we really struggle.

And when I say “we” I mean (of course) “they”.

Measuring things, leveling them off, refilling the sugar and flour jars, greasing pans, using parchment paper = torture to be sure.

And of course today we made chocolate chip cookies. With the assistance of an almost-4mo baby. Who is very cute but not what one might call “helpful” in the kitchen.

Now why did I opt for this? Because it was on the schedule. 

And because I promised myself and the PBA that foster care would not disrupt our entire schedule…as best as we can, the two schedules will combine and neither one will dominate.

Hence Home Ec Friday lived to see another day.

And frankly, this mama wanted some chocolate chip cookies.

Ergo…the PBA made chocolate chip cookies today.

Now, as you may (or may not) also recall, I insist that the PBA write down the recipe prior to making the dish.

Today, my 11yo insisted he would remember the recipe; this coming from the child who wrote down instructions to scrambled eggs…and then also USED said directions the next time he made scrambled eggs.

Needless to say (although I’m going to say it anyway) I insisted that he write it down; he does have an uncanny knack for memorizing long passages and such, but I had my doubts that a chocolate chip cookie recipe would make it into his long-term memory.

Much to his chagrin.

Now…the recipe I opted to use was the Kairos Cookie recipe. (As an aside, I KNOW I have posted this recipe on here before but I can't find here it is again. You.are.welcome.)

I chose this particular recipe because
  1. It is tasty, and 
  2. It does not require softened butter, but instead uses shortening…which I know is horrible for you but I figure if you’re making chocolate chip cookies, you may not necessarily be concerned about “what is good for you”.

No, because I clearly have a death wish, I made the PBA double the recipe. To be fair, it was because the printed-out version of the recipe I have only makes 3 dozen. And that is just not enough.

Now…I DID write out on my recipe what each ingredient would be doubled…they only had to pay attention when copying it and write the DOUBLED amount.

Well, because I was apparently speaking in tongues, with no one here to translate for me, that message failed to compute and neither PBA member wrote it down doubled.

Not one to easily cave due to lack of fortitude on the part of the PBA, I forged ahead and made them figure out what each item was doubled, using their own copies.

(Now don’t pretend that you wouldn’t have done it too…)

So an hour later (that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not my much…) we finally had our cookie dough.

Which was really dry.

Clearly something was missing...perhaps some of the milk?

Not even knowing how much of ANYTHING they had put in, with the exception of chocolate chips (I knew they put in the whole bag of chocolate chips), I added a couple splashes of milk.

I was quick to point out that I had been baking long enough to know about such things, but for rookies such as themselves, they still needed to "splashes" of anything.

I totally used those words of wisdom and advice from my daily word allotment, knowing full-well that these boys are NEVER going to make chocolate chip cookies on their own.

At least probably not. I mean, of course I HOPE they do…it’s the whole reason behind the “life skills lessons” but, I am realistic and know that the chances are slim to none.

But I digress...

Now once the actual "baking" was in full-swing (we did have to pause and discuss that the goal was NOT to see how many unbaked cookies we could get on one sheet…case in point, 20 is too many, unless you want them to all merge into one another), I realized that (perhaps) we had made too many cookies.

I know, I know...that sounds like crazy-talk, but I really didn't want to have all those cookies hanging out around the house. They are nothing but trouble.

But, being a problem-solver, I asked the boys, “Wouldn’t you like to take some of these to our neighbors…to thank them for the meat pies?”

(We all recall the meat pies, right? If not, here's your refresher)

I had been laboring for WEEKS (yes, I may have a touch of the obsessive/compulsive disorder…literally weeks) about what to take next to them…when this was so nicely laid in my lap.

And because I am a full-service mean-mom, I even made the boys write a note explaining the “gift” and then deliver it themselves.

So really that’s all I have to say about that. 

No funny/punny little way to wrap it up; no clever (at least clever in my mind) ending, bring it home with a pun about cookies or baking or anything like that.

In fact, you might even say that this ending is half-baked.

Photo of actual first batch

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