This was supposed to be a post about kale, but then we had a PBC issue, and kale flew out the window on its lovely ruffled wings, leaving me and the bag of cookies alone together.
The cookies are for our book. We created some of the recipes for the book together, some were developed by me and some by Ebo (or, to be formal, by my husband, Mr. David Bonom) . Oh, and many are not yet developed– we still have a little more than a month before our final deadline.
The Peanut Butter Cookie Problem began more a decade ago, in the giddy whirlwind time just before love was named but was on both our minds. He made me laugh and feel safe; he helped me trust again when my brain scolded my heart for even considering it. I’m not entirely sure what I was to him then; he later told me that when I first said “I love you” he felt as though he held a little bird in his cupped hands, its tiny wings beating against his palms as it prepared to soar.
I can’t remember how it ended up that he left the plastic zip-top bag on my counter. But there it sat, just me and that haphazard pile of tawny Peanut Butter Cookies, their fork-branded tops peeking out through the plastic like so many friendly alien faces, asking me to engage with them in friendly conversation– nothing more, truly! Or so they promised. No sooner had I settled into my office for the day then I felt the need to head back to the kitchen to check on them. There they were, all toppled together, giggling amongst themselves about a funny PBC secret. I wanted “in”: I opened the bag.
Now, I love peanut butter and I love cookies, but I didn’t expect to be overpowered with greedy lust the way I was. Maybe this is what happens with crack. Maybe that was the moment I knew I needed to marry him and have access to those cookies for ever more.
I couldn’t stop myself. I had one cookie and then another; that rich, salty sweetness was like the mermaid’s song, calling me back each time I managed to tear myself away. At around 11 am I returned to the kitchen for the third or fourth time, ashamed and so full it nearly hurt. But I had another. I knew I was in trouble; I called him at work. He promised to never leave me alone in the house with an entire bag of those Peanut Butter Cookies, cross his heart, till death do us part.
Death didn’t us part, but as you see from the photo above, PBC have returned to the lair. He hasn’t stopped loving me, or caring for me, or protecting me from the sweet song of my addiction. Instead, as we sat down to make a list of all the recipes that will be included in our upcoming* book I said shyly, “What about the peanut butter cookies?” He didn’t look up, but there was a moment of silence. “Okay,” he said, and I put it on the list.
Here’s the thing about our book: the food is generally healthful. The recipes produce dishes in reasonable portions with moderate amounts of saturated fat, sodium and calories. We have the Cooking Light seal of approval– they’re even putting their name on the cover with ours. (One could say it is like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for healthful food.) Guess what this means about those cookies?
What it doesn’t mean, as you might surmise if we happen to run into each other, is that the cookies are any less compelling. (Ten cookies for breakfast simply can’t be worn well.) Oh, I might as well just say it: the photo above was going to be of a platter stacked sky high with cookies.
Here we are, nine years after I pledged the rest of my life to my Peanut Butter Cookie Man. His cookies still make me hungry when I think I am full, smile when I think I am sad, warm when I think it is cold…and oh so very sated. Happy Anniversary, my Peanut Butter Cookie Man.
For every one else reading here, since I began by telling you this post was supposed to be about kale, and I don’t want to be accused of a bait and switch, here’s kale. You’ll get Peanut Butter Cookies in Spring of 2015 when the book comes out.
Sausage, Bean and Kale Soup
This thick soup freezes well.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chopped onions
5 cloves garlic mince
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup red wine
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped in their juice
19-ounce can low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
12 ounces red potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 19-ounce can low sodium white beans
16 ounces chicken sausage, preferably spicy, sliced
1 pound kale, torn in 3-inch pieces (about 6-7 cups)
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Heat olive oil over medium high in a large stock pot. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook 2 minutes. Add oregano and wine and boil for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, potatoes, and sausage and simmer 15 minutes.
- Stir in beans. Working in batches, add about a third of the kale to the pot and toss it until it reduces enough in size to add more kale to the pot. Continue this procedure, which takes about 5 minutes, until all the kale is added to the soup. Stir in the vinegar and simmer another 5 minutes, or until the kale and potatoes are tender.
Makes 6 servings
Nutritional analysis per serving: 359 calories, 22 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 10 g dietary fiber, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 823 mg sodium
* It is due out in Spring of 2015, which isn’t so much ‘upcoming’ as it is ‘future’.