There’s a scene in A Muppet Family Christmas where Ernie and Burt (from Sesame Street) have a conversation with Doc (from Fraggles) and Ernie and Burt can’t help pointing out what letter every word begins with. “Bunk beds: B words!” they say as Ernie chortles. When Doc looks at them askance they explain, “Where we come from, this is small talk.” My sister once said that the scene reminded her of our family — except that complaining, not letters, are our family’s small talk. It’s not that we are unhappy people. We just like to air our grievances. But sometimes it’s good to air positive feelings too and that’s just what I plan to do. For my next 15 posts, I’ll focus on the many reasons I have to be happy.
MOST MEMORIES OF MY SISTER INVOLVE CHOCOLATE
Although my sister and I were as different as two people could be, I like to say that we were the same kind of weird. That’s why my sister knew that she could always count on me as a second performer in her annual choreographed Christmas dance, well after the time that it could be considered “cute” to subject our family to such things. That’s why she was the first person I emailed when I found a dumb new internet video that made me laugh out loud. That’s why our conversations touched on such important topics as the nature of the market for pickle-flavored potato chips.
It’s possible that I sometimes abused my big sister influence, but I had no regrets when my sister followed my example and became a vegetarian. When she lived here in L.A., she was a willing test-subject for my many cooking experiments — provided that I always provided a chocolate dessert. A well-known as a chocoholic, her motto went beyond “eat dessert first” to “sometimes eat dessert instead of dinner.” I’m told that on the day she died, she had at least 3 desserts.
Three years after a cattle farmer’s negligence set off a chain of events that changed my family forever, I’m more likely to laugh than cry when I think of my sister. And I’m thankful for my many happy memories, almost all of which involve chocolate.
I don’t think I ever shared these triple chocolate cookies with my sister, but she would have loved them. Based upon the chocolate walnut cookie recipe in Veganomicon with the sole substitution of white chocolate chips for walnuts, these cookies are chewy and three kinds of chocolaty. They taste best if you perform a silly dance while eating them. That would have been my sister’s preferred way of enjoying them.