Friday, July 2, 2010

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

I've slept most of this week. I just haven't felt like staying awake...Or, it's more like I can't drum up the energy to stay awake. And I would definitely love to stay awake, seeing as 99% of my dreams are vividly unsettling or full-blown nightmares (like the one I had last night where Aaron Echolls was chasing me. Unnnnsettling. Most likely brought on from re-watching season one of Veronica Mars with Steve, who had never seen it. Aaron Echolls is a scary man.) Anyway. The point is, I'm sleeping too much. And am kind of trapped in a vicious sleep circle--the more I sleep, the more weak/exhausted I feel; yet I don't have enough energy or motivation to fight through it and wake up. It's annoying.
So I'm up in the middle of the night right now, doing one of my favorite insomniac activities: reading The Pioneer Woman. Of course, I really don't cook. I have sparse cooking skills and my impatience with it overwhelms my desire to get better at it. But I inexplicably love reading food blogs like Pioneer Woman. I think in the back of my mind I know I'll eventually start cooking a little more in the future and probably still won't be that great at it, but will be better than I am now. Anyway. I'm reading her recipe for Decadent Chocolate Milk right now, but had to stop temporarily when I got to the part where she mentions semi-sweet chocolate. Because it triggered a series of totally random childhood memories.

When I wasn't at home, I spent the majority of my childhood hanging out with my oldest friends, Justine and Lanie. I met them when I randomly walked out of my house at age three or so, and toddled over to their house out of all the houses in our neighborhood. I remember I was wearing my white Mary Jane shoes that had the little hole punch pattern on the toe. Remember those kinds of shoes? I wandered over to their house, knocked on the door, and met their Mama (her name is June) and met Justine. Little Lanie was asleep in her crib, so we all had to whisper and tip-toe. June called my Mama who was frantic with worry by then, and I was returned to my house. That was pretty much the catalyst for a lifelong friendship, as I continued to stay friends with Justine and Lanie while my Mama continued to stay friends with their Mama.

Some of the most vivid memories I have of summer afternoons spent at their house revolve around food. We ate a lot of random things. June would make us "Dunkers," soft-boiled eggs which we ate with strips of toast. Or we would take out the tub of Nutella, and dip spoonfuls of it into Rice Krispies before eating it. I remember dreading when June would make us PB&J, because she made it with refrigerated bread, which I've always hated the taste of (and still hate to this day). But I never liked to complain when I was a guest in someone's house, so I ate it anyway. In terms of more decadent, ridiculous snacks, I remember Justine loved eating sweetened condensed milk right out of the can. I never really liked that. But we all loved the gluttonous joy of eating entire cans of cherry pie filling with a spoon! We usually had to do it secretly, because ohhh how our Moms hated that! A few years later, their stepdad John, who is from Brazil, would cook Brazilian meals for us. There is nothing more orgasmic than Brazilian steak, or that really delicious rice with the powdery stuff on top (I forgot the name). June's best friend, Mary Beth, who Justine and Lanie referred to as "Auntie," was the proprietor and cake chef at Maribelle Cakery. We loved visiting the kitchen and stealing spoonfuls of frosting, or sampling her latest recipe. Whenever Justine and Lanie had a birthday, we always had a deliciously outrageous cake from Maribelle to eat.

Oddly enough, one of my favorite snacks was the most simple: semi-sweet chocolate chips. We'd pour them into the dainty little glasses that June usually used for Dunkers. But Justine, Lanie and I would use them for eating cupfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips while watching TV shows after school or during the summer. Every time I eat a semi-sweet chocolate chip, I definitely taste those childhood afternoons. And remember all the other random and delicious food we ate growing up. I just bought a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips from the grocery store for exactly this reason. All I need are some soft-boiled egg glasses to eat them out of.

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