Almond tarragon cookies

Almond tarragon cookies

Almond tarragon cookies

It’s been such a strange week, with Malcolm starting middle school and summer coming to a close and me sort of starting a new job. I’ll tell you what I keep thinking about, the image that keeps playing over and over in my head. One evening we went down to the river. The sun was beautiful as it set in the blue-shadowed clouds, the trees were beautiful as they settled into fall. Isaac danced around collecting conkers with David, who could reach into the branches. Later Isaac would bring the conkers home and leave them on a table with a sign that read “choos yore chestnut.” He labeled them small, medeum, and large. I’d been asking Malcolm all day long about school. I get little snatches of information, but I really have no idea how he feels about it all. I was trying not to hound him, but you could tell he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Well, he went into the water, and he went way out to the middle of the river, all by himself, and he stood battling the never-ending current. It came gently but relentlessly towards him, and he splashed against it, in a world by himself, in his element, thinking.

Almond tarragon cookies

Almond tarragon cookies

Tarragon in something sweet! In cookies! Light lacy almond cookies! I’ll admit I was a little scared to try this, because I’ve always thought of tarragon as a savory flavor. But I’ve also always thought that the lemony anisey taste would be nice in a sweet setting. So I only added this to half the cookies. They turned out absolutely delicious, with a light, haunting addictive flavor.

Here’s Sister Rosetta Tharpe with Down by the Riverside.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Almond cherry chocolate chip cookes

cherry-chocolate-almond-cooMy boys are very close to one another. They’re hyperbonded. They love each other more than anything in the world, and they drive each other crazy like nobody else can. They share a room, and recently they moved their beds to be next to each other, despite the fact that this defied all reason, and that they blocked windows, doors and desk drawers. They lie in bed talking and giggling till all hours, discussing their secret world. I worry sometimes that they’re so content with each others’ company that they won’t make friends outside the family. But I think, in fact, they’re learning what it feels like to be a good friend, and to have a good friend. And that can only be a good thing when it’s carried out into the rest of the world. My brother and I have always been close–I can’t remember a time that we didn’t get along, and he’s always been an inspiration and a comfort to me. I have so many memories of discovering music with him, of trying to find my own music that he didn’t know about first. Of sitting in his room playing, and listening to an old boom box. Of riding in his car after he learned to drive, and listening to music that made us feel free, of dancing in somebody’s attic in the city where we both ended up for a time after college. Of arguing about the meaning of No Woman No Cry whilst walking the dark streets of Amsterdam, of dancing around the living room when we were all together in London for a week at New Years. Of course our parents had a lot to do with it, too. We listened to their records and liked what they liked. They danced around the living room, too. So this week’s interactive Sunday playlist is music that reminds you of your family. Music that makes you think about your siblings and their friends, or long family car trips, or certain holidays. Parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends-as-good-as-siblings, grandparents–all or any of these will do. And whatever your children are listening to will someday be the music that reminds them of you, so that counts, too. I’ve started the playlist here, so add what you’d like.

I was thinking that these cookies are perfectly Claire-y Ordinary-y cookies. I love cooking with almonds, I love the combination of bittersweet chocolate and tart fruit, and I love cookies that are crispy outside and soft in. And these are all those things! I added a bit of condensed milk, because I had some to use up, but I think these would work without it, so don’t not make them if you don’t have any.

Happy Sunday, everybody! The sun is shining here, and I hope it’s shining on you, too.
Continue reading