bake your feelings

I think baking is therapeutic, maybe even more so than sitting on a couch and having someone ask you about your childhood while they hastily take notes and gaze at you from the upper brim of their spectacles. When you bake, its like you're throwing all of your tears, emotions, anger, frustrations, resentment and hostility into the big shiny kitchen aid mixing bowl and whipping it into thin air. So naturally, I am very good at baking, have been ever since the beginning of my awkward angsty adolescence, when I started eating my feelings and dying my hair pink. Baking your emotions doesn't necessarily make them disappear, it's just a constructive way to translate them into something delicious. And let's be honest, there are few people in the world who can turn down home made baked goods when offered, only those with will power made of steel, like victoria beckham, who has been rumored to refuse a chocolate chip morsel for fear of straying from her diet. That's determination, and deprivation, and personally I'd just rather throw myself off a ledge. I like to use my cookies for leverage, bringing them to clinical for my instructors, to class from my professors - when you're looking for a brownie point, go with the baked goods. And there's nothing better than baking cookies for your sweetie, so now that I no longer have that special person to send care packages of sugar cookies and homemade granola to, I'm going to have to find another place to dispose of my emotions other than my oven.

However wonderful, therapeutic and relaxing baking is, anything that is primarily composed of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter can generally be categorized as not exactly the healthiest. I can also testify that from personal observation and experience, things with sugar make my abdomen a bit more spherical in shape. The lack of nutritional value of sugary buttery confections doesn't matter if you're someone who understands moderation, can have one cookie and walk away - let's be real, most people wouldn't know moderation if it slapped them upside the head. Guilty as charged, because the only thing that keeps me from eating a dozen cookies in one sitting is that I'm already full from having eaten all of that cookie dough, by the time they come out of the oven all warm and chewy, I can barely stand the site of them, all doughy eyed.

I have experimented with this recipe by adding a cup of shredded carrot to the batter. I enjoyed the addition but my friends and family preferred the original. This is a great recipe for the summer, when people who don't have woodchucks eating their zucchini blossoms actually get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It's no secret that I do love Barbara Kingsolver, think she's brilliant and want to be like her when (and if) I grow up. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle actually changed my life. I have always enjoyed gardening, ever since I was five and my dad sectioned off some of our backyard for me to stake out. Thats when I developed a taste for raw green beans, and carrots that still had dirt on them. I enjoyed, maybe a little too much, getting my hands as dirty, grimy and grubby as humanly possible. My favorite part of gardening was digging up worms and finding various other creatures to scare my sister with. Some things never change.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Recipe for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Makes about two dozen)

1 egg, beaten
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine in large bowl.
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

Combine in a separate, small bowl and blend into liquid mixture
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
12 oz chocolate chips
Stir these into other ingredients, mix well. Drop by spoonful onto greased baking sheet, and flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350°, 10 to 15 minutes.

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