Adventures of Life in Beijing

“Just keep putting out the cookies,” my pastor advised years ago after we volunteered to lead a Bible study in our home.

Now I know why this is so important. Cookies create community, offering comfort, encouragement and laughter. If you calculate the payback on a cost-per-cookie basis, I’d say they’re a pretty good investment.

Growing up in America, most of us have some fond memory from childhood of making chocolate chip cookies with mom or enjoying one as treat with a special friend.

There’s a reason realtors bake them for open houses. We’ve formed an emotional attachment to these sweet little rounds, and the smell reminds us of home. One whiff of Nestle Toll House and we’re transported back to a time when life was simple and we felt safe and loved. That’s a lot of power packed into one little sweet.

Living in Beijing during COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. Everything is foreign, uncertain and sometimes scary. Crossing the street during rush hour and trying to decipher between hand sanitizer and hair spray are both challenges that make me long for home, or at least a good strong cup of coffee and a warm, chocolate chip cookie.

The thing is, chocolate isn’t really popular in China. Every now and then I get my hopes up only to be fooled by a red bean paste- or black sesame seed-filled pastry masquerading as a brownie or pain au chocolat. 

So I bake my own. But just like finding a clean public bathroom or ordering from a Chinese menu, making cookies presents challenges too. I shop at at least three different stores (sometimes four) to find all of the supplies. Brown sugar and chocolate chips are scarce here.

While I mix the dough and wait for my Easy Bake-sized oven to preheat, my thoughts are on my community. Some of the faces have changed, but we still hold a weekly Bible study in our home. My family, friends and the cookies are the glue that makes me stick with this place.

They’re not magic, but this combination of butter, flour, sugar, eggs and chocolate speaks where words fail.

A warm chocolate chip cookie says “I’m sorry you have five hours of math homework. I can’t understand any of it but I’m so proud of you.”

Five or six in a small cellophane bag with a gold ribbon says “I’m glad your surgery went well. I hope you recover quickly.”

It takes at least a dozen to say “I’m so happy we’re neighbors. I really needed a friend” or  “two weeks of quarantine in a Chinese hotel sounds awful. Welcome home.”

Occasionally cookies say thank you to my son’s guitar teacher, and to our Chinese tutor (anyone who has enough patience to teach my husband how to deliver a toast at a Chinese wedding deserves a treat).

Cookies speak the language of teenagers when everything I say just comes out wrong. I usually keep extra dough in the freezer in case my sons have friends over; moms really aren’t cool anymore but cookies are chill.

Cookies say “I’m sorry the borders are closed and you’re stuck in China. I know you miss your friends.”

On Sundays, I bring out the yellow platter and fill it with few dozen and put it at the end of the kitchen counter next to the watermelon. We share a meal and remind each other that even here, God is with us.

So, for as long as we live in China,  I’ll keep putting out the cookies. I made a fresh batch today and I was thinking about you. I miss you and wish you could join me.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Feel free to add your own special touch. One friend doubles the chocolate chips and uses all brown sugar; my mom adds vanilla pudding mix to keep the cookies moist. If you can’t find chocolate chips, substitute baking drops or break a chocolate bar into small chunks.

RECIPE

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Two sticks of butter, softened  (about 227 grams)

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry mix into large bowl, stirring to combine. Add chocolate chips and mix well.

Drop one spoonful of dough on a baking sheet at a time, leaving room between cookies. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly brown around the edges and on top.

 

Comments (1,330):

  1. Brooke

    September 25, 2020 at 12:06 am

    I love this! It’s amazing how those rituals and rhythms ground and connect us. I’m sure you’ve converted many non-chocolate loving people in your community to cookie lovers because of your sincere heart and hospitality.

  2. Kirsten Harrington

    September 25, 2020 at 12:34 am

    Thanks Brooke. When I feel weary sometimes of hosting I hear Renaut’s voice “just keep putting out the cookies” ❤️. Miss you guys tons.

  3. PaulaKasnitz

    September 25, 2020 at 3:23 am

    Delightful as usual. My special twist is Heath Bar Bits. Don’t even try finding them in Beijing.
    The fabulous adventure continues.

  4. Kirsten Harrington

    September 25, 2020 at 3:25 am

    Ooh now there’s an idea:). I like Andes Mint Chips too. I’ll have to see what candy bars I can find here.

  5. Shannon

    September 25, 2020 at 4:12 am

    So well put! Thank you for sharing– it makes me want to go bake! And I’m glad you can bake a. little bit of home right there. Wish we could visit- for China AND for cookies!

  6. Kirsten Harrington

    September 25, 2020 at 4:26 am

    I wish you could visit too! I bet the boys would love the adventure. I think of you often – this place takes Grit!

  7. Jackie

    September 25, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    I can’t wait to have that cookie with you. Miss you guys

  8. Carolina Henry

    September 25, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Absolutely just love how you can master us all and transport is into your wonderful experiences I feel so privileged to be able to live out and experience each and every one of your description items specially your treasured friendship and most importantly your delicious cookies 😋😁🙏🙌❣️!!!

  9. Francesca

    September 25, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    I am so very tempted to ship a few bags of toll house chips to you, yet I am not sure if they would make it through customs. You will have to let me know. A delicious read as always, with warmth and love shared generously. Miss you.

  10. Beth

    September 25, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    You had me smiling the entire time I read this! Despite a stinky airport surrounding me right now, my brain smells those cookies. Thank you for such a sweet break from this crazy time.

  11. Kirsten Harrington

    September 26, 2020 at 4:20 am

    Yes I started craving cookies while I was writing. Glad you enjoyed it.

  12. Kirsten Harrington

    September 26, 2020 at 4:21 am

    The chocolate chips would probably reach us eventually but they would be very expensive 😂

  13. Kirsten Harrington

    September 26, 2020 at 4:22 am

    Thinking about all of you as I wrote:)

  14. Kirsten Harrington

    September 26, 2020 at 4:23 am

    Sweet! Miss you too. Seems like a long time we’ve been gone.

  15. Denise

    October 5, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    I think I will go make some cookies right now!! Thanks for the inspiration. Miss you😘

  16. Kirsten Harrington

    October 5, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Miss you too! Enjoy the cookies😊

  17. Irene

    October 18, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Oh, how this is very well said! Love it! I am an addict to your Chocolate Chips cookies, by the way 🙂 xoxo

  18. Kirsten Harrington

    October 18, 2020 at 7:19 am

    So thankful that we can share this adventure together !

  19. נערות ליווי

    March 17, 2022 at 5:31 am

    This is the right website for anyone who wants to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful! This is the right website for anyone who wants to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful! נערות ליווי בחולון

  20. israelxclub.co.il

    April 6, 2022 at 8:19 am

    Im excited to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new information in your web site.

  21. Register here and get a bonus

    April 12, 2022 at 12:55 am

    Use artificial intelligence to cut turnaround time, extend your budget, and create more high-quality content that Google and readers will love. How It Works? WordAi is extremely fast and intuitive. Just enter your content, click rewrite, and in a matter of seconds, WordAi will rewrite an entire piece of content for you. WordAi comes up with different ways to express the same ideas by rewriting every sentence from scratch. This not only removes duplicate content, it also makes the rewritten content read completely naturally. Scale Your Business Make your entire content production process 10x more efficient. Use AI to create more high-quality, unique content that impresses clients and engages readers, all without having to put in more hours Register here and get a bonus.

  22. נערות ליווי בחיפה

    April 12, 2022 at 9:51 am

    I was pretty pleased to discover this great site. I need to to thank you for your time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you book marked to see new stuff on your blog

  23. נערות ליווי

    April 15, 2022 at 3:36 am

    I was extremely pleased to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new information on your web site.

  24. zoritoler imol

    June 29, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also.

  25. game-max.info

    August 11, 2022 at 1:59 am

    Thanks for finally talking about > Care for a
    Cookie? – Peeling An Orange < Loved it!

  26. article maker

    August 11, 2022 at 9:22 am

    Superb website you have here but I was wanting to
    know if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Kudos!

  27. excessjoy.com

    August 11, 2022 at 9:35 am

    Hi there to every , since I am in fact eager of reading this weblog’s post to
    be updated daily. It includes pleasant information.

  28. mams-club.ru

    August 11, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse
    your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look
    when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, amazing
    site!

  29. auto article writer

    August 11, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    I have read so many articles or reviews about the blogger lovers except this piece of writing is in fact a pleasant post, keep it up.

  30. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog
    site is in the very same niche as yours and
    my users would definitely benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thank you!

  31. Fantastic blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get advice from other experienced individuals
    that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thank you!

  32. カジノ ビットコイン

    August 13, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger,
    and I was curious about your situation; many of us have developed some
    nice practices and we are looking to swap strategies
    with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.

  33. gamind.xyz

    August 13, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    This piece of writing provides clear idea in favor of the
    new users of blogging, that truly how to do running a blog.

  34. 仮想通貨 ギャンブル

    August 14, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague
    who had been doing a little research on this. And he
    actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled
    upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.

  35. gamefense.xyz

    August 15, 2022 at 5:40 am

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the
    same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Bless you!

  36. mobgame.xyz

    August 16, 2022 at 1:15 am

    I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but
    great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for great info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  37. https://sportsmine.xyz/

    August 16, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
    own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what
    you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  38. betfocus

    August 16, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him
    as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re amazing!
    Thanks!

  39. razzbets

    August 17, 2022 at 12:42 am

    This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  40. cryptosportbetting.xyz

    August 17, 2022 at 3:02 am

    I am really loving the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into
    any internet browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog audience have
    complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but
    looks great in Firefox. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this problem?

  41. 비트카지노

    August 18, 2022 at 2:40 am

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be
    using? I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my
    latest blog and I’d like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any recommendations?

  42. Klaudia

    August 18, 2022 at 8:31 am

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would really benefit from some of the
    information you present here. Please let me know if this alright with you.

    Appreciate it!

  43. gry na przeglądarkę

    August 18, 2022 at 10:17 am

    Excellent web site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing
    like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

  44. unique content writing software

    August 19, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    I get pleasure from, cause I found just what I used to
    be having a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a nice day. Bye

  45. blog post generator

    August 19, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    I constantly emailed this website post page to all my associates,
    since if like to read it then my links will too.

  46. Article Maker

    August 19, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    I for all time emailed this web site post page to all my friends, because if like
    to read it afterward my friends will too.

  47. content generator

    August 19, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved
    every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

  48. https://mams-club.ru

    August 20, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble
    locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some creative ideas for
    your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website
    and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  49. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to grasp so much about this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something.
    I feel that you can do with a few % to drive the message home a bit, however other than that, this
    is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  50. 암호 화폐 카지노

    August 20, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Undeniably believe that that you said. Your
    favourite justification appeared to be at the internet the
    easiest factor to consider of. I say to you,
    I certainly get annoyed while folks think about worries
    that they plainly don’t understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as defined out the whole thing without
    having side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get
    more. Thanks

  51. content generator

    August 20, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    For newest news you have to pay a visit web and on world-wide-web I
    found this website as a finest website for most up-to-date updates.

  52. 최고의 카지노 비트 코인

    August 21, 2022 at 12:16 am

    This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally
    I’ve found something that helped me. Many thanks!

  53. casino online bitcoin

    August 22, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    However, how can we communicate?

  54. Growithdarshit.com

    August 24, 2022 at 1:51 am

    I have been browsing on-line more than three hours lately, yet
    I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.

    It is beautiful price enough for me. Personally,
    if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you did,
    the web might be a lot more useful than ever before.

  55. Article Generator

    August 24, 2022 at 11:07 am

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am really happy to read all at
    one place.

  56. auto content generator

    August 24, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    I blog often and I seriously thank you for your content.
    This article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your blog
    and keep checking for new details about once
    a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  57. article maker

    August 24, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4.

    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem.

    If you have any suggestions, please share.
    Appreciate it!

  58. automatic blog post generator

    August 24, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    I truly love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself?
    Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my very own site and
    want to learn where you got this from or just what
    the theme is called. Cheers!

  59. Article Writer Generator

    August 24, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for another informative website. Where else may just
    I get that kind of info written in such an ideal means?
    I have a mission that I am just now working on, and I
    have been on the glance out for such info.

  60. article maker

    August 25, 2022 at 1:46 am

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be
    running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope you get the
    issue solved soon. Many thanks

  61. article creator

    August 25, 2022 at 6:02 am

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it
    but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve
    got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  62. best article generator

    August 25, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    This is very attention-grabbing, You are an overly skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to in quest of extra of your excellent post.
    Additionally, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

  63. article generator for blog

    August 25, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    I am now not sure where you are getting your info, however
    good topic. I needs to spend a while studying more or figuring out
    more. Thank you for fantastic information I was in search of
    this information for my mission.

  64. ranking tabletek na powiększenie członka

    August 31, 2022 at 2:16 am

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now
    each time a comment is added I get three
    emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove
    me from that service? Thank you!

  65. yasenevo.ru

    August 31, 2022 at 5:50 am

    You really make it appear so easy with your presentation but I find this topic
    to be actually one thing that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very extensive for me.
    I am taking a look forward in your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the cling
    of it!

  66. https://coachellavalley.us/

    August 31, 2022 at 10:37 am

    This paragraph gives clear idea for the new people of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.

  67. tabletki na powiększenie penisa

    August 31, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish
    to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do
    it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks,
    quite great post.

  68. najlepsze środki na powiększenie penisa

    August 31, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    you are truly a good webmaster. The web site loading velocity is incredible.

    It sort of feels that you are doing any unique trick.
    In addition, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a
    excellent job on this topic!

  69. providerportal.xyz

    August 31, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    magnificent issues altogether, you simply
    won a brand new reader. What could you recommend in regards to your
    put up that you simply made a few days ago? Any certain?

  70. 最好的比特幣賭場

    September 1, 2022 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and
    I will be waiting for your further post thank you once again.

  71. article creator

    September 1, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Hello there! This article couldn’t be written much better!

    Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this post to him.
    Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read. Thanks for sharing!

  72. unique content generator

    September 2, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website
    and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  73. automated article writing software

    September 2, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    After going over a few of the blog posts on your web page, I truly
    like your technique of blogging. I saved it
    to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take
    a look at my web site as well and tell me what you think.

  74. article creator

    September 2, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    I believe everything said made a great deal of sense.
    But, think about this, suppose you were to write a
    awesome headline? I ain’t suggesting your content isn’t good., however suppose you
    added something to possibly get a person’s attention? I mean Care for a Cookie?

    – Peeling An Orange is a little plain. You ought to glance at Yahoo’s home page and note how they
    create news titles to grab people to open the links.

    You might try adding a video or a related pic
    or two to grab readers interested about everything’ve written.
    Just my opinion, it could make your posts a little livelier.

  75. auto article writer

    September 3, 2022 at 2:46 am

    Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering
    which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m
    getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform.
    I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  76. article maker

    September 3, 2022 at 3:54 am

    Helpful info. Fortunate me I found your site by accident, and I’m surprised why this twist of fate didn’t came about in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  77. unique content generator

    September 3, 2022 at 4:58 am

    My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous
    websites for about a year and am concerned
    about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about
    blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  78. seo content Generator

    September 3, 2022 at 6:59 am

    Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a data!
    existing here at this web site, thanks admin of this web site.

  79. STULLEYPE

    September 3, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    For users that register on our website if any , we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile buy generic priligy

  80. Randycar

    September 4, 2022 at 4:07 am

    Regards! Plenty of write ups!
    automatic essay writer cpm homework essay writing services reviews

  81. 比特幣賭博網站

    September 5, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours nowadays, yet I never found any
    interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the web might be much more helpful than ever
    before.

  82. Dribbiova

    September 5, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    The brand drugs Viagra and Cialis are safe for use, and since the generic versions are formulated with exactly the same ingredients as they are, the generic versions are also safe for use buying cialis online forum Li Moran walked over and handed the cola to Luo Jia, probably because of the crowd, the backstage was very

  83. 比特币 赌博

    September 5, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this
    one today.

  84. AbrahamJar

    September 5, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks. Excellent stuff. top essay editing service custom papers writing paper

  85. 比特币赌博

    September 5, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    May I just say what a comfort to find an individual who genuinely
    understands what they’re talking about on the net. You definitely
    understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people should read this and understand this side of your story.
    It’s surprising you aren’t more popular given that
    you most certainly have the gift.

  86. 比特幣賭場

    September 5, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    I know this web page gives quality based articles and extra data,
    is there any other web site which presents these kinds of stuff in quality?