I woke up this morning craving a dish called chicken divan. My mom’s recipe includes broccoli, chicken, mayonnaise, cream of mushroom soup, lemon juice, shredded cheese, and bread crumbs. It is a total comfort food indulgence. My mom made this recipe for years, and it has always been one of my favorites. Steaming hot served over white rice; there’s hardly anything better on a cold winter night. So, I went on a hunt to find the recipe. She had initially seen it in The Boston Globe decades ago and had clipped it out. After many years, she put it in a plastic sleeve to protect it. After looking for that for a long time, I came up empty-handed and saddened thinking I’d never be able to replicate it without that aged and yellowed piece of newspaper. Finally, in the last place I looked, I spotted a newer white notecard with “chicken divan” written in her handwriting. Then I remembered, during her final years, she started handwriting out recipes that she knew I liked so I would be able to make them once she was no longer here. Holding it and looking at it, I expected to feel sadness. But I didn’t. It was more of a feeling of comfort. She was thinking ahead to this moment. My mom is still taking care of me, and that has comforted me more than the dinner I am going to curl up on the sofa tonight and eat.
When life gives you three Nor’Easters in two weeks, what else is a girl to do but make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Best day I’ve had in a while. There’s really something therapeutic about baking for me. Mixing the brown sugar, sugar, and butter together and then not being able to resist tasting it. Nibbling on the chocolate chips straight out of the bag. The seemingly endless waiting for the timer to go off and taking them out of the oven. Sitting down at the kitchen table and eating one of the still warm and gooey cookies with a cold glass of milk while watching the wind driven snow blow outside. Best day in a long time.
If you are interested in the recipe here is the link: www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookies-recipe