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PEACE

April 9, 2011

Being human ain’t easy, folks. So much sadness and trouble. The shooting at Southern Union, which is just a short drive from my home, on Wednesday startled me because it’s easy to get lured into thinking that bad things usually happen in faraway places. I think one way in which I’ve changed in the past year is in realizing that I will never be completely physically safe. When I lived in Spain last summer, I often wandered around by myself without worry. I have a good sense of direction and perhaps I was silly enough to believe that little 5 foot 2 and 3/4 inch Meridith could overpower anyone who was in her way. Having my house broken into last semester and hearing about a string of incidents, like armed robberies, around campus, completely changed me. I lock my bedroom door, front door, car door constantly, and carry Mace at the ready on my keychain at all times. I don’t like that. I don’t like that I worry about my safety and that of others so often now. In response to my worrying one day, a friend reminded me that sometimes bad things that can’t be prevented happen in life, and  we might as well live as happily as possible in hopes that they won’t. That’s true. I wish I could envelop everyone I love in a giant protective bubble so they’d never feel pain, but that’s just not possible. Instead, I want everyone I care about to know that I love them and I hope to continue to promote peace. One day we’re here and the next day we’re gone,  and I think doing the little things, like smiling at strangers in grocery stores and letting other cars pass in front of me, matter.

On another note — I haven’t baked in a while and I don’t fully know why that is. I think you have to be in the mood to cook, and I just haven’t been. I still spend a great deal of time pouring over food blogs and reading Mark Bittman, and I know I’ll get back into it eventually. In the meantime, I never posted this recipe for oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips, craisins, and pretzel pieces. It’s one that received rave reviews from my guinea pigs and  I invented it  myself. These cookies are a nice sweet+salty combo.

Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate, Craisins, and Pretzels
(makes around 3 dozen cookies)

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. quick cooking oats
1 c. white chocolate chips
3/4 c. craisins
1/2 c. pretzel pieces

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
-Cream butter and sugars till smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.
-Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into creamed mix till just blended. Mix in oats, white chocolate chips, craisins, and pretzel pieces gently.
-Drop tbsp. full onto baking sheets and bake each sheet for 12 mins.

One last thing. If you haven’t listened to Adele’s new album, you’re missing out. Stop listening to “Friday” and put on “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Rolling in the Deep,” both of which have been playing non-stop at my house for the past few days now.

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