An evening of cookies

Another down day despite concerted efforts to make it otherwise. Started out with a struggle to get out of bed, a pot of tea, and a date with my computer. I chugged away at a few things, and later got to cross the tasks off my to-do list. Oh the small pleasures. Productivity has been so satisfying lately, since I don't have anything really going on. Last night around ten I made egg salad so Joe could have some for lunch. He made mayonnaise this weekend, and while I found it more pleasing than most, I still prefer it in some sort of salady mix. So the day continued with egg salad and sprouts on toast - a delicious treat.

For what should be the last time, I stopped by the club to pick a few things up and say goodbyes. Diana is really so sweet. Once Sylvia left she would bring me in daily food treats, two of whatever she was eating - hardboiled eggs, yogurts, croissants. Only once did she suggest I go upstairs and sit with her while I eat. Otherwise, it seemed that the gesture of giving was simply enough for her. Caitlin asked me today if it's weird to be done. It's not. I don't feel anything, not even relief. A few weeks ago when I was practically counting down the hours I realized that I have been there for six months. Six months. Half a year. I thought immediately, of course, of all of the other more worthwhile jobs that I could have held in that time, of all the work that would have maybe made me happier. What a mistake. If only I could have made up my mind in April to stay in Montreal through the summer. If only. Wouldacouldashoulda. I'm trying now instead to see the glass half-full kind of way.

Joe met me at the club to collect the 380 empty beer bottles that were left. We loaded them in, and then out of the car only to discover that our friendly grocery store wouldn't accept bottles for businesses. So off to the dump we went! Not without a treat, though. The eco-dump is so conveniently located next to Cirque de Soleil's headquarters, their clown academy, and, in the lovely Bronx-like Italian town of St. Leonard, where Joe knew of a local eatery, Cafe Milano. We ate chicken and veal sandwiches alongside a row of men standing with their lattes. Behind the counter worked a gang of hollering young Italian guys, their voices decorated with an Italian twang.

We ate around five, and, I regret to say, without an early bird's special. But it was lovely to come home to a full evening, especially one filled with Audrey Hepburn's Charade and peanut butter cookies. Joe had his heart on a recipe that called for ground peanuts. Yet again, everything felt better once I was measuring and mixing. I'm so full of salt and peanut. Joe stuck his face in the batter bowl for a taste, and then suggested sticking a dab of peanut butter between some batter for an extra kick. Everyone eventually came to the kitchen for a batter taste, and then hung around for a taste of the final product. According to Caitlin, they were perfect.

Classic peanut butter cookies
courtesy of The New Best Recipe

2 1/2 c flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, but softened
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 c white granulated sugar
1 c chunky peanut butter
1 c roasted peanuts, ground
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c chocolate chips, optional

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set oven at bake to 350. Grind peanuts in a blender until broken, but still chunky, about 10 pulses.

Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside. Cut the butter into small chunks. In a large bowl mix (I used a hand mixer) until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars, and mix until fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix until just combined. One by one, break in the eggs, mixing as you go. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Stir in the flour mixture, adding peanuts once combined.

Spoon small balls onto baking sheet leaving plenty of room in between. Cross the cookies using a fork. Dip the fork in a small bowl of cold water. Press lightly into the dough, slip back into water, and press in again, rotating 90 degrees. Bake cookies for 10 -12 minutes.

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