My grandmother made me some of the best cookies I had ever had. The chocolate formed chunks, and in just the right amount, and the dough was soft and warm as it came out of the oven. The smell would summon me straight to the kitchen. These were the best cookies I had ever dug my teeth in to.
Ten years later, and grandmother was in a coffin. She had died in her sleep a few days ago. My mother and I were there to clean up her house. Most of the furniture needed to be sold. The cat hair needed to be cleaned. The attic needed to be sorted, so that all sentimental things could be taken back with us. It was our job to get the house ready for the market.
“Have you found what you’re looking for?”
I turned around. I had not been much help that day, as I was spending more time looking through grandma’s old stuff, rather than helping mom pack things up. She found me sitting on the floor, cages and boxes shoved aside, looking through an old cook book with my back against the wall.
“You know those cookies grandma made?” I asked her. Mom smiled. “You think we could make some? I’m sure others would like them. It’d be a way for grandma to live on, you know?”
“Those were special cookies you know,” my mother replied. “Even if you do find the recipe, are you sure you could make them like she did?”
I knew I could. I spent so many days sitting at the counter, watching how she would beat the eggs, stir in all sorts of ingredients, and pour the batter over the baking sheet as a new kitty would rest in my lap. But she would always sprinkle something in, something she claimed would give it that extra oomph. That’s what she said at least.
I didn’t have a job. I had just graduated college with a degree in business. I thought about those cookies sometimes, how I had never found another like them. A year or two ago, I asked grandma why she never tried selling the recipe.
“Marcus, this isn’t the kind of recipe you can really sell,” grandma would say to me. “There’s enough cookie recipes out there, this isn’t anything special.”
“Grandma, I mean it. This isn’t just any recipe. You know what, we don’t have to sell the recipe, but we can make a business out of this ourselves. Open a bakery or something. We’ll start local, maybe make a website, I can handle all that stuff.” She never bought into the idea.
I flipped another page. Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies was written across the top of the page in grandma’s beautiful cursive. There’s nothing basic about this recipe, I thought to myself. I read through the ingredients. Several had been crossed off, numbers had been frequently changed, and notes were written on the side. It must have taken forever for her to make this recipe. I read through it. Eggs. Butter. White sugar. Vanilla extract. There was nothing out of the ordinary. It was, well, a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. And yet, they tasted so, so good.
Maybe it has something to do with all the kittens around here, I thought. Always a new one in this house.
I thought about it, then laughed to myself. What was I thinking? I opened up my laptop, still avoiding work. A new update had come out for cookie clicker, and I was looking to get back in to it now. 2.73 nonillion and counting. I really needed a job.
This story was inspired by the web browser game Cookie Clicker. Somebody, please help me stop this.