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Kristin Davis: Feeding The Soul With Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I can still hear the clink of Grandmother's cookie jar. It was the first place my brother and I headed after being hugged and kissed, elbowing each other to try to get to the kitchen first. The cookie jar was never empty. We would warn Grandmother when her homemade chocolate chip cookies began to dwindle, however our warnings were never necessary. Grandmother had a sixth sense when it came to knowing the contents of the cookie jar. When it got down to the last two or three, she would reach down and pull out her mixer, sifter and measuring cups. She would methodically roll out the wax paper to cover her entire counter. My favorite of her utensils was the pecan chopper and I would sit in the middle of the white kitchen floor churning the knob until the whole pecans, gingerly picked from her backyard, had turned into crumbs. The flour, salt, eggs, butter, vanilla and other ingredients were always handled with the greatest care and I would be mesmerized by Grandmother's deliberate body rhythm as she moved around her kitchen.

The cookie jar was a magnet for the rest of the family as well. When my uncle and aunt, Tom and Dianne, and my baby cousin Whitney were in town, the kitchen was our meeting place. A couple of us would sit up on the counter, dangling our legs, while the rest would either stand or play with the baby on the floor. At such times the cookie jar lid would be off to the side so that everyone would have easy access to the cookies. Even Whitney got to nibble a little. I like to think that one of Grandmother's chocolate chip cookies was the first solid food that she ate.

Although there are nearly thirteen years between us, Whitney and I cherish very similar memories of Grandmother's chocolate chip cookies. Many heartfelt conversations, much laughter and even occasional childhood memories from the early 1900's were shared over the melting of butter and mixing of eggs. We always considered it a special privilege to lick the remnants of cookie dough from the spoon. We marveled at the way Grandmother's tiny, neat balls of dough would form into the most perfect cookies that neither of us has been able to duplicate since.

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