The act of defining oneself is an obsession of youth. When I was in high school, I wouldn't be caught dead in brown shoes. Mind you, they were a requirement of our uniform. Everyone morning, we would line up for assembly in our too short navy blue tartan skirts. Down the line, spindly legs ended in penny loafers and brown saddle shoes. Somewhere in all that order and propriety, I stood with my friends with my steel-toed Doc Martens. We all need to learn to take a stand and that was mine, inconsequential as it was. (Adulthood it seems to me is about shedding the need to assume xyz are the only things that make you cool.)
Recently, Belle has become increasingly verbal. She has explained many things about her life that I did not know: at school when they watch a movie, there is always popcorn; her sitter lets her do whatever she wants; and her grandfather's car is messy. She has also started telling me who she is. She is someone who wears pretty shoes, who wears pink dresses to birthday parties, and who does not like potatoes. Most importantly, she eats cookies. I don't actually mean Belle eats cookies; I mean she defines herself as a cookie eater. When introduced to strangers (donors at my work, her second-cousins, her doctor), she tells them, "Hello, I eat cookies." It is who she is, apparently. Of course, like all good mothers, I impede her abilities of self-definition. I have never actually given her a cookie. Graham crackers, cupcakes, sure. But cookies? I don't really like cookies and never even thought to give her one.
Children, of course, have plenty of influences. In my daughter's case, many of them, like my father, are bad ones. Clearly she has tasted and liked cookies somewhere. I wonder what that first taste was like. It must have really made an impact. Because, now, I have a little cookie monster on my hands.
Belle has been unsettled in the last few weeks as I have been fairly incapacitated. My mother thought making cookies with the two year old would lift her spirits. While the process was messy; it was fun. There were some tears when Belle realized the cookie batter needed to be baked before consumption. (Usually when I bake with her, I make vegan so she can taste the batter.) The result once baked was delicious (though I can't really consume lots of cookies right now.) My husband had two after dinner--apparently, he too eats cookies.
Mango Oatmeal Cookies
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 T light brown sugar
1.5 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1 T baking powder
2 t cardamom powder
1 cup overripe mango, diced
2 t rose water
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
2 T yogurt (I used Mango Lime flavored but vanilla would be okay)
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes. Makes about 36 cookies.
This is also my entry for Mango Mela held by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons.