Maneuvering in a Foreign Land

Being given permission to cook in another’s kitchen is like walking into a foreign land. There are items that are familiar, just like home, but nothing is in the place one expects. Other things are wholly unfamiliar even if the utility of an item is the same.

That is how it felt last week when my grandson’s mother graciously let me use her kitchen. She knew how much I wanted to bake with him during the visit. The plan was to make chocolate chip cookies, which are fairly easy to do with few ingredients.

My husband and I stopped at the grocery store on the way over. My son had asked me to make them gluten-free. Since I had gluten-free flour at home, I had brought enough with me for the cookies. We had gone to the mall earlier in the day where I bought some chocolate chips at the See’s Candy Store.

When we arrived at the house, I put the bag of ingredients off to the side to allow the butter to soften. Unfortunately, I forgot to say not to put anything away. My efficient son put everything away. When it was time to bake, the butter was no longer softened.

So, the grandson and I improvised. We added all of the ingredients together at once, and we melted the butter in the microwave as we had started too late to wait for it to soften. He helped with measuring the ingredients until he become more interested in the chocolate chips and eating some dough.

The end result was a bit of a mess, but a delicious mess. When baking, the dough flattened out, filling the baking sheet. In taking the pans out, it was almost like a cake had been baked. After cooling, I cut the “cake” into square cookies. What they lacked in presentation, they made up for in taste. The cookies may not have been round or thick, but they were very good to eat. Most of us had one as a late dessert.

It was enjoyable, my walk in a foreign land. Any walk is an adventure, and joyous, when doing so with someone you love. I hope I have many more opportunities to bake and cook with my grandson, and hopefully, with all my grandchildren when they come along.

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