Well, 2014 certainly got away from me. And we’re only 11 days in.
I had all these lovely blog post ideas floating around in my head. Food photographed, recipes marked, a schedule set up, and then BAM, the world goes nuts.
Because it got crazy cold in Minnesota. Local news cold. National news cold. International news cold. Live interview on BBC News cold.
In my non-cooking hours, I handle the communications for a nonprofit in Minneapolis called YouthLink, we work with homeless teens and young adults, 16-24. And if there’s one thing that makes a human interest piece human, it’s insanity that is being homeless when the wind chill is -40 degrees below zero.
It started small. We’re not usually open 24 hours a day (we’re not zoned to be a shelter, and we don’t have the funding even if we were), but when Hennepin County declared an emergency situation and asked us to open our doors 24 hours a day from last Saturday-Thursday morning, our staff stepped up to the challenge.
Thanks to countless staff, volunteers, and community supporters, we were able to provide over 20 additional temporary shelter beds for youth with no place else to go. That has never happened in the 40 year history of our organization.
So we sent out a press release, as you do. And we got interest from Kare 11, the Star Tribune, and a few other local publications. Great publicity, right? A wonderful way to bring attention to the issues our youth face, not just when it’s cold, but on a daily basis.
Then NBC nightly news decided to pop by and to a piece. They say it only takes a spark to start a blaze, and before I knew it, I was on call 24/7, every news agency had my cell phone number, I was fielding the Today Show, receiving calls from Al-Jazeera America, and when I finally got a chance to get home and go to bed around midnight after pulling a 14 hour day, I get a call from the BBC.
THE BBC. While I was standing in my pajamas, brushing my teeth.
That’s the moment you start to wonder if the past 24 hours have been some sort of crazy dream, and you’re going to wake up any second and realize that those urban myths about eating too much sugar before bed time are really all true.
Fast forward to 7:50pm the next evening, and I’m sitting in front of my work computer (hello 14 hour day #2!), signed into Skype, and trying my best to either a) not puke on international television, b) not say “pants” on the BBC, c) sound somewhat intelligent or d) hopefully all of the above.
Those were the only 3 things going through my head at 8pm when my live interview started. Sure it was 2am in the UK, and anyone still awake and watching was probably too tired, or drunk, to care what I was going on about, but I would have much rather not started talking about anyone’s underwear on international news.
They also warned me that the interview would later air on PBS. So no pressure, right? Just sharing the same TV channel as Sherlock and Downton Abbey. NBD…*cute Countess eye roll*
In a nutshell, that is what has prevented me from bringing you these cookies any sooner than I have. Because I used up all my coherent words on the BBC, and it’s taken approximately 5 days to get them back. You can check out my interview here, if you’re curious to know where they all flew off to.
Originally, I had all these thoughts about what I wanted to include in my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies post. How it’s my absolute favorite oatmeal cookie recipe ever. It’s actually the base for my big butt bars. It’s taken from the oatmeal cookies they serve in every Nordstrom’s cafe.
But right now, the only words I really have left are: Thank God for sugar. It can get you through anything.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 package chocolate chips or chunks
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the oats.
2. In another bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together the 1 cup butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour-oat mixture in 2 batches, beating well after each addition. You should have a stiff dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Grease two baking sheets. Roll golf ball sized lumps of dough between your palms to make a nice little sphere. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown, and the middles are not doughy.
5. Let them sit on the baking sheets for a minute or two (they will keep cooking on the sheets) then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.