Ben, Jerry, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Me

I was born in Vermont. Did I ever mention that? Thus, I am somewhat-big Phish fan (I guarantee I was listening to them before you were, unless you're from Vermont/New Hampshire too...).

I mention this because being born there, I'm also a massive Ben and Jerry's fan. I've been to the original factory in upstate Vermont a couple times - it's sorta like a free-minded mecca. The last time I was there was like 6 years ago or more. There were these HUGE numbers on the far wall of the factory - like 7 or 8 digits long which was the number of pounds of Cookie Dough they had put into their number one selling flavor of ice cream. Ahhhhhh.

Last year around this time I bought a quick Duncan Hines cookie-dough mix from a local store here called "Taste of America". It's a store that was opened by an expat and has all these foods that you can't get outside the U.S. normally, or at least here in Spain. Everything from Mike & Ikes to Dr. Pepper to Frozen Bagles to cookie and cake mixes. So for Christmas last year, just like this year, we went down to my in-laws where all my wife's family is going to gather and I brought along the packaged mix to make for everyone as a sort of treat. They buy cookies in stores here, but no one ever bakes them. I don't know why.

So! It was Christmas Eve, or maybe the day after or before, I can't remember, and I figured out the measurement translations and baked up 7 or 8 dozen cookies. They were great - hot out of the oven, gooey and fresh. Mmm. The first comment? Wow, so many? Why? Second comment? These are great! I can't wait to have some for breakfast. BREAKFAST!??! WHAT!!? Yes, that's right. The Spanish eat cookies for breakfast. Or at least the little kids do (is this any less healthy than Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms? Probably moreso...). I was aghast. But they're HOT. And CHEWY. NOW. But everyone had 1 cookie (ONE) and then went back to what they were doing. Ugh!!! (I chowed down of course - everyone looking at me like, well, like they always look at me - a mixture of puzzlement and pity).

Okay, so the next morning, of course, the cookies were hard as rocks. Which is actually good too, but in a different way. I like the ones that are hard as rocks and slightly burnt. MMMMmmmm. And that of course was the third comment: the cookies were really hard, not like the packaged ones you can buy in the store. OF COURSE they're hard. They're not filled with preservatives and softeners! AAARGGH!

Anyways, I sorta had this idea that the cookies didn't go over so well, but the other day one of Ana's sisters asked me if I was going to bake cookies again like last year! She said they were delicious... so I said sure!

So this brings me back to the subject of this post. I went back to Taste of America to pick up the cookie mix today and what do I see as I walk in the store?!?! A HUGE COOLER OF PINTS OF BEN AND JERRY'S ICE CREAM!!! Oh my goodness! ThankyouThankyouThankyouThankyouThankyouThankyou. I was so excited. I've gone to that store about once every 3 or 4 months since I got here to stock up on Jiffy and stuff so I was completely amazed! B&J's here in SPAIN! YES!

I'm just about to sit down, open a pint of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream and watch a movie and relax before the 5 day in-law event begins (which can be relaxing, but mostly isn't.)

Wow. Life is wonderful. Merry Christmas!


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