The Secret Ingredient

     The grocery lady’s eyes lit up as she surveyed my batch of items. Perceptively she inquired if I was on a mission to bake chocolate chip cookies. I smiled shyly and told her truthfully that I am a decent cook, but baking eludes me. Honestly, if faced with a baking 101 final exam, I would fail miserably. At that point, my new best friend leaned in and asked if I would like the secret to baking world-class cookies.

     Before I share the magical ingredient with you, here’s a bit of background. My friend, Carol (excellent cook and baker), gave me the recipe for “Salty Oats Oatmeal Cookies,” She adds chocolate chips, walnuts, craisins, and raisins. When Carol pops these out of the oven, the end result is round, crunchy, sweet, and salty, bits of heaven. Yum!

Chocolate Cookie Isolated On White Background

My goal is to learn how to master this recipe. So, in the still of an early sunny Saturday morning, I asked Alexa to play some sultry music, carefully assembled all the ingredients, collected the appropriate tools, including a hot pink spatula my friend Jeanette gifted me with (where would I be without my friends?) and after whispering up a little prayer, revisited what the lady at Walmart shared.

     Can you guess the secret ingredient? Okay, maybe you’re thinking it’s love, close, but that’s not it. Ready? Drum roll, please. What makes a cookie great is patience. You see, before learning the secret, my grocery lady friend confessed to zipping around the kitchen baking cookies for her grandchildren. Her goal being, “just get it done” until one day she tapped the breaks and performed the task mindfully.

     I don’t know about you, but I am often guilty of a “just get it done” mentality. I rush a task, mind elsewhere, and end up tripping over my own feet, sometimes literally.

     Let’s drill down on patience for a bit. First off, it’s considered a virtue, which of course, is a good thing showing high moral standards. Keep reading as there is more upside. For example, studies show patient people suffer less depression and negative emotions. They have more satisfying relationships due to the ability to be more empathic and forgiving. These individuals are less demanding and more understanding of the world around them. 

Patient people maintain a positive attitude making life’s speed bumps and curveballs easier to navigate and field. As I can attest, the ability to slow things down and not skimp on details is rewarded with a better end product.

Oh, about my “patient” baking experience. Adding the secret ingredient to the mix worked in a rather interesting way. When I accidentally splattered batter all over the backsplash of my countertop, refrigerator, and cabinets (yeah, I’m rather clumsy with a hand mixer), I laughed with abandon. Thanks to the Walmart grocery lady, my laid-back demeanor helped keep my cool as I buffed and polished the glass tiles and other affected areas. Final note: Not only did my cookies look and taste great (well, maybe not a good as Carol’s), but I enjoyed the process of being a messy but happy baker.

4 thoughts to “The Secret Ingredient”

  1. Another excellent article. You always have a way of ‘capturing’ me, even in an article about cooking (ok baking – all the same to me!). Well done Sunny!

  2. I don’t bake cookies. My patience challenge comes when I’m standing in line at the grocery store. Two people in front of me each with a huge basket full to the brim.

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