Friday, August 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Service

Today was about the most disappointing day I can remember, as I went back to work and found my entire office boxed and piled in the hallway of the school. We have run out of room, and with new hires and reorganization of space I am being moved into an already too noisy office with three other people. School starts in a few days, so custodians were scrambling to put us back together. "Time to go slowly," I thought, as nerves began to rattle. I did what I could to get the project moving along, knowing it's simply not enough space for all of our duties, then I forced myself to leave and enjoy one last summer weekend with my family. Thank goodness we already planned to go to the beach tomorrow--the soothing sound of waves will help me sort through challenges for the year ahead.

Sometimes I have resorted to retail therapy, but more often when things have been stressful and I'm on overload I choose one of three remedies: exercising in fresh air, blogging about community service, or baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. On the drive home today, watching the traffic back up on Highway 85 I knew this would be a night for all of the above. I arrived home with a sixteen-ounce bag of See's semi-sweet extra-large chips on stand-by, and relaxed reading the newspaper until falling asleep for a few minutes. Then I woke up ready to burn the last hours of daylight on my feel-good quest. I'll run off the calories this evening after chomping on some dough and a few of the silky chocolate chips. Now, the cookies are ready to go, made with fresh butter, whole-wheat pastry flour and lots of t.l.c. My step-daughter Taryn was entertained by making mounds with an ice cream scoop for our Mrs. Field's sized treats, and now we are ready for the service part. Tomorrow half our batch will be delivered to Lisa, the hardest-working single mom we know. We get the joy of baking, and the pleasure of sharing our craft. Nothing does "good work" as well as a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies for someone else on a Saturday morning, and come Monday maybe my woes at work will seem less significant. I'll be sure to take some cookies along, just in case!

Interested in Service by Cookies and Baking? Try these fun ways to share your passion
  • Host a bake sale for your favorite charity, donate the proceeds. Better yet, host a yard sale combined with a bake sale for charity. You're bound to get lots of traffic for a cause, and you get to donate the cash at the end.
  • Bake cookies or other treats for a family shelter in your community. Our church youth group discovered at the San Jose "Loaves and Fishes" kitchen back in December, "nothing beats homemade!"
  • Bake cookies and/or bread, and take a pot of soup to your local Ronald McDonald House. Call to schedule day and time when your service is most needed.
Bina's Favorite Recipe for Chocolate Chip Service
1 1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 c. fresh butter (salted)
1 t. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
1 pkg. See's chocolate chips
  1. Mix sugar and butter until just creamy, then mix in vanilla and eggs.
  2. Stir together flour, salt, and soda, then mix into above ingredients.
  3. Stir in oats and chips.
  4. Drop by scooper or tablespoon onto cookie sheet prepared with cooking spray.
  5. Bake cookies for approximately 10 minutes at 350 degrees, until bottoms begin to turn golden brown. Remove immediately from sheet onto paper towels or racks to cool.
  6. Keep in airtight container and share liberally, they are addicting!

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