IHi JOANNE F, GRANA here What a lovely story & you were the reunion's hero, sorry I missed that one:
We're southerners - Louisiana, Texas and Alabama are the states we hail from. And if there's one thing those states have in common, it's the importance of food! Thus, our family reunions have always seemed to center around food. Throughout the year, everyone gathers their best recipes and showcases them at the reunion. The Reunion of 1980 was no different. I was 9 years old and just learning my way around the kitchen. There were only two things I knew how to cook well: spaghetti and Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies; so, I decided to make my cookies for the festivities. Since there were so many people at this family gathering, I had to make two double batches! Cooking all that dough in cookie form would have taken all day, so I decided to make pan cookies. Once I distributed all the dough, I had four 9x13 pans ready to bake. I had to wait my turn for the oven, so I covered the pans and put them in the refrigerator and headed outside to play. Cousins and aunts and uncles all got together in the back yard and started a softball game. We were in the middle of a neck-and-neck game when the Louisiana sky turned a dismal grey just minutes before the rain started pouring. Everyone gathered their gear and ran for the carport. It didn’t take long before my mother came outside ranting and raving. I was laughing with my cousins and not paying much attention to what mom was saying as she fussed to anyone who would listen. My dad followed her inside while most of us kids went to play in the rain. After I splashed in every puddle I could find, I headed inside to change into something dry. I picked up a towel in the laundry room then I started for my room. As I walked through the kitchen I realized what had my mom in such a state of panic – the electricity was out. It took me a few minutes to grasp the full range of ramifications this would cause and while I sympathized with the other cooks, all I could think about was my cookie dough! I ran to my room and changed clothes hurriedly, then went in search of my dad. He would know what to do. When I found him, he was on the phone with the electric company finding out exactly what we were dealing with. I felt a few seconds of relief until I heard him grumble, “All day?”. Apparently other people heard, because panic ensued. Every woman in the house was distraught over their perfect dish that would either be ruined or would never even be. I was just crushed. My first chance to show my potential and Mother Nature ruined it! I hauled myself off the couch and slumped into the kitchen just in time to see my mom pulling my pans of dough out of the fridge. I was livid as I saw her putting Aunt Pat’s pork roast in its place, like somehow her roast was more important than my cookies! I soon learned that was exactly the way it was. My cookies were at the bottom of this particular food chain so they were doomed to sit on the counter. Before long, they would be too warm to be edible. As I sat on a nearby barstool, staring blankly at my pans and sulking as though I’d just lost my favorite toy, I defiantly grabbed a spoon, uncovered one pan and dug in. I stormed to the refrigerator, removed a gallon of milk (making a smart remark to my mom about there now being more room) and poured myself a tall glass while I continued to eat the cookie dough by the spoonful. My cousin, Shawn, walked by and asked if she could have some, too. I told her to grab a spoon; I poured her a glass of milk; and she joined me in the cookie feast. Before long, everyone in the room had a spoon in hand and was digging into the dough. Not everyone could fit into the kitchen, so one person grabbed a handful of spoons, another grabbed a pan of dough, and they headed for the living room. One passed out spoons, while the other held out the pan for them to dig into. Before long, then pans were pretty bare and everyone was sitting around (much more quietly) laughing about how long it had been since they enjoyed some Nestle Toll House Cookie dough. For a short time, not one in the house was the least bit worried about the lack of electricity. They all enjoyed their dough in the dark.
Posted by Joanne F