We perused the home furnishing stores, I bagged two sweaters and a shirt on the cheap, and Jason ogled a SONY while Audrey made friends with every stranger she met. We discovered a zoo indoors when Audrey spotted some fish swimming across a floor-model television and Jason spied a set of circus pancake molds shaped like elephants, lions, and monkeys at Williams-Sonoma, which sadly had sold out two hours before we arrived. But this sadness quickly abated when I discovered recipe cards free for the taking with dishes like Chicken and Artichoke Skillet Lasagna, Pulled Pork Biscuit Sliders (could this be more Jason?), and Waffle S'mores. I quickly pocketed nine while watching the sales ladies out of the corners of my eyes and wondering if they found me to be something of a recipe whore.
Heading out of the mall with our appetites much closer than our house, we spotted a Blondies Cookies. We stopped. We smelled. We got taken. We each picked out a sweet treat: a brownie for Jason, a chocolate chip cookie for Audrey, and an iced sugar cookie for me. The lady behind the counter stacked them up on a scale and pronounced them worth a cool $6.02. I thought, for $3 more, I just bought a sweater.
So what do you do with a $2 cookie? You savor it. You chew. A lot. You try bites of each others' cookies and savor them. You claim you picked the best cookies/brownies in the entire store, possibly the universe. You reminisce about a small chocolate shop in your hometown (long out-of-business) that you used to walk to as a kid with a few dollars in your pocket and buy chocolates with your friends. The whole experience seemed magical: a shop that smelled entirely of freshly melted and crafted chocolate, rows of chocolate individually skirted in their own wrappers, the ones you chose tucked into a golden box with a golden bow, you leaving the store feeling as if you had just found the golden ticket. You talk about how all specialty chocolate and cookie shops have this affect on you. And then you stop talking to savor the last bite.
But before you do any of this, you take a picture with your camera phone because, you know, it last longer.
And to all of you who have had such kind words about this new blog venture of mine, I thank you. I feel as though someone has just handed me a lovely heart-shaped confection, with icing on top. :)