It seems only fitting that baking cookies is the perfect answer to christening a new oven. No, my kitchen is not yet complete, counter tops and a kitchen sink are yet to come. However, I am back to cooking and it is such a welcome comfort after eating fast food and take-out for the past few weeks. The meals I am making are very simple, generally using one dish. I am trying to keep dish washing to a bare minimum since I ain’t got no runnin’ water in the kitchen. We eat off of disposable plates with plastic eating utensils and drink out of disposable cups. We have a very, very large carbon foot print right now.
But back to the oven and the cookies. The oven actually has a 13 1/2 year story. When we first moved into this house in December of 1998, we bought a new wall oven to fit in a space that was being used as a very dysfunctional desk in the kitchen. We had measured carefully, but on move-in day, the electrician informed us that the oven required 1/2-inch more space than we had available. As we discussed options, the only answer was a re-design of the area housing the ramshackle ‘desk’, the pantry, and the refrigerator. We had already had to take out the cabinet above the refrigerator because our refrigerator was too tall. Now we were going to have to rip out everything on that side of the kitchen in order to make room for the oven. It was not a possibility at that time…or for the next 13 1/2 years. So, the oven sat boxed up in the garage, waiting.
As the years passed and a new kitchen seemed to grow into more of an impossibility, the oven in its box became a part of the scenery in the garage. We worked around it, never wanting to give up hope for a time when there would be a new kitchen. At last, almost unexpectedly, the new kitchen suddenly became a possibility. Now, with much gratitude and joy we finally have a place inside the house for the oven.
While John and I were out running errands on Saturday, he asked me if we could have tin foil dinners for dinner. “I want us to have a meal out of that oven,” he said. “Tin foil dinners sound so good!” It sounded like a plea, a need, a want so deep that it spoke of far more than mere physical hunger. His soul needed sustenance as much as did mine. The reasons behind the request were born out of personal struggles that have accompanied our lives for a long time now. Simple, home-cooked food fills more than just an empty belly.
For John, a tin foil dinner would fulfill his needs, but for me, I needed to bake cookies first. “Okay, I’ll make the tin foil dinners after I make the cookies. I’ll just hurry up and do the cookies as soon as we get home and then I’ll bake the dinners.”
“What? Why can’t you bake the cookies in the other oven (we have a regular stove, too) while the dinners are baking in the new oven?” he asked.
“John! Cookies should be the first thing to come out of the new oven. Cookies say hearth and home and family! I’m making cookies and then I’ll make the tin foil dinners. I’ve got a new recipe and I really need to make it. It will be perfect.” John smiled at my earnestness. I like it when I am earnest and John smiles.
The cookies that came out of the oven were the perfect choice. The recipe is from Stella B’s Kitchen, one of my favorite blogs. I always feel like I am at home whenever I visit her blog.
John got a cookie from the christening batch out of the new oven. He loved it! I mean he really, really loved it. Yes, I honestly believe that you can love an inanimate object. But wait, are cookies inanimate? I mean they come from viable ingredients and despite the category of being a sweet, they can provide sustenance. Especially these cookies. They have a lovely amount of oatmeal without being an ‘oatmeal’ cookie and are lightly crispy on the outside while staying chewy on the inside. Welcome home.