A Glimpse Into The Time Before Morsels: A Recipe, A Realization, A Research Project

Maybe you know this already and I’m the last to know, but I’m going to tell you my story anyhow.

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I HAPPENED UPON A WRAPPER from a Nestlé Semi-Sweet chocolate product [see photo immediately above].

I found it among the recipes that my mother had saved, filed loosely in an old notebook. The recipes, ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s, are from her mother and newspapers clippings and friends and packaging. No rhyme or reason to them, just saved.

My best guess is the wrapper is from the early 1940s. It intrigued me.

After glancing at the front I looked on the back at the recipe. I skimmed the recipe and it initially looked about the same as any chocolate chip cookie recipe you’d see today.

The copy on the wrapper states that it’s THE ORIGINAL Toll House Chocolate Cookie recipe created by Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, MA. And it could be. However the current Nestlé website says that this recipe, a recipe that differs in one significant way, is the original Toll House Cookie Recipe.

You see, it wasn’t until I turned the package over again and looked closely at the front that I realized this WASN’T a package for Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate morsels [chips] that we have today. It WAS for a bar of chocolate that was to be cut into “pieces the size of a pea” by the person making the cookies.

As in if you want chips of chocolate in your cookies, do it yourself, darling [see photo immediately below].

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I HAD A DUH! MOMENT because I’d no idea that chocolate chips had not always existed, which is a rather lame thing to say. Obviously someone invented them. They don’t fall from the heavens above fully formed, now do they?

After a bit of research I discovered that chocolate chips were originally a kind of molasses chocolate-coated candy made popular in the early 1890s by Kauffmanns of Pittsburgh, PA. In 1897 a court case involving the use of the trademarked name “Trowbridge Chocolate Chips” also described chocolate chips as being molasses chocolate-coated candy.

However by the 1930s as Wakefield’s recipe grew in popularity the term *chocolate chip* morphed from being a kind of candy into being an ingredient in cookies, so much so that by the early 1940s Toll House cookies were often referred to as chocolate chip cookies.

Seeing an opportunity for increased sales, in 1940 Nestlé started making and selling manufactured chocolate chips that they called ‘morsels.’ This was in addition to the semi-sweet chocolate bars for which they were known.

So with that short history lesson on what I’d call the primary ingredient in Toll House Cookies, I’ll end this post by asking you:

Did you know there was a time when you created your own chocolate chips [aka morsels] to put in your cookies?

What do you call cookies that have chocolate chips [aka morsels] in them: Toll House Cookies or Chocolate Chip Cookies?

And more to the point, made any of them lately?

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SOURCES:

A Brief History of the Chocolate Chip via Mental Floss

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chip versus Morsel via New England Recipes

The First “Chocolate Chip” Was a Molasses Candy via Smithsonian Magazine

Who Baked the First Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie? via Chowhound

In Which I Wash My Mouth Out With Soap Because I Did Not Think Ahead

It’s not that I swear all the time.

I only do so when the situation calls for it, according to my own moral compass. Thus when I tell you that I let out a string of curse words you may be assured it was necessary.

Here’s what happened. It’s a one thing leads to another scenario.

Winter arrived. My skin got dry and itchy so I stopped using Dial bar soap in the shower, switching to a gentler bar of soap that isn’t so intense. But because I’m a frugal woman I put the partially used bar of soap in a drawer in the bathroom cabinet near the sink.

This drawer houses items I use to make myself presentable– including, for instance, a tub of moisturizing cream and a few bottles of leave-in hair conditioner and a razor or three.

Also in the drawer there’s a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda that I occasionally use instead of toothpaste. I use the baking soda every few days so the box is open (with the little cardboard lid thingie sort of closed) in the drawer. It’s a throwback to my childhood when people sometimes used baking soda for the cleaning of teeth. [Don’t judge.]

And this is where the trouble began.

As I’m sure you know baking soda is often used in refrigerators as a way of absorbing odors in them. Very effective, good stuff. BUT did you know that if you put an open box of it in a drawer with an unwrapped partially used bar of heavily scented soap, the baking soda will absorb the scent, the flavor, the essence of that soap?

Of course thinking on it now you do, but I was not so wise. I didn’t anticipate the consequences of storing Arm & Hammer baking soda and Dial bar soap, side-by-side, in a closed bathroom drawer.

Hence it came to be that one morning I reached for the now Dial-soap-scent-infused Arm & Hammer baking soda and used the baking soda to brush my teeth, not knowing what had happened to it in the drawer. From this experience I learned can confirm that Dial soap tastes awful, rating high on the yuck-o-meter, if there is such a thing.

Also I can confirm that while I don’t swear often, it’s a skill you never forget, like riding a bike. I know this to be true because between rinsing my mouth out with water multiple times, I used words of the sort not meant for a PG-13 family blog like this one. Thus I’ll paraphrase what I said using The Good Place’s Eleanor Shellstrop‘s sanitized curse words instead of my own.

Holy mother forking shirt balls! BLEECH!

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Happy Weekend, everyone. Try to keep it clean.

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Tough Darts Saturday: Photos From Our Ducky Walk That Wasn’t

Have your read the interview with Rita Moreno in which she says “tough darts” in response to a question about how intimidating her presence might be at a rehearsal of West Side Story?  [Read here.]

I like this woman and immediately adopted TOUGH DARTS as my newest favorite way of saying: oh well, get over yourself, whatever.  It’s an old-fashioned version of “too bad, so sad” which is another one of my favorite sayings.

Anyhow, here’s the story.

On Saturday the sky was gloriously clear and I decided that we needed to go to a popular county park on the other side of nowhere from us.  We hadn’t been there in years and I remembered it as being a lovely tranquil place to walk while enjoying ducks on the lake.

And who doesn’t like watching some ducks do ducky things while you’re outside for a healthful walk?

Well, we found the park, but as we drove into the parking lot we were surprised by how few cars were around.  Beautiful day… warmer temps… Saturday afternoon… THIS DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.  Where were the people?

Come to find out after our Polar Vortex week the temperatures had gotten warm enough to create flash flooding that had left much of this park submerged under water.  When we set out on this adventure I didn’t know that, however once we got to the park we could see that the paths had debris on them or were muddy as heck or were still under water.

Thus our walk could not be.

But I had my camera with us so I took a bunch of random photographs of what I saw around me.  The following seven photos show you, my gentle readers, the ducky walk that wasn’t. 🤨

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Gorgeous blue winter sky behind sign indicating play area.

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An ark a la Noah, now muddy thanks to flash flooding in the play area. Oh the irony!

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Debris on this walking path for as far as the eye could see.

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Park bench, still muddy, having been submerged under flash flood water.

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Canoe & kayak launching area still under water. Green square is top of a trash can.

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Beginning of muddy path not taken, much muddier up around the curve.

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Two ducks that initially appeared to be in the middle of the lake who were sitting on top of the back of a park bench, normally by the side of the lake, now submerged under water because of flash flooding.

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In Which Breakfast Disappoints Me & I Am Not Happy

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“A helpful Tribe Called Quest flow chart” via @MarionDowling

THE FIRST THING you need to know is that I dislike eating the end of anything.  Heel of the loaf of bread? Yuck.  Last of the peanut butter in the jar? No thanks.  Final serving of the mac and cheese in the casserole? Ugh.

[Character failing or intriguing personality quirk? You, my gentle readers, are free to decide which it is.]

So this morning, half-awake, as I prepared my breakfast, I went outside my comfort zone when I decided to voluntarily eat the end of the Orange Marmalade.  I like Orange Marmalade, and in the winter when it’s cold and dreary outside Orange Marmalade cheers my soul, which I believe is an admirable thing for a condiment to do.

[It makes me think of England where I went to college for a term.  In the spring, when it was pretty and green outside.  The opposite weather of this morning.]

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SITTING DOWN TO breakfast at the kitchen counter, with my mug of coffee and my tasty toast smeared with Orange Marmalade, I bit into what I thought would be the perfect midwinter anti-gloom breakfast.

[Oh, but was I disappointed.]

It seems that in our refrigerator we also had a jar of almost used up Apricot Jam, which just happened to be sitting beside the aforementioned Orange Marmalade.  And as fate would have it, glancing casually at the orange color, I picked up the Apricot Jam, plopped the end of it onto my toast, and then took a big bite of the wrong thing.

[BLEECH! A thousand times bleech!]

And that’s how my morning started.  Reminding me that my comfort zones are there for good reasons.  To keep my safe, healthy– and HAPPY.  Which I am not, right now.

Holidays In The Suburbs: Of Discord & Delivery Trucks & Discernment

WELP, considering what a year this has been…

it’s no surprise, really, that as we approach the end of December there is discord amongst the ± 3,000 suburbanites here in Mom Trails.

Some residents are not happy with what the HOA has done. This time.

The story of this holiday discord is set in our multi-acre hilly subdivision where, from what I can tell, no one shops in stores, everyone shops online.  From mid-November through December, UPS & FedEx deliver here almost daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

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“When I’m worried and cannot sleep, 

I count my blessings instead of sheep, 

And I fall asleep counting my blessings.”

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TO KEEP things simple… 

UPS & FedEx have put large plain storage units in the four flat pool parking lots.  These storage units have all been discretely placed away from the street, close to the pool houses where you barely notice them as you go by.

Then multiple times throughout the day the large delivery trucks, that we usually see on our curvy streets, go to these units where the drivers drop-off copious amounts of stuff, while door-to-door delivery people drive around the subdivision in cute energy-efficient golf carts delivering the stuff to each house.

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“When my bankroll is getting small, 

I think of when I had none at all, 

And I fall asleep counting my blessings.”

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I LOVE this idea because…

1) it keeps the large delivery trucks from blocking traffic on our streets during the day [safety];  and 2) these companies have paid the HOA for the right to put these storage units in the unused pool parking lots [cha-ching].

However, neighbors who do not know how to count their blessings are displeased to see the allegedly tacky storage units around the subdivision, and are trying to stop what the HOA has already contracted to do.

*shakes head at the stupid*

So it is with this little glimpse into my holiday suburban world, that I leave you, my gentle readers, with the following musical number that melodiously encapsulates my opinion on this latest HOA controversy.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE

I’ll catch up with you in January. 

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