Bitter Sweet


Do you remember the first time you made cookies? Where you were? Who you were with? How the dough felt between your fingers? How it tasted, when you ate some cookie dough before being scolded and told it would make you feel sick? Did it make you feel sick?

My first cookie-making memory is of making peanut-butter cookies at my daycare - a classic three-ingredient thing of magic. I still love pressing the tines of a fork into the cookies, leaving my mark. We leave our small marks over time, as time leaves its marks upon us. My scattered memories shape and guide me, even those most mundane. Like the memory of crying when my mother dropped me off at daycare for the first time. I wonder if I got a cookie after that? I don’t remember anymore.

But today we’re not going to make peanut-butter cookies. We’re going to make oatmeal chocolate-chip - my favourite. I first made these cookies in my dorm in Halifax in 2014, which, unconventionally, had a small communal kitchen equipped with a working oven. Making a late-night snack with a dorm-mate, we had everything we needed but the egg. After a quick google on egg alternatives, banana was the winner, and did not disappoint. Even before going vegan the following year, the banana egg-substitute became my go-to version for this cookie.

I love bananas. I eat one nearly every day, sometimes more than one if I'm hungry and too busy to make lunch. I've been told this is gross, more than once actually. There is something about the taste and feel of banana in your mouth, that mushy chew, that gets kind of disgusting when it goes on too long. But it’s also what binds these cookies, giving them the taste and texture that I love.

This recipe was adapted from CanadianLiving.com’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. CanadianLiving.com is my go-to for recipes, at least classic comfort foods like baked goods, even though I do have to veganize pretty much all of it. I like to improvise in the kitchen, combining recipes to make them my own. My mom used to get Canadian living magazines when I was a kid. I don’t really remember making recipes out of them, but for that reason it feels like a trust-worthy source. Familiar, in place of the family recipes I long for. I have transcribed a few of my Oma’s recipes over the years, carefully writing out the grams of zucker und mehl required, but something feels lost. Surely we have more food traditions than Linzertorte and Goulash?

I wonder how my attachment to Canadian Living speaks to my settler ideals? I mean Canada is fake, but, can we still make a good cookie?



shared cookie memories
   
Piper Curtis 2020
Montreal, Quebec