Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dessert insurance

Hi there! Long time no see. The school summer holidays/work from home juggling routine continues, plus we spent last week at the coast enjoying sun, sand, and surf, and of course some quality family time. I had imposed a no-computers-on-vacation rule when we booked the cottage six months ago, and then had to break it myself to keep an editorial project on track. Talk about eating crow.

Anyway, we're back in Canberra and entering the last couple of weeks of summer holidays, which doesn't seem possible - probably because the last couple of years we've been in Missouri, where school summer vacation lasts for three solid months. Now that's juggling.

Speaking of juggling, we had a dinner guest last night, a plan which emerged just before we left for the beach, and so which I didn't put in my diary and therefore realize would bump up against a 7:30pm work call I had already confirmed and could not reschedule. So yesterday afternoon found me trying to make a meal plan from what I had on hand (no time to grocery shop) that would produce a meal that was simple (but guest-worthy!), and would allow me to excuse myself from the after-dinner conversation, but leave something good behind as compensation.

Luckily our guest is an old friend, so no standing on ceremony was required. I made a batch of browned butter chocolate chip cookies; I baked two trays' worth of dough, and filled a big plate to put on the table when dessert time rolled around. I even had time to eat two before I had to dash away. Afterwards, while I cleaned up the kitchen, I scooped the uncooked dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, I put the cookie dough lumps in a heavy-duty freezer bag, ready for our next dinner guest - or to bake up by ones or twos when we want a little something sweet ourselves.

This freezing-dough-lumps technique would work equally well with other kinds of cookie dough - world peace cookies, mistake cookies, sugar cookies - and it's very reassuring to think of it stashed away, just in case you need it on short notice. You never know when a cookie emergency is likely to happen.

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