It is commonplace for me to draw attention at meal time. One such time I can vividly remember, I was eating a dish of pasta with much fervor. Subtle groaning sounds, chewing, and the slur of adjectives like beautiful and gorgeous left my lips. It wasn't a beautiful creature in front of me that illicited such a reaction. It was simply carbonara, crusty bread, a glass of wine. My fork clanked on the table. I longed for the plate to replenish itself. Some sort of miracle to negate the calories, conjure more. I wanted to begin again. I felt gawking eyes. They were wondering what the big deal was I suppose. They had no idea the pity I felt for them. That they might not know the joy of being infatuated with meal time, or realizing the true gift it is to have and relish in food that nurtures, that sustains.
We liken ourselves to food so frequently. Stop for a moment and think about it. If you disregard context, it's difficult to determine if we are talking about a dish of pasta or a human being. She is saucy, him sour, her quite bland. But that one. That's one tough cookie. You should stop being such a couch potato. She has an apple shape. I'm more of a pear. What a lemon. It's easy as pie. Gosh her zest for life is contagious. You are the salt of the Earth.
I don't think this is a coincidence. I think the food we eat captures where we come from and who we are. It encompasses our struggles, our weaknesses, and our motivation. It is as essential as the air we breathe. Food is a life source and tells a story- a colorful, vibrant story. It highlights conversations, gathers us in to be with one another, and the lack thereof can bring us to our knees. We strive to be as hearty, as robust, as reliable as the stew our Grandmother made.
While many foods have rich meaning, salt carries with it immense symbolism in historical and religious context. It waged wars, preserved civilizations, and continues to flavor our daily lives. To be the salt of the Earth connotes an enviable quality, to be unpretentious but certainly valuable. To be common perhaps but ever worth while. I love topping sweet treats with salt. I found a recipe for chewy salted chocolate chip cookies via Cooking Light and made just a few changes. They are well, gorgeous.
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. Place dark brown sugar, oil, and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add honey, vanilla, and egg; beat until well combined.
3. Spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat at low speed until almost combined.
4. Add chocolate, walnuts and coconut; beat at low speed just until combined.
5. Drop dough using a melon baller onto a parchment lined cookie sheet or use a non-stick mat. Sprinkle course sea salt over each cookie and press down gently.
6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are barely browned.
7. Cool cookies on pan for 3 minutes; place on a wire rack to cool.