Remember the song Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer? Minus the beer, that’s how my childhood summers were spent.
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer Those days of soda and pretzels and beer Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer You'll wish that summer could always be here
My cousin Mel came to L.A. last week and after having not seen each other for many years, we had lots of reminiscing to do. Mel and his partner Alex had just come from San Francisco where they had seen the production of A Walk on the Moon. The play is set in a bungalow colony in upstate New York, similar to the one Mel’s family went to during our childhood. Pine Grove Park was located near Monroe, and my Mom, sister, and I would leave the Bronx behind, and go visit and stay with the Blatmans every summer. Our time there really did feel lazy and crazy. Not in the adult sense of the word, but crazy in how free and unsupervised we were. There were two choices of activities, either hanging out at the pool or hanging out in the casino (a building with a pinball machine, ping-pong table, and a jukebox). I don’t remember being bored or restless, and somehow we kept busy, stayed out of our mothers’ hair, and didn’t get into trouble. There were no rules and no restrictions.
While the kids ran around, our Moms mostly played cards, but they must have made time to cook and bake, because we never ate out, and certainly never ordered in. Mel’s Mom was an excellent baker, and I remember her cakes filled with fresh juicy blueberries.
I still look forward to summer. My work schedule is the same, my responsibilities are the same, and my routine is the same, but somehow it feels different. No bungalow colonies, not many lazy days, but there are ways that I can still capture that feeling of being carefree. One of them is baking. So at the beginning of this summer, I decided to bake cookies with my granddaughter. Inspired by a show about pastry chef Christina Tosi who owns Milk Bar Bakery, I used a basic cookie dough, and then did something I had never done before. I put out bowls of Fruit Loops, potato chips, corn flakes, sprinkles, and chocolate chips, all to mix into our dough. No rules and no restrictions. The cookies were fun to make, and fun to eat, and yes, it felt like summer.
Use your favorite cookie dough recipe and add whatever you like. Something basic and simple. Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
1 stick butter left at room temperature till soft
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups flour
Cream butter with sugars, vanilla and egg. In another bowl mix flour with baking soda and then add to butter mixture. Take tablespoon sized pieces of dough, and add whatever you like!!! Press down on each cookie, gently, to flatten. Bake for about 8-10 minutes but don’t allow to brown. Cool on rack.
July 14, 2018 at 3:25 PM
The cookies look perfect – what a great idea!
I also bake with my grand kids – they each have an apron which I made from the fabric they
chose at F&S – we have serious bakers and I love it.
July 15, 2018 at 6:52 AM
Hi Stella, Thank you! I am not a great baker, too scientific for me, but this was easy. I know what an amazing baker you are so your grandkids are really lucky! I love that idea! Unfortunately I don’t sew but I probably can find matching ones on-line.
July 14, 2018 at 9:51 AM
So yummy it is
July 13, 2018 at 7:09 PM
Very nice post as always. Love to make these cookies soon, Shabbat Shalom
July 15, 2018 at 6:53 AM
Amen! B’shaa Tovah!!!!!! Thank you Rachel!
July 13, 2018 at 7:08 PM
What a trip down Memory Lane! I did sometimes spend parts of summers in bungalow colonies and you certainly captured the feeling I experienced in your description of the “lazy, hazy, days of summer.” Such nostalgia!
Anyway, did you save me any? Ok! I know I have to make my own!
July 15, 2018 at 6:52 AM
Thank you Rena!! HAHA! Not one left but we should have a baking day with the girls!!!
July 13, 2018 at 5:47 PM
Great cookies, Irene! Crazy looking, but we finished them in no time. Thanks to you and Manya!!
July 13, 2018 at 6:07 PM
July 13, 2018 at 2:10 PM
What a thrill to see your cookies and recipe!! And to read your story!! I would write more, but our Israeli family surprised us (our son, Marc….his wife, Galit and their 10 year old son.) Marc just said they were planning to come to visit us for a week…the 20th. They are going to travel around and will show Yahav some of the U.S. The other 2 boys will be in camp. I can’t tell you how much I have to do so that we can just visit while they are here. I must go now and will be in touch after they leave us on the 9th. They will come back to us for a couple of days when they are headed home! We are delighted, but would have liked a bit more notice. They just made the last minute decision. Forgive me for writing you via your e-mail/recipe! All for now…much love…dorothye
July 13, 2018 at 6:07 PM
How nice for you! What could be better!!!! Enjoy every minute Dorothye!!!
July 13, 2018 at 1:41 PM
Irene, this is just great! Even this lazy, non-baking grandma is inspired. Loved hearing your memories of summer “back in the day”. We little southern Mountain kids used to roam our neighborhood in a pack — leaving after breakfast and showing up somewhere for lunch and finally at our own houses for dinner. It would usually rain and we sail magnolia petals down the gutters and no one warned us of toxic waste. Then grabbed those mason jars to catch lightening bugs. It was so great to be a kid then…
July 13, 2018 at 6:06 PM
Thanks Elin!!!!! We were better off not knowing! I used to break thermometers and play with the mercury! We caught lightening bugs too!!!!