I am really hooked on cookies, therefore I made them again! I found my very old cook book titled ‘How to make ice creams and cakes at home’. It has recipes for cookies too. The pages have grease marks and food stains, but it was my trusted book for a long time. I got it as a present for my 20th birthday from my friends. At that time, ironically I did not show any interest in cooking. I ate what my mother packed for lunch and loved it! Maybe they anticipated that my love of food would go to the next level soon!
My mind pushed the rewind button back to those days for a while holding the book. The instructions in that book are in Tamil and the pages have yellowed because I have tried many recipes whenever I had my sweet cravings. When I could collect myself I zeroed in on a simple cookie with just 3 ingredients.
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ cup rice flakes
- Preheat oven to 350° f
- Mix condensed milk, cocoa powder and rice flakes.
- Pour spoonful of the mixture on a baking tray greased with butter.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Transfer from the tray to cool.
- Store in air tight container.
Easy peasy…done! These cookies have porous texture and quite brittle so eat to your heart’s content.
Surprise at home!
This part is not related to cookies but about a peculiar situation at home on my return from India after my vacation.
When we got back home, every single thing was in its place without even the dust stirring and the automatic timed lights doing its work with clockwork precision. Everything looked perfect! But I had this eerie feeling that there was someone else in the house. Next night when I went to my store room in the basement to get pasta, I found there were some strange droppings on the floor. I deduced it could be some large insect like a locust or grasshopper. When I summoned the whole family, they unanimously declared it was mouse poop.
I have blindly believed that in our little cocoon there was no room for naughty critters. I looked around closely to estimate the damage. On the floor was a bag of 8 pound rice almost half with the top of the plastic bag still sealed. Without a second thought I lifted it and rice fell like a stream from its bottom. Using my other hand I blocked a large hole gnawed by tiny teeth. I concluded there were mice in the house and quite disgusted I left the room to wash my hands. Strangely, before I left on my trip, I had this premonition that something is going to sniff my food. So I had put most grocery items in bottles and airtight containers except some items which were in sealed plastic bags.
Next day, when I went down to clean, to my utter disbelief there was not a single grain of rice on the floor. That evening my husband brought a mouse trap and we set the trap with some rice as the bait. The following morning there was a tiny mouse trapped. It was heart rendering to see a cute little furry creature with beady eyes dead in the trap. We emptied it into a paper bag and threw it in the garbage.
I don’t want to gross everyone with that picture instead I have a photo of the rice it stored in my shoe box.
We got 2 more smaller ones the following days. This time a friend advised my husband to use peanut butter as the bait. We did not find any takers. So concluded there weren’t any more. I cleaned the store with disinfectant. During that process, I discovered a bag of rice flour being nibbled and white flour on the shelf. I cleaned up that mess too and added another trap with a paste of rice flour.
My daughter went looking for her winter clothes in the basement as we were planning to go out. In a suitcase, under her sweater was a handful of rice. She screamed and was sitting on the bed when I reached. Chiding her for carelessly leaving the zipper open, I emptied the contents outside the house shivering in the cold expecting something to leap out. No surprise or shock was in store this time! Next, she found more rice in her winter boots.
Before long, I found rice under the cushions of our rec-room couches and in my shoe box. I sort of pity them because they are almost like family sharing our space and being so similar in dietary options. Poor rice eating mice! But I cannot coexist with those rascals meddling with my store and increasing my work. We caught 3 more and again cleaned up the house. After that I have not found any more for a week now. My daughter scares me saying there is a mother mouse with her babies nesting somewhere and feeding on her hoarded food waiting to loot my store soon. Ah! she is full of such stories!