The snow has finally stopped and the wind is slowing. Some roads may finally have opened again to drivers. Everything is white. Completely white. My neighbor’s car is invisible under a thick layer of white. There is so much snow that you can actually smell it. It is a very distinct smell when compared to the smell of cold that is also potent enough to be smelled right now. The blizzard has ended but the sky remains grey. Outside, it’s ugly, but last night was even uglier, with the screaming winds and snow blowing so thick against the darkness that the night sky looked bright white and light, and yet nothing was visible…. But inside, though you can hear the screaming wind, it is warm and cozy. The blankets are out just in case the power were to go out, and the board games are ready and waiting to be played and the mantle is covered in candles….. Just in case. The wind causes the building to squeak as it braces against the brutal attack of the cold and wind gusts outside.
In the darkness, the sky is falling down on top of you while the wind threatens to tear the house down. It’s times like this that we New Englanders live for. It’s times like this, when a choice must be made. Are you going to allow the wind to threaten you, leaving you feeling cold and fearful inside while the snow tries to bury you like a dead body? Or, are you going to fight back by turning the heat up a couple of degrees, and baking cookies to be eaten along side a large bowl of chips and hot spiced apple cider while the whole family gathers at the dining room table to laugh as they try to bankrupt each other in a game of Monopoly. Putting off bed in favor of the game, or possibly in favor of an escape into an alternative activity such as a movie that will take you to some other world where the wind is not beating down your door and the snow is not trying to imprison you behind it. This choice is the difference really I suppose between us New Englanders and the rest of the world. We thrive on choosing to build a fire in the fire place and to get out the board games and to laugh with each other as the wind does it’s worse and the sky falls in flakes of snow.
As the laughter begins the screaming of the wind slowly grows in audible while it gets louder and louder outside. The mood is comfortable not fearful. The weather man is telling us the Snowpocalypse is going to be bad really bad…. But do we care, munching our chips and cookies drinking our hot spiced cider…. You better believe no one gives a rat’s behind what that weather man is droning on about. All we care about is who just bought the Reading Railroad and what the rent is. This is how we spend our storms. Warm and safe, and comfortable cozied up under the blankets laughing together munching away on yummies.
The snow was already falling heavily when I started baking my cookies. They are a new version of an old favorite. Chocolate Chip, my very own special recipe for storms more comforting than the standard recipe all soft and yummy. The snow was falling, but inside I was smelling my cookies baking and the scent of beautiful homemade organic vanilla extract…. The beautiful scent of baking cookies filled the whole house and lingered while we hung out hiding from the raging storm outside.
So, here is my special recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I developed it myself and it is quite fabulous though a little different than what most folks are used to. It’s somehow deeper in flavor but just as delicious if not more so. We used milk chocolate chips but it would work just as well with semi sweet.
Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit and make sure to grease your pans with a little bit of vegetable oil. Then, in a large bowl add your salted butter, your brown sugar, pure cane sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla extract, invert syrup, and molasses, mix it together. In another bowl mix together all your dry ingredients then begin adding bit by bit your dry ingredients to the wet ones. Pour part of your dry mix into the bowl of the wets, mix it in then add more till all your dry ingredients are mixed into the wet ingredients and you have a very nice dough into which to pour the chocolate chips, add the chips and give it some final mixing. Spoon small spoon fulls of your dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, and put in the oven for maybe about 10 or so minutes. Keep your eye on it. Once finished, place cookie sheet somewhere to cool for several minutes. These cookies are great they cook up all nice and they rise beautifully, and they come out all soft and chewy. One reason I love this recipe that I have created, is because normally, for soft baked chocolate chip cookies, the recipe calls for that super unhealthy corn syrup. I don’t like that stuff so my recipe, has none and still this recipe cooks up perfectly and stays soft while fully cooked.
It was an ugly storm, but inside, we had laughter and merriment and comfort food snuggled up warm having a great time together… This is the true strength of New England winter storms, the way they bring the people of New England together to enjoy good food, good drinks, good company and some good old fashioned cozy.
More photos from Nemo, the Blizzard of 2013, also known as the Snowpocalypse