This is what I knew for certain about September 5, 2011 before it arrived:
1) Hazel, my gem and inspiration of a sister, visits before she heads off to Haiti for the next year. 2) Jose hops a last-minute flight for Uganda in the early afternoon. 3) It is my birthday.
I made buckwheat pancakes with summer fruit salad and bacon for breakfast for two of the most important people in my life. Tears mixed with maple syrup. I took Jose to the airport while Hazel headed off to Oakland to visit a friend. I came home to our empty apartment and cleaned up the kitchen. Methodical and melancholy. Sticky sweet and salty.
When I finished, the fog had lifted its heavy veil to reveal a beautiful day. My phone hummed with texts and messages from friends across the country. And there I was, in the same spot that I’d been just a few minutes before, yet in a completely different place, enveloped in gratitude.
I had a delightful dinner with friends tonight. Hazel told me that Pom says I was born “sunny side up.” Or, I guess I was almost born that way. The doctor had to turn me around inside the womb. But, maybe I was onto something? Sunny side up and looking on the bright side. Why not choose to live that way?
It seems only right to share my birthday gratitude with goodness. Undeniable, edible goodness. This recipe comes from my dear friend Ellie, exceptional baker and Meyer lemon curd maker. These gluten-free chocolate chewy cookies are what happen when meringue and heaven collide. Seriously. Ellie sent me the recipe and I promptly baked three batches in one week’s time. They are a snap to whip up, so there’s no reason not to give them a whirl. You will not regret it. I promise.
Cocoa Collision Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
4 egg whites
3 cups powdered sugar
14 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
8 tablespoons chocolate chips, more or less (I like Guittard or Ghirardelli)
– Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
– Beat egg whites until soft peaks form
– Add half the powdered sugar and beat until marshmallowy
– Add remainder of the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder, beat for 1 minute
– Fold in chocolate chips
– Drop tablespoon size dollops onto cookie pan lined with parchment paper
– Bake about 14 minutes, the cookies should be fragile and soft with a crisp outer crust
– Cool cookies for a few minutes, transfer to a plate
Signing off on the sunny side…