The weather is changing rapidly in California and I don’t think I am who I was last week. Maybe a little more bitter. I know I’m not sleeping well. Under flannel sheets, I keep dreaming of the creek behind my house and the small tombstones made out of river rock. I’d etch the name of rabbits that never seemed to make it past the first winter.
I go home in a week. Home. Only one place that exists out of many that I have lived—five states before kindergarten. Two countries, two continents. A world of places I’ve laid my head. From boys’ laps to vinyl mattresses in a monastery outside of Rome. Home is where I left my parents last summer on a Greyhound headed to Philadelphia. Home is where I slammed a door so hard it broke the last remaining picture of my grandmother. Home is where my parents sleep. Home is where the fire place sits below the TV and it got too hot once that it warped the VHS’s that still are stacked in a pile on the mantle. I’ll go back to that place. I’ll stop regretting all this moving one day.
It gets dark here early, too. Something I didn’t think would happen on the West Coast. I’ve aged a lot in three years. I stopped biting my nails and there’s hair on my chest now. I took a shower with my glasses on the other day. I never can tell if I’m blind or just being stupid. Either way, California isn’t my home and the darker it gets, the earlier it is, the less I have to see of the cracked speedbumps and sky that I’m told goes on forever.
I’m waiting this week out. I’m writing Christmas cards. Thank-you notes. I called my dad and then lost service. I called my mom and we laughed for five minutes about nothing. I’m waiting this week out, waiting to go home. I take a red eye headed east. I bought a blanket to keep me warm on the plane. I wear jeans everywhere I go. I’m waiting for the day someone will tell me I don’t have to try so hard. I’m waiting for the day I can find a post-it note on my steering wheel, with my mom saying I love you in her cursive writing. Little loops around the L, big pauses between the verb and the object. I’m waiting for this week to end, so I can go home to the house that sometimes smells like cookies burning and all I hear is the word “cocoon”.
Potato Chip Shortbread Cookies
Make these cookies, they’ll taste like home. Salty and sweet, crumby and crumbly. A great start to your holiday. Makes 9-12 medium sized (3”) cookies
- 11 TB unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ¼ cup AP flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 oz potato chips, crushed to a powder in a food processor
- 3 oz dark chocolate
- 3 oz milk chocolate
- 1 TB coconut oi
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together butter, sugar, and vanilla until combined
2. Sift into bowl flour and salt, gradually add to butter mixture, mixing on low to combine
3. Add potato chip crumbs and mix for about a minute until full incorporated
4. Roll out onto a floured surface and pat into a disk
5. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest
6. While dough is resting, preheat oven to 350*F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
7. Roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thickness with a floured rolling pin
8. Cut into rounds and place on sheet. Repeat for remaining dough
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and edges are slightly browned
10. Allow to cool
11. While cookies are cooling, heat a small amount of water in a saucepan to simmer. Place a glass heatproof bowl on top of saucepan and add chocolate and coconut oil. Stir occasionally and keep heat low enough that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Keep stirring until fully melted.
12. Dip shortbread cookies into chocolate and allow to cool completely on a wire rack with a piece of parchment underneath
13. Sprinkle with a little more salt, sugar, or potato chip crumbs and enjoy