Monday, September 5, 2011

Winning, Losing, and What's Left: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Over the past few years I seem to have had a streak of good luck at winning things. I won a stroller, a bicycle for my son, an ice cream block party for my neighborhood, a Coconut Bliss party for the youth group I was advising at the time, a nursing cover, a shipment of guacamole, a large bottle of chicken soup, two tickets to a kids' show in NYC, packets of oatmeal, a basket I helped to weave at our local Earth Day celebration.  I've sometimes thought that winning things is part of the great karmic wheel ... I win something, then I give something away, then I win something else, then I give something away.

Apparently my winning streak does not extend to job-hunting.

I got an email late Friday saying that the people who had interviewed me couldn't come up with the funds they thought they could, and so they will not be able to hire me after all. They've asked if I'd be interested in consulting work for an interim while they look for another person who can work for less.  Well, shit.

I feel like I shot myself in the foot. Maybe I shouldn't have asked for a higher salary. Maybe I should have tried to make child care work better, put N. in a place that cost less so that I could take this job, even if the care wasn't what I wanted (after all, parents make do with what they can afford, and many of them are not as lucky as we have been). Maybe I should have accepted the step backwards in salary and in grade, knowing that I can't just expect to move laterally or forward when I jumped ship, even if the conditions were such that I couldn't stay and still face myself in the mirror every morning.

Then again, maybe it wasn't mean to be, and I just haven't found the right path yet.

The fact remains that now I've got a big fat lot of nada.

Except cookies.

Actually, I don't have these any more, either, because I packed them up with the dinner I made for my friend whose husband--the heart transplant recipient--is still in the hospital (though he may be coming home on Wednesday, hooray!), because their little boy is allergic to eggs, and because little boys need chocolate chip cookies.

But you could have them, in a jiffy.  They're easy to make, and they are--honestly--even better than regular non-vegan chocolate chip cookies.  Not exactly good for you, because, well, they're cookies.  But if what you want is a cookie, then they do quite nicely.

And it's important to keep perspective here.  Even if I don't have cookies, or a job, I haven't lost what those folks in Vermont have lost (BTW, thanks, Keiko, for posting the link to the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund; that's a great organization, if you feel like you would like to help those folks out), or even what folks in our back yard have lost (I heard today about the family of a friend whose entire town will be bulldozed in November).  My basement didn't flood.  Even my freezer full of mama-milk survived the hurricane.  I have a husband and two beautiful children.  And I still have self-respect.  It's harder to muster up some days than others, but it's there.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/4 c. unsweetened almond or soymilk
2/3 c. canola oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
2 t. vanilla
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large light metal baking sheets.

Mix together sugars, oil, milk and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until it resembles smooth caramel. Mix in the vanilla.

Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips (you may need to use your hands)

Roll the dough into about ping pong ball size balls. Flatten them out in your hands to about 2 1/2 inches. They will spread just a bit. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes – until they are just a little browned around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
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  1. I am so sorry about the job. That sucks. It does sound like they just didn't have the funds for the long-term, given that they wanted to come up with a short-term solution. I wouldn't beat yourself up.

    And those cookies, just like everything you make look so yummy! I wish I lived nearer so I could be a part of your tasting lab ;)

  2. I'm sorry to hear about the job. I hope that the right one comes along soon and that you'll recognize it easily.

    In these days of instant gratification, I soooo wish I could have one of those cookies. right. now!!

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about the job. Job-hunting can be so demoralizing. Stay hopeful; the right job might be just around the corner. If you had taken the job for a much lower salary, you would have been unhappy and felt undervalued in the long run.

  4. ah, I'm so sorry. I think it means that there is something much better around the corner. Make a batch of cookies for yourself, you deserve them.

  5. BAKING COMPANY!!!!!! I need to place an order lovely lady!!! Mmmm vegan cookies Mmmmm.

  6. You're so right. We have so much to be grateful for, and I try to count my blessings every day. Still, I'm sorry to hear about your job falling through. That must be such a disappointment.

  7. I'm sorry about the job, Justine. You're dynamic, articulate and thoughtful, and wherever you land next will be damn lucky to have you and better for it. Hope you're feeling a bit better...

    These cookies look DIVINE. My hubs as a soy sensitivity, and for so long it was such a challenge to find GOOD chocolate chips without soy. We finally found a great brand, and it's vegan and so yummy and dark.

    Hope all is well for your transplant friend!

  8. It's hard not to feel like it's a whole lot of nada, but I'm going to subscribe to the "it just wasn't the right path for you" theory. And hope that, either, a) something else even better comes a lot, or, b) they get their funding in order.

    (But why, oh why, do those e-mails always come on Friday afternoons, just in time to cast a pall over the weekend?)

  9. Those cookies look so darn yummy!!! Hope you are dong well.


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