When you really get down to it, almost everything in life is temporary. Your car, your clothes, your schedule, your location, your age, your experiences, the conversation you’ll have on the phone tonight, the meal you’ll eat for dinner, the way you’ll put your gym shoes on and take them off again.
These moments keep coming, quickly, passing through our fingers like shifting sand, and then are gone, replaced by something else, something which will also end. Mentally, I know this.
I know this. So I hate when I catch myself pushing, striving, demanding whatever temporary something seems very important in its moment, sacrificing faith, hope and love for the getting and grasping of that something Right Now.
I hate that. Because while of course we need temporary places to live and temporary things to eat and temporary activities to pursue — that is not all we need. That is not most what we need.
That is not what should govern my Everything Else. And I need to be reminded of this.
So that’s a good thing about food, you know? Food is extremely, necessarily temporal.
The meals I made when I started this blog almost two years ago? Gone.
The cookies I have posted (and posted! and posted! and am posting again today!)? Gone. The panini I made Saturday, the mango smoothie I blended Monday, the giant salad I thought I’d never finish at my work desk the other day?
Every bit of it all: eaten and used and, gone. Even today’s chocolate spelt cookies, riddled with chopped dark chocolate and topped by drizzled icing: all but three of them, already gone.
And in fact, this is the chief problem many cite with cooking: you go through all that work, they think, and then you eat your cookies and have to do it all over again (kind of like taking a shower every day or going to sleep every night or sitting at the computer for hours at a time, but I digress).
I disagree. The way I see it, when I’m eating a bowl of blueberries or grabbing the last iced cookie from the fridge, I am experiencing built-in reminders — gifts, which provide opportunities to remember not just their inability to last, but my own.
Maybe the real value of seeing the brevity of life lies in the perspective it offers. Nine times out of ten, whatever’s frustrating me at a given moment won’t matter a year from now, let alone 100.
Of course we want to value our moments, which make up our lives, and we want to savor them, appreciate them, not take them for granted, but while doing that, shouldn’t we also stop sometimes and say, Man, this life is moving quickly. What am I doing with it?
It is my great conviction that we should ask these questions, that we should contemplate these things and make changes to our temporal day-to-day interactions and choices and relationships because of them, letting what is overarching in our beliefs determine what isn’t and not the other way around. For what it’s worth, these are things I think about when I’m doing all sorts of things, but especially lately, eating cookies.
Cookies N’ Cream Spelt Cookies
Adapted from Cuizoo
For the dark chocolate add-in, I finely chopped a half a 3.5-ounce bar from Trader Joe’s (the fair trade Swiss dark chocolate, which is quite nice), and I loved the tiny chunks of chocolate throughout the cookies. Feel free to add more or leave it out, based on your own preference.
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 sticks)
1/2 coconut oil
1/2 cup sucanat
1/4 cup honey
just under 2 ounces dark chocolate, very finely chopped
1 cup organic powdered sugar
thinned with whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine spelt flour, cocoa, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer, cream butter with coconut oil until soft and fluffy. Add sucanat and honey, and cream for 1-2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and blend well. Gradually add the set-aside dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
Stir with a spatula to finish mixing and make sure the flour is completely incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-9 minutes, until just done. Let cool for one minute and remove to racks to cool completely.
Optional: While cookies are baking/cooling, mix glaze, adding enough milk to create a glaze consistency, and drizzle over cooled cookies. Let harden a bit and then store in a sealed container or in the freezer.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.