I took Friday off this week, as the bambino had no school, and Jay and I were being chintzy and didn’t want to pay the extra $20-something for him to attend all-day care. We’d discussed possibly baking cookies together, but in between getting the oil changed on the car, popping over to the laundromat so I could wash a comforter, and having to get ready by about 5:30 to prepare for Hairball, we ran out of time. Saturday was out because thanks to aging less-than-gracefully, I felt like death warmed over for most of the day (I think the wine I had the night before didn’t really agree with me…Plus my knees and back were killing me, and I only got about 5 hours of sleep), although I felt well-enough by dinnertime to get started on the laundry. But this afternoon, I thought it was time to make those cookies. Browned Butter Rum Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I’ve come to like using browned butter in cookies…For one, it lends a nuttier taste to them. For another, I am horrible about remembering to take my butter out in enough time to come to room temperature! Using browned butter alleviates that neglect on my part.
Using butter rum extract in place of vanilla was a bit of an experiment…I wasn’t sure how well everything would come together, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how they turned out! Kind of like chocolate chip cookies on butter steroids.
And I am glad I decided to bake this afternoon. I needed the distraction. We went to Jay’s folks’ for Sunday dinner, and after we got home, I learned of Lou Reed’s passing. This being a food blog, I usually just try and focus on the food, and I generally pass over cultural events and the like. This time, though, I can’t not mention anything about it. Even though I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I have loved music for as long as I can remember, even farther back than Christmas of 1984, when I got my first turntable (anyone remember those?) and 45s. Right around the time I hit high school, I remember my mom bringing home a bio of Andy Warhol, and I started reading it. I was fascinated by his story, and remember that my cousin Julie and her husband Jim stopped by one weekend before I was done with it. My mom had promised it to them, and rather than visit with them, I holed up in my room, desperately trying to finish it so they could take it with them when they left. Jim has an extensive music collection, and used to let me borrow albums to tape–Some of them being from The Velvet Underground. I knew a little of Lou Reed’s solo work already, but hadn’t really heard much from VU until I borrowed stuff from Jim. My interest was piqued even more once I heard the Cowboy Junkies’ version of “Sweet Jane,” which I still have on a cassette single. I got my hands on all VU’s albums, and they quickly became one of my favorite bands. Throughout high school, I listened to them, I swiped my mom’s copy of “Magic and Loss,” I used “A Dream” from “Songs for Drella” as one of my Oral Composition pieces while in college. Cassette 1 from “Between Thought and Expression” was the soundtrack to my sophomore year at college, when I lived alone in a single. I know it sounds like silly fan-girl nonsense, but my heart hurts at the loss of someone whose gift of song, of lyric and poetry left such a deep mark on my life. So I’ll close with one of my favorite Lou Reed songs:
Rest in peace, Lou.