Oatmeal Raisin-d’être

August 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

It was a soggy Monday, okay? I woke up before my alarm clock (again).

I hold that it’s not natural for a body to wake itself up at 5:37 am.

I wandered downstairs like a washed up soap opera starlet, streaks of last night’s makeup and all, and found Mom in the kitchen brewing Guatemalan coffee and singing to Enya (didn’t know anyone other than Enya, herself could sing along to Enya). Mom dangled her car keys in front me and told me that there was a heat advisory for the metro area today; I had better take a car in lieu of my bike (I have been wont to make the trip par velo). Ahem, excuse me–I am waking up early and listening to Mom sing “Sail Away” at this ungodly hour for a reason: I work part-time at a coffee-come-bike-shop called (cleverly): The Bikery, in Stillwater. And, as I am car-less, I hop on Precious, my champagne-&-maroon-colored Schwinn, and bike through the misty moors of Lake Elmo to roast Sumatra beans, make lattés, and sell gorgeous–but gorgeous–pastries.

I’ve been working in coffee for years. I could pull shots of espresso in my sleep. What keeps me awake is customer banter and baskets of buttery-sweet baked goods. Cue the drum roll: today’s spotlight falls on the old standby, the oatmeal raisin cookie.

Let me pledge my allegiance to you, oh cinnamony-sweet plateau of butter and landmines-of-rum-soaked-raisins, mine. I tried to ignore your spice-infused aroma for a the first weak-eyed hours of the morning behind an espresso bar, but around 10 am, I fell for you. Hard. What I like to do when consuming cookies: keep a glass of milk chilled in the fridge for a while. Ideally, we’re talking a tin cup, one of those royal blue cups that have the white flecks in it. Tin to contain the cold. Tin to compliment the richesse of a mammoth cookie. I totally, totally indulged today: cookie dunked in ice cold milk (albeit, no tin cups were to be found, high nor low in the kitchen).

I swear, Life lately has been either easy as a batch of oatmeal cookies and milk, or hard as scrubbing the coffee bean oils from the roaster (sticky and the color of elderberry honey). One minute I’m thinking about writing and illustration and how blessed I am and how much I love my family. And thank goodness I’m living with them again! And get to partake in their messy-beautiful lives! …The next minute I’m all dirty-coffee-roaster, ruffling my oily feathers over the fact that I miss speaking French, I wish I could settle on a project/a relationship/a job that wasn’t so…so…well? You know how coffee without cream is coffee at its purest? But cream or milk is sometimes necessary to give life to a flat brew? I want a well-rounded life that doesn’t need cream or milk or sugar. That’s just full-bodied and delicious as it is–plain.

I keep thinking of that cookie I ate today. Oatmeal reminds me of homey, nothing-fancy, no-one’s-judging-you food. And raisins are just standard. Ugly, even. But there’s something incredible about the combination. And with a glass of chilled milk? It’ll put your worried, basket-case-Mondays head to ease.

Check out the The Bikery’s earth-shattering-yet-plain-jane oatmeal raisin cookies.

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