Saturday, August 25

Carrying a Chocolate Chip on my Shoulder

When I set out to make these cookies, I never dreamed I’d be making, making chocolate chips. I mean, chocolate chips are something you buy in a bag and dump in your batter…."spoon the chocolate mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a very small tip and pipe ¼” in diameter onto nonstick drying sheets, forming 200 chips in all."

My god, this was it. The fine line between commitment and cheating. How criminal could it be to just go out and buy a bag of organic chips? "Dehydrate chips at 105 degrees for eight hours…" that means they’ll be ready at 2 in the morning, and I need the chips before I can start the cookies which take six hours, then 8-10 hours more. Why don’t I just put the frickin’ chips in the oven? They’d be done in an hour, right? I mean really, how much nutritional value am I trying to save here in a chocolate chip? But in the end, I didn’t stay committed to the integrity of raw because it was the right thing to do, I did it because I didn’t have a conventional recipe for cooking chips in an oven. What if I ruined them? No, I had to see it through.

I had even started a whole day ahead of time. And I even began by reading the recipe through (how grown up of me for once). Damn! There was no way I’d have these cookies done by choir-girls night tomorrow evening.

I cancelled my girls choir night, made, made the chocolate chips and decided to take the damn cookies and the dehydrator on the road with me. That’s right. We had rented an RV so I could attend a day of the Vibrant Living Conference up in Ft. Bragg – raw foodies from all over the world would be there, I had to go. The RV has a kitchen, right? I’d just bring everything with me and make them on the road.

This conference is coming at an inconvenient time as I have a big event in four days with the Food Society. It’s their annual BBQ which draws 200 and I’m still getting rsvp’s. So that’s a little nerve wracking, but what put me over the edge is I got a call from my other association. Where are those checks?
What do you mean, where are those checks?
I mailed them out last Friday, aren’t they there yet?

I’m not a worrier. Let that be somebody else’s job I say, which apparently is her job since she thinks the checks won’t get there. What a pessimist. I don’t like the feeling of worrying or being scared, it reminds me too much of the bottom of your life falling like a broken elevator, so I avoid it. Have a little faith, the checks will get there.

I sneak a look at my postage log. 8/16, $1.82 is carefully noted. I know I sent it, have some faith, but still I wrack my brain. What was I doing on Friday, which mail box did I leave it in? God, why is she calling me? Can’t she just relax? I’m sure it will arrive. How could this piece of mail (with $2100 in checks) get lost? I tell myself to relax. It will arrive. Then the thoughts come back, “Oh, why didn’t I FedEx it?” I try to reconstruct my Friday and it’s a void, I can remember Thursday and Saturday in detail. Note to self: write notes to self.

The Day Before. I finish up Recipe #45, Black Mission Fig Tart with Walnut Cream and take photos, too busy to write anything.

I run up to check email, she didn’t get the checks. I will now freak out. I’ve got to finish rsvp’s for two events, pack to get ready, dehydrate the cookies, pick up the trailer, work my regular schedule, and now I have to drop everything and stand in line at the post office to see if they can track those damn checks. An hour later I come back having been instructed to go online to get the phone number of her carrier. Several calls later and having found the postal employees to be surprisingly helpful, they’re telling me not to worry, it could take five days, even ten. I outwardly relax while I inwardly panic. Just what I need when I’m going out of town, something to worry about. I finish my rsvp’s, give everybody headcounts.
Then Daniel says to me, c’mon we have to go check this buggy out.
Buggy? What buggy?
Don’t you remember, he says, we talked about this.
Is this like us talking about getting a second dog and I said no? Or maybe it’s like getting the dog afterall but saying we’d only foster him and now he’s ours. Something like that, because the next thing I know I’m following him back from San Carlos as he drives ahead in our new dune buggy. He’s got some elaborate plan for towing it behind the trailer. I’m too overwhelmed to think about it. The cookies still aren’t done.

I go upstairs and check email one last time, hoping to get that magic email, that yes the checks arrived afterall. Ah, yes a new email has arrived from you-know-who. The beautiful words sing like fairies to my inner child…”the checks arrived today.” A huge weight of worry lifts and I feel like dancing. Then I think, why couldn’t she have trusted they would come? This took hours out of my day. She's holding down the worry job quite well, and spreading the joy. Ah, but now I can’t wait to go on this little sabbatical. Daniel pulls up in the RV. I stick the cookies which defy dehydration into the refrigerator. I'll deal with you later. Let the games begin.

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