We have been blessed with the first rain of the season; it began to fall on Friday and has not stopped. Normally, I love the rain and look forward to a long season of cold wet weather, for winter gives me an excuse to stay inside and knit, bake, or make soap. However, the timing of this storm concerned me and for good reason. Construction of my long awaited chicken coup was scheduled to begin this weekend, but with the precipitation, it would surely be put on hold once again.
While lying in bed Saturday morning, listening to the rain fall, I felt a little glum knowing that my chickens would have to stay at their temporary residence for at least another week. You can imagine my surprise when without a complaint, my husband got out of bed, borrowed a pop up tent from my sister and began building the coop despite the weather. While I stayed cozy and dry in the house, warmed by the fire, hubby was downstairs in the driveway sawing and hammering, piecing together the Playhouse Chicken Coup in the miserable drizzle. Mind you, I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs — I don’t even know how to do that — I am knitting Christmas socks, crafting my third batch of soap, and feeling a bit like a homesteader from the 1800s. My mom always said I was born in the wrong century.
On Sunday, same story: husband gets out of bed, drinks coffee, builds chicken coop. Today though, while he worked, I decided to forgo the knitting to make a special treat for him: chocolate chip cookies. I figured this is the least I could do for a man who gave up his entire weekend to turn my dream of keeping chickens into a reality. As the cookies baked, the air was filled with a scent reminiscent of Peppermint Patties (yesterday’s soap fragrance mingling with this morning’s chocolate chip cookies). I love days like this!
I took the first gooey batch from the oven, grabbed the biggest, most chocolatey cookie I could find, and walked downstairs. There, on the garage floor, hunched over 2x4s and 1×1 poultry fencing was the love of my life. What a sweet sight. I asked him to close his eyes and hold out his hands, into which I placed a fresh-from-the-oven treat. Now, he was the one pleasantly surprised.
As he happily gobbled his cookie, I looked around the garage admiring his fine work, excited by the progress being made. This week, I will drive to the paint store and choose the perfect color for the roosting and laying “barn” — a burnt red with white trim. These colors were chosen by my son with a reminder, “Mom it will be the red barn you have always wanted.”
Although we live in the city, I can’t help but feel like the country farmer I was born to be. With our intensely planted fruit orchard/vegetable patch, herb garden, and chickens on the way, our urban farm is almost complete. Before long, we will have a modest supply of fresh food, including eggs, for a good part of the year. With all of these elements falling together, I am reminded of and feel thankful for a mother who instilled in me the farming spirit I still have today (see previous post “Try Saying Organilocavegetarian Three Times Fast). I am also grateful for my husband, his supportive nature, and for the synchrony of our relationship.
Because I know that most everyone loves a good cookie, I will share my recipe with you. Happy weekend and happy cooking!
Hubby’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 fresh egg
1 fresh egg yolk
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the softened butter, brown and white sugar completely. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop cookie dough a heaping tablespoon at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookie edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!