A Sarcastic Appetite


Maine, and Coconut Macaroons
April 5, 2009, 5:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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The winter after I graduated from college I moved to a small town on the coast of Maine, “to write.” That was two years ago, and I’m still recovering. Maine in the winter is breathtakingly beautiful, there’s no doubt about it, but no one particularly notices because they’ve been inside drinking heavily since the first snowfall back in October. In May, I knew it was time to leave when I met a man from a small island off the coast whose mother and father….were also brother and sister. True story.

Anyway, I spent those months enchanted by the light and the water and disenchanted with the dysfunctional part of my family who lived there – and who was part of why I had moved there in the first place. Ironically, the events that transpired that winter would make the perfect fodder for a book, but of course I never wrote it. In fact, all I have to show for my efforts that winter are a 500 word short story and a watercolor that hangs on the wall by the kitchen. The story of that winter is a long one, but a good one, and maybe one of these days I’ll tell you – perhaps when I attempt to liveblog an 18 hour ragu?

Another part of Maine, but you get the idea.

The above photo was taken on another island in Maine, but you see what I mean? Beautiful. But crazy. Thankfully my older half brother was also living there (another long story – maybe there is a 36 hour ragu I could make?) and we kept each other company as we waited for spring and a new start in New York. We spent much of the winter ensconced in a booth at one of the handful of restaurants that was open – a little place that shall remain nameless to protect the not-particularly-innocent.

We ate lunch there almost every day, and while the food was very good, the desserts were even better. They made these chocolate chip coconut macaroons that were so incredibly delicious, and every time I ate one I felt sick, but it never mattered because they were that good. I’ve made so many variations of the standard coconut macaroon since then, trying to recreate it, and while they were all good, they just didn’t measure up: they were more riffs on Mounds than anything else, and they lacked the body of a cookie. Did I really just write that? Really?

So I tinkered around in the kitchen one night and came up with this little number, which gets pretty close. And when I eat them now, I savor the moment, knowing I won’t have to trudge outside into the fifteen inches of snow to scrape the ice off my windshield for the third time this hour. Ah, Maine.

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons

Makes about one and a half dozen big ones.

1/3 c. flour

14 oz. shredded coconut

1/4 tsp. salt

14 oz sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a cookie sheet well. Mix flour, coconut, and salt in a bowl. Add the condensed milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the mini chocolate chips. Drop by quarter cupfuls onto the cookie sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes; 18 if you like them a little under done and 20 if you don’t.


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