Thursday, December 22, 2011


I know the final days of shopping are upon us. Christmas is literally just around the corner. Yikes. Each year there's someone in my life I'm frantically running around town for, desperately trying to find the *perfect gift* and coming up empty handed store after store. On the other hand, there's always my dad who, when asked what he'd like for Christmas, simply replies year after year, "CCCs!!!" In fact, he usually starts campaigning for CCCs around his birthday in October. "Where are my CCCs?" . . . . "You're making CCCs for me for Christmas, right?" . . . . "You know what would taste good right about now? A CCC . . . "

What on Earth might you ask is that?! It's a Chocolate Chip Cookie. Well, specifically my homemade chocolate chip cookies. While some people claim to have the greatest CCC recipe with all sorts of fancy twists and unique spins, sometimes just a plain ole chocolate chip is hard to beat. I always go with the Tollhouse recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. And therein lies the humor around "my special CCCs." They're not special at all. They're the most ordinary chocolate chip cookie in the world and yet my father claims mine are the best! How that's possible remains a mystery to me. In fact, my sister-in-law and I crack up every Christmas when my dad opens his box of CCCs and exclaims, "These are the best in the world!" Because truly anyone can make these cookies. In fact, they do. In fact my sister-in-law did make these for my dad once in an act of kindness. And he had the nerve (and short-sightedness) to tell her that mine were better! I mean really. It's the same damn cookie! It's certainly not better.

But this morning I woke up to the sunrise on the creek at my parent's house to make my grandmother's famous buttermilk biscuits for everyone for breakfast. My grandmother, whom we call Monk, makes the best biscuits in the world. And I have legions of people who have tasted them and would agree vehemently. She gave me her recipe a few years ago. Well, she's 92 so doesn't actually use recipes. She cooks and bakes from memory and years and years of practice. Anyway, she taught me how to make her biscuits and even watches me execute them. She says I do it the same way she does, using the same recipe and technique, and yet I refuse to agree that they taste the same. Her's are the best. Mine are not. But people still gobble them up and tell me how good they are. But to me, they're still not Monk's.

And I realized that's why when someone else serves my dad a Tollhouse CCC, he will say they're not as good as mine. It's because sometimes the gift is the person who gave it to you, not the gift.

Happy {Early} Christmas to all.

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