British Columbia is on fire.
Never have I experienced such a dry June in my life, and never before have I felt such a daily longing to get out of the city and into the cool shade of our coastal forests. Are you feeling the same sense of urgency to escape the heat?
Today Vancouverites woke up to a thick haze of smoke over the city-scape which felt suffocating in the early morning hours. The temptation to stuff an overnight pack and hit the road to escape the city’s Martian-skies almost won me over this morning. I would do anything for for a sea breeze or a mountain view today, how about you? :)
It frightens me to think of the forest fire destruction that is terrorizing our province. Isn’t it bizarre to think that in our utterly controlled and manicured urban life, nature can still displace, destruct and destroy?
This morning I stumbled across a poem called Nature’s Way by by Canadian poet Robert William Service. Have you read it before? I was in awe of how beautifully he captured similar sentiments to my own in his writing…
-Robert William Service
To tribulations of mankind
Dame Nature is indifferent;
To human sorrow she is blind,
And deaf to human discontent.
Mid fear and fratricidal fray,
Mid woe and tyranny of toil,
She goes her unregarding way
Of sky and sun and soil.
In leaf and blade, in bud and bloom
Exultantly her gladness glows,
And careless of Man’s dreary doom
Around the palm she wreathes the rose;
Creating beauty everywhere,
With happy bird in holy song . . .
Please God, let us be unaware
Like her of wrath and wrong.
Let us too be indifferent,
And in her hands our fate resign;
Aye, though the world with rage is rent
Let us be placid as the pine.
For if we turn from greed and guile
Maybe Dame Nature will relent,
And bless us with her lovely smile
Of comfort and content.
I love his words, don’t you? There is such a freedom to be found once we escape our sticky city routines in these summer months and connect to the solace and peace of the outdoors. Where would you go today if you could escape? A camping trip in the mountains like me? Or somewhere cool and breezy, perhaps by the ocean?
Today’s recipe is one for your outdoor adventure, wherever that may be. I like to call these cookies “Camp Cookies,” because they are the kind I could see myself passing around to friends in the woods!
The recipe uses aromatic baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cloves, and asks for a sneaky couple cups of chocolate chips to keep things edgy! I threw in the nourishing addition of large flaked oats to fill the recipe out a bit and steer things away from your typical Christmas gingersnap recipe. (Some of us doooo however celebrate Christmas in July…. so maybe it ain’t all strange!)
The cookies are gooey in their chocolate chip glory, flavourful with their bouquet of spices and are all around delicious little treats to share, perhaps as an energy boost après summiting that mountain…! ;)
Chewy Chocolate-Ginger Camp Cookies
7 ounces of the highest quality chocolate chips you can find (70%) 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 1/2 cup large flake oats 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Weigh chocolate chips and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa. Once combined, stir in the oats until mixed in.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter and grated ginger until butter whitens, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar, beat until combined. Add molasses and beat until combined.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons of boiling water. Beat half of flour/oat mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then add the remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate. Wrap the cookie dough in saran plastic and pat down to about 1 inch thick. Seal wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or more to chill.
4. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place the cookie balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Regrigerate 20 mins (I just put them in right away (Shh!) and it worked well too.) Roll cookies in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack gently, about 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool on their sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe Credit: “The Nature Trust Cooks!”
I hope you have an incredible rest of your July! It’s great to be back on Blue Owl, and I can’t wait to share some DIY’s and recipes I’ve experimented with over the last little while. There are so many to catch up on!
I hope your month ahead is filled with exhilarating views, quiet moments, and a generous dose of some afternoon happy hour time. ;) Are you planning any camping trips as well? I’d love to hear!
PS: Vancity, I found your next date night spot and it’s looking swaaanky.
PPS: How to mend a broken heart.
PPPS: I’ve been listening to this Arcade Fire cover song on repeat and I can’t get enough.
PPPS: In lieu of the failed transit plebecite, a Subway Symphony