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  • Writer's pictureJonna Meidal

Keep Calm and Eat Cookies

Snow started falling in Minneapolis this year in October. OCTOBER?!! The last time this happened it was the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 and I was more than willing to trick-or-treat the snow off my pants with glee. But not this year...

This year I just felt mad and wanted to eat my feelings. Which is why I started my own #cookiechallenge.

This came as a surprise to everyone in my family because I do . not . bake. I hate being precise and measuring feels offensive. Naturally this is why ALL of my cookies turn out like stones. But this time, I told myself with flour everywhere, I will follow the rules!

Only they STILL ended up like sad little rocks! (Believe me, these were NOT chewy.☹️)

To fix this, I turned to the only respectable source in modern day history: social media. And let me say, you guys did NOT disappoint!

You told me these recipes were the best:

Huzzah! I thought. My cookies WILL prevail! Only when I looked at the ingredient lists, they all kind of looked the same. (After all, cookie dough is just cookie dough, right?) WRONG!

Apparently I also needed to:  

  • chill the dough.

  • keep it at room temp.

  • use more butter.

  • use less butter.

  • use butter + lard.

  • bake at 375.

  • bake at 325.

  • bake at 350.

  • (And don’t get me started on the freaking flour!)

Why is it so finicky?!?! I was told to sift it, cool it...pat its little bottom and lay it to rest (kidding).

In the end I don't know how much flour is best. I only know my cookies were still not turning out! Then I read this comment:

All of those recipes are great. But what you need to do is choose the one that will give you the results you’re looking for.

Huh. Why hadn't I thought of that?! Cause I knew EXACTLY what kind of cookie I was looking for -- the chewy, soft, melt-in-your mouth kind that makes you forget about snow or ever putting jeans on again!

The only problem was, no matter how hard I tried, my cookies still failed.

Isn’t life like that, though? I mean, how often do we ask for the “perfect recipe" to help woo our colicky baby to sleep or get our 4-year old to stop pooping outside, but no matter what we add in or take out the results still don’t work!

We want our lives to be easy and measurable and exact.......BUT THERE'S NO SUCH THING!!! Life isn’t quantifiable in teaspoons and cups. It’s not a recipe to follow exactly because the art of living (and raising children) is trial and error! (And I'm sorry, but it seems the same would be true for baking.)

Deep down I think we all know this, but we still fight the perfectionism myth because we assume that if “she” can bake perfect cookies, then we should be able to too. But that's when I realized something:

I may LOVE eating chocolate chip cookies (cause I do), but I will never be a "baking mom". Ever.

I can sift, chill, and pat all I want, but my cookies will never look like my friend Kathy’s because I don't enjoy making them. And that’s ok! If she can make them FOR me, then it's a win-win!

Similarly, you might never be a "sensory-art" mom. You can Pinterest the crap outta those slime recipes but you'll likely loathe making them every single time. (Which is why you should just send your kids over to my house where liquid starch and glue rue the day!)

The point is, we all have different recipes in our arsenal that make us awesome. You might be great at baking cookies, and I might be superhuman at devouring them, but that doesn't mean my way is better than yours (although my pants might disagree). It just means we're good at different things.

The closest thing to a "perfect recipe" we'll ever have in life is choosing to surround ourselves with strong, eclectic, and awesome mom friends who will help us keep calm and eat cookies...even when we screw up, even when we keep trying to no avail...because no one should eat their desserts alone.

I need you and you need me. So pass me another chocolate chip cookie, will ya?? 🍪 #cookiechallengecomplete


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