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Cooking with Love: Giving Tuesday

Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday, but almost just as exciting is the day after.

No, not because Black Friday deals. No, not because the ban on politics at the dinner table is over. It’s because NOW, we can sing CHRISTMAS CAROLS.

And make HOLIDAY FOOD.

And all the lights in our dorm rooms have purpose again!

But let’s go back to that second point…and think about what it means as we go into finals season.

Soon, some of us will start spending our lives (or more of them, if that’s possible) in Butler. Others will resort to leaving passive agressive notes to Butler seat-savers, or crying alone in our rooms. We’ll get more stressed, more tired, and more feeling like why are we doing this again than we have for most of the past semester.

The bright spot?

29 November is Giving Tuesday! Just in time to kick off the giving spirit.

And what better to give than…food?

More than that, food from the heart.

There are lots of ways to do this. First off, there is the GS Student Council Food Bank, which is conveniently collecting donations every Tuesday for the rest of the semester. Despite Columbia’s millions of dollars in endowment, many of our classmates face food insecurity on top of the stress of class and finals. It takes maybe a dollar to donate something – stop by Lerner from 11-2 on a Tuesday with some cereal, pasta or something else on their suggested list! It’ll take maybe 10 minutes, and we all probably need a study break that long anyway.

If you’ve got about 50 more minutes and want to bring more joy into people’s lives, I’ve found cookies are surprisingly effective at doing so. One batch of the recipe below makes THREE DOZEN. Two cookies each for EIGHTEEN people.

What are you waiting for?

BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES RECIPE

Special thanks to my mom for making them and to the Crisco shortening package for the inspiration.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Crisco® Butter-Flavored Shortening (or 3/4 cup + 1.5 tbsp butter)*
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups (1 package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. Cream shortening/butter and brown sugar. Mix milk and vanilla until well-blended; beat in egg.

3. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into other ingredients until jussstt blended.

4. STIR IN THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS (a bit at a time works best!).

5. Taste some.

6. Roll the dough into whatever size you want your cookies to be, and press them onto an ungreased cookie pan.

7. Taste one.

8. Bake 8-10 minutes for chewier cookies, or 11 to 13 for crisper ones!

9. Taste one.

Well, there you have it folks – how to spread the love on Giving Day and beyond.

tl;dr: Give to the GSSC Food Bank on Tuesday, then make cookies to brighten a few more people’s days.

And remember – soon we’ll see the light again! Be they for Christmas or just all we’ve been missing from the sun while in Butler.

*Buy the shortening, you won’t regret it.

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