Through three states and at least a dozen moves, the books traveled with me. “Wuthering Heights,” “The Trust,” “On Bended Knee,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Charlotte’s Web” and so many others. I’d collected them since childhood — the volumes I loved most or attached some varying sentimental value to. Ones I’d studied in college. Earmarked copies of books I read again and again and got my friends to also read. Oh, and that book of poems I bought for the poetry club I joined.
Over the years, more joined the shelves. Board books that my children listened eagerly to. Beloved volumes that we read together and separately. Ones I hoped they’d read in the future.
Books were important to me, to my life, to my livelihood as a writer.
But when I packed for my children’s and my move north to Maine — the fourth state — I hesitated. I was downsizing, living alone with my children and planning another move sometime in the next year or two. Did I really need all those heavy books? Especially when my e-reader, on the other hand, was light and easy?
Holding onto only the books I thought I really, truly wanted to have, I purged my collection. The rest, prized textbooks, dogeared pregnancy books, board books and some cookbooks, were donated.
What my efforts failed to account for was one simple thing: I adore my books. The pages hold the sweet moments had while reading together with my kids, of curling up on my couch during snowstorms and reading for hours and of escaping into books whenever I needed a break. Books entertain us, deliver knowledge and open out minds.
After almost a year of keeping my books packed away in boxes, digging through them when a certain title or volume called, I bought a few bookcases. Then I bought a few more. And then more. These days, the books are everywhere and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Over the last few years, a growing pile on my bedside table revealed a truth: I needed the books to find their home here too. I wanted to see them, to enjoy them, to be able to pluck them from the shelves to read a passage — or the whole volume.
When we eventually move again, hopefully into our forever home, I want to have permanent, built-in bookcases installed in a room filled with comfy chairs and pillows — a family library where we can all curl up with our books. Oh, the sweetness.
In the meantime, we can curl up with books and enjoy them wherever we can. And maybe even with a cup of tea and a slice of a sweet, decadent pie like this.
What? Who says pie and books can’t go together?
This decadent pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, is like a big, soft, warm cookie in a cookie. Filled with chocolate, it’s rich so you’ll only need a small piece to be satisfied.
Like my books that I’ve collected since childhood, this is a dish that’s been stored in my mental bookcases since them too. The first time I had a cookie pie was at a little cafe somewhere in New England. I suspect it was in Connecticut, in the Guilford area, but it could have been Cape Cod. I was a kid, and I fell instantly in love with the idea that soft, chocolate dotted cookies could be transformed into an unforgettable pie.
Making it is simple — whisk, whisk, whisk and then bake. Once it’s cooled slightly, it’s ready to be sliced and dug into, a sweet reminder of simpler days.
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 unbaked 9 inch graham or shortbread pie shell
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs by hand until light yellow and foamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar to the mixing bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Pour in the olive oil and whisk to fully combine, and then add the melted butter and whisk again. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixture into the pie shell, set on a baking sheet. Tap gently to even out.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without any batter on it (chocolate is to be expected)
- Cool for 30 minutes before serving.