Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
My grandmother, Evelyn Mayfield, called them “Kisses” or “Forgotten Cookies”
1 12oz bag of chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
3 egg whites
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of 1970’s style white granulated sugar (none of that boujee stuff)
Preheat oven to 350
Beat the hell out of the egg whites + vanilla until they form peaks and stiffen. Slowly add in sugar, while you continue to show those egg whites who’s boss. Take your time. It should be thick and fluffy.
Fold in chocolate chips. Some folx like to add pecans or walnuts at this stage. You do you.
Drop them into baking sheets using two teaspoons. About an inch apart (they don’t spread much as they “bake”.) Put ‘em in the oven and TURN OFF THE OVEN. Fuhgettabouttem. Go to bed. Wake up. Have cookies for breakfast.
Or, make them in the morning and have them for dessert. Like a person who plans things. Whatever.
They are delicious. Unless you just don’t like excellent cookies that melt in your mouth. In that case, how are we friends? Do I even know you?
Like other excellent things, they are fragile and need a lil care when getting off the cookie sheet and into your mouth. - k.k. 3.26.2020
My grandmother and I used to make these cookies together in West Texas. My older brother and I stayed with my grandparents after school every day for two years after my parents divorced. My mom was going back to school in the evenings and working full time.
My grandmother shared much of herself with me these years; I learned and witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly in her relationship with my grandfather. He was a very eccentric man, full of contradictions, and sharp edges.
She shared her love of nature, cooking, and reading. She was a small business owner in her own right, selling decorative paper for gift wrapping and all of the related accoutrement for any occasion. She made ceramic art as well as hand sewn decor. Her greatest personal accomplishments were in the garden. She was president of the garden club of Texas for many years as well as the Bonsai club. Her yard and greenhouses were an oasis for me in an otherwise turbulent life.
Sharing this recipe was an instinctual act in response to this ongoing crisis. I am aware of her presence at times like these. She was both gentle and the strongest person I knew.
Today hit me particularly hard. This article from the New York Times nailed it.
In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both.
Our struggle is not an emotional concern. We are not burned out. We are being crushed by an economy that has bafflingly declared working parents inessential.
The consensus is that everyone agrees this is a catastrophe, but we are too bone-tired to raise our voices above a groan, let alone scream through a megaphone. Every single person confesses burnout, despair, feeling like they are losing their minds, knowing in their guts that this is untenable.
Reminds me of when my insurance company (blue cross blue shield, at the time) denied me coverage for #thing1 ‘s pregnancy - claiming the pregnancy was a “pre-existing condition” (untrue). I learned that insurers at the time did so routinely to single mothers... we were all too tired and broke to fight. Obama-Care made the practice illegal, btw.
Parents are exhausted. I’m exhausted. A client sent me a private chat asking me to keep my kids out of the zoom class today when #thing3 danced into view (single white male (shocking)). Thankfully, the majority of clients were super pleased to see the kid, so there’s that. Still. Without childcare, we need a whole lot more flexibility, empathy, and kindness from our peers and clients. We need support from employers. We need to stop trying to re-open schools in irresponsible ways. And, perhaps, recognize that we are actually *still* in a pandemic that kills thousands of Americans daily?
I don’t have the solutions, but I know asking me to create childcare out of thin air, not work (absurd), or possibly spread a virus via kids in schools are not answers.
I’m building my village and pod so work can happen creatively, I know how to hustle and flow. It’s just another part-time job on top of all the other (unpaid) labor. Super.
And, what about justice for Breonna Taylor? Why, months into the largest sustained protests this country has seen in decades, are we still waiting on justice for Breonna and so many other BIPOC who have been murdered by the police? If you're tired of me writing about #blacklivesmatter, stop reading this blog. I'm just getting started. When I say crisis, I'm not just referring to the pandemic; I'm referring to the pandemic + the fight for civil rights for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people.
We have a crisis of humanity, not politics.
A friend, Tuyet Pham, in talking to "Christian" friends said, What if god was testing us? What if god sent us a plague where the only thing we had to do to survive was care for one another? You know... like wear a mask, wash your hands, and physically distance ourselves from one another for a few weeks?
It only works if we do it en masse. United. And, this country only works if it works for everyone. Enough with the fear. Being afraid of someone because they don't look, sound, act, dress, pray, eat, believe, sex, and love like you do is ridiculous.
Today, I want these cookies. Today, I want a hug from my grandmother.
Below is the poem I wrote when she passed (10.28.2012). It was read at her funeral by my father.
I think of you...
When I make soup. When I water the plants. When I clean the tub.
(cheap shampoo works best)
When I see something you made because you took the time to make beautiful things.
When I wrap a gift. When I unwrap a gift. Because you gave so many.
When I am angry at my husband for being himself. I remember your wise words:
"I love him. Sometimes I just don't like him very much."
When I dance.
You told me to keep going because you did. I remember you doing a time-step for me.
(who knew you could tap?)
Time steps for all of us.
All over us. Relentlessly.
Wrapped up in memory, circuitous and flimsy; the ribbon ties us in knots.
Un-tied by time. A life un-done by the long goodbye of a cruel disease.
Bound together again here. Now. By all of us.
The beautiful things she made.
So lovingly, unsparingly, and with great precision.
Yours is a deliberate soul made colorful by her passion, creativity, and wit.
Perfect slacks, blouses and demi-heels rapping a solid 4/4 march through my childhood.
Unapologetically demanding respect. Decisive and ambitious.
You taught me fierce.
When I am fierce, I am you.
I am fierce.
I am you.