When was the last time you sat down and curled up with a book?
Today is a fast paced digital world of tweets, Facebook status updates, mobile phone apps, and on demand TV. Where anything and everything is available as soon as you can type your request into Google. Where you never have to be alone in your own thoughts while waiting in line because your trusty mobile phone is on hand to keep you distracted. Where watching TV and surfing the web/playing a game on your mobile phone are activities that we do at the same time, not separately. Where we are so busy multi-tasking and keeping ourselves distracted that it feels almost strange and perhaps even difficult to focus on one thing…..like reading a book.
I readily admit I have the digital age bug. If I am waiting in a doctors office I will whip out my iPhone and keep myself occupied, or I’ll be catching up on my favourite food blogs while I have the TV on in the background. Having said that though, there are times where I like to slow down, turn off the digital gadgets and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Such as reading a book.
It’s sad to think that reading a book is, in some ways, a lost art. I know of many people who will go and watch a movie based on a book but never contemplate reading the book. Reading a book, or novel requires effort, dedication and focus, something that also seems to be a little lost in the age of multitasking. A book is something you can’t consume immediately, it could take a day, a few days or even a couple of weeks to read. But when you make the effort, it’s worth it.
Personally, I love reading. A good book can get you so engrossed that the hours fly by in the blink of an eye and have you feeling like you were part of the story. While there are so many wonderful books out there, for me, I am immediately drawn to books that are based on history. Nerdy perhaps, but history and historical figures often have such interesting stories to tell, so interesting that often it can be the type of story that is better than anything an author could invent.
One of my favourite books, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, is one such book. It was a page turner, as they say, and such a good book I recommended it to many friends who enjoyed it as much as I did. One friend was so engrossed in the book, which she began reading while she was waiting for her train to work one day, that she missed her train and the next three before she noticed!
I have also amassed a collection of historical fiction based on Egypt. I’ve always been fascinated with ancient Egypt, and whilst as much I wish I could, I can’t go back and time and see what it was like to live in the age of the Pharaohs, so I read about it.
So, today, why not make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, settle down with a warm cookie and a cup of tea and a good book and let yourself get carried away by the story. To aide that, I’ve included Dorie Greenspan’s delicious chocolate cookie recipe below. The cookies are crunchy on the outside and chewy and soft in the middle with delicious chocolate chunks. They are something delicious that deserves to be savoured slowly, like a good book.
Tell me, do you read often? What is your favourite book?
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours
Makes 40 to 45 cookies
- 2 cups of plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- 8 ounces of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2/3 cup of brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Center a rack in your oven and preheat to 190 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit) and line 2 baking trays with either baking paper or a silicone matt.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
- Using a stand mixer beat the butter and sugars on a medium speed until well blended before adding the vanilla.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
- Reduce the mixer speed and add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, only adding the next when the previous addition is well combined.
- Finally, add the chopped chocolate.
- Spoon the mixture in slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies as they will flatten out during baking.
- Bake, one tray at a time, alternating trays so that each tray has a chance to cool in between batches, for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are golden in the middle and brown at the edges. Leave the cookies to rest on the tray for a minute or so before moving onto a cooling rack.
The cookies can be stored for approximately 4 days in an airtight container.