We have passed the one-year anniversary of moving into our happily ever after home.
From strawberry-scented dreams we built her, ripped the berries out to lay her bones in the stony earth. Through sparkling winter, her empty frame bathed in moonlight, while she gazed up at the universe to watch blue spirits dance. Through dusty summer we dressed her; she beamed beside the trees, waiting for her beating heart to come and fill her with life.
For a year our voices have rippled against white walls and left their echo in her panes. We’ve made some marks of childhood, scuffs and scratches on baseboards, errant doodles on the floor. A fresh coat and a scrub will erase them, but her memories will remain. Her garden, once a barren field of rock, is slowly sprouting green, as the churned-up earth has finally settled to allow tiny roots to take hold. Baby trees have been planted, wrapped in wire to save them from hungry mouths while they are young, and now have green buds on their branches to commemorate their first winter in their forever home beside her.
Over the year we’ve added more to her, most recently two rows of raspberries on her western side. Some planters will be next, then maybe a garden fence, so I can finally cease my scuttling under the fishnet. Inside, there is one room I’m planning to dress in a different color, an office wall begging for floral paper, and temporary furniture still waiting to be replaced — all in good time. We have all the time we need.
To celebrate our home’s first breath, I made chocolate chip cookies. This year on her birthday, I made oatmeal raisin.
Oatmeal raisin cookies
Ingredients for about 2 ½ dozen cookies:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon (more or less to taste — I like 1 full teaspoon)
2 ¾ cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins
Cream your butter, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy and lightened in color.
Add the eggs one at a time, making sure the egg is completely incorporated before moving on to the next.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and baking soda.
Add the raisins to the flour and mix. Be sure there are no clumps of raisins before continuing.
Add the oats to the mixture and stir to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently mix until the dough is homogeneous. Try not to overmix or you will have tough cookies.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator while your oven preheats to 350 degrees.
Line your baking tray with parchment paper.
Use your hands to roll the cookies into balls about the size of golf balls, then flatten slightly on the parchment to make little pucks.
Bake for 10-12 minutes then transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool. They should be slightly gooey in the center when you take them out. If they are fully cooked on the pan, they will be dry and hard by the time they cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week.