Sunday mornings are one of the most precious times of the week for me. I don’t sleep in particularly late. I don’t have a big breakfast. I don’t even sit in front of the television and watch cartoons. Sunday mornings are precious to me because every week my sister and I go for a wonderfully long walk. For nearly two hours this precious bundle of human energy is completely mine.
We stroll through the bush, and along the highway, up and over hills and down behind the retirement village. All the time talking about life in the past week. We talk about our life in ways that few other people can understand. I will miss her constant presence when her house is finally built and she moves out. Jess is all the things that I am not, and all the good things about me amplified and re-packaged in a smaller version. She is my living breathing conscience, my protector, the devil’s advocate when I need it, the one who accepts my crazy (even if she doesn’t like my dance moves – come on, the pelvic thrust, that’s still hip, right?). Jess was the one thing I ever really wished for in my life. All the stars aligned when she came into my life and my little sister is the best gift the universe (and my parents) has ever given me.
During our walks we talkabout the everyday things: the house she and her husband are building, my university assignments, the exciting projects she has been allocated at work, recipes we can’t wait to try. Our conversations soar into the sky sometimes and we talk about the ‘someday’ topics: children, more travel, what on earth I am going to do after I finish university, caring for our parents. We revisit childhood memories, re-argue old topics, heal wounds that remain from 22 years of sisterhood. We strengthen each other’s souls with chats about body image and acceptance, our shared eating philosophies, and a mutual love of all things butter, sugar, and vanilla. She is the other half to my whole. My friend. My little sister. On Sunday mornings she is all mine.
These are her creation. Go for a walk with someone you love, talk about the big things, and the little things, and then make them a batch of these. Love is guaranteed.
Jess’s m&m Cookies
Every couple of weeks Jess makes these for her husband Trent. She lets me eat the m&ms that don’t make it into the bowl. This recipe is adapted from an old family cookie recipe.
Yield: about 30 cookies, and about 1/2 a cookie of dough for the chef to test before they get baked.
- 170 grams butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- 1 whole egg, and 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 250 grams plain m&ms
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line 4 cookie sheets with baking paper.
- Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until well blended and smooth. Inhale buttery, vanilla scent and be thankful for your olfactory senses…
- Add egg and egg yolks, beat into creamed butter very well.
- Sift in flour and baking powder, mix into butter and egg mix until no pockets of flour remain.
- Stir in m&ms (yes, you can sneak a few before you mix them in completely).
- Using an ice-cream scoop, or a tablespoon, scoop out balls of mixture onto the lined baking sheets. Leave about 4 centimetres between the balls of dough as the cookies will spread out as they bake.
- Slide sheets into oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, swapping trays around halfway through baking.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.