chocolate is a vegetable. eat your vegetablesDear Kid,

Happy September 12th!

9/12 in history is a very nice day—and not just because it’s not 9/11. It’s a very academic day—and as we need a little humor after yesterday, there will be no exam at the end, so yay for that. (Dear Spellcheck: “yay” is, imho, a fine word that does not require a squiggly red underline.)

Math: September begins on the same day of the week as December every year, because there are 91 days separating September and December, which is a multiple of seven. No other month ends on the same day of the week as September in any year.

American History: Last week, September 5th, was National Be Late for Something Day. So whatever you were late for, today’s a great time to get caught up.

World History: In 1752, the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar. In the British Empire that year, September 2 was immediately followed by September 14. I am trying to figure out what to say about that, but so far I’m stumped.

Galactic History: Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman in space on September 12, 1992.

Gym: 1885 saw the highest score (36) recorded in any 1st-class soccer match (at least until 2002 when a protest led to a 149-0 match, but that hardly seems like a reasonable record since they were all own goals)

Language: The 1st football game at Shea Stadium was September 12, 1964. The Jets defeat Denver 30-6, causing fans of both teams to use a number of words in a more creative fashion than had previously been thought possible.

Food Science: Tomorrow is International Chocolate Day. As Grandma says, chocolate is a vegetable—be sure to eat your vegetable before sundown.

Chemistry: Chocolate contains more than 300 known chemicals, including the well known “yum” chemical. It is known to be an anti-depressant and an aphrodisiac.

Journalism: People sometimes say that chocolate causes acne, tooth decay, weight gain, and chocolaty finger smudges. I am happy to report that—aside from the smudgy finger prints—this is pretty much untrue.

Political Science: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have both declared the chocolate chip cookie to be the official state cookie. (Not on September 12th, but I’m talking chocolate now). Ohio does not have an official state cookie which leads me to wonder what those folks in Columbus have been doing all this time.

Extra-Curricular Activity (SNACK TIME):

I know you are not a Pinterest-Passionate Person, so I don’t know if you’ve seen all the recipes about making cookies in cup in your dorm room. Personally, I think it might be easier to buy a package of Chips Ahoy, but I recognize there is nothing ooey-gooey and warm about a box cookie. So here is (with commentary) a recipe (from the web) for

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (or margarine)

1 Tablespoon sugar (the white kind—also found in packets at restaurants)

1 Tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed (it just occurred to me that we sent you with mugs but I don’t think you have measuring utensils….)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (seriously—how many kids on your floor have vanilla in their dorm room…)

1/8 teaspoon (pinch) salt (not necessary)

1 egg yolk (since you really can’t cook an egg white in the microwave without turning it into rubber, this seems wasteful. I am beginning to really hate this recipe)

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (try not to get any on the black and grey rugs)

1-2 Tablespoons chocolate chips (this seems like a lot of work to get to eat chocolate chips)

Microwave butter in a mug until melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Wipe down the top of the microwave where the butter splattered. With a spoon, mix in sugars, vanilla extract, and salt (I said not to bother with the salt, remember?) until well-combined. Mix in egg yolk until no traces of the yolk are seen. Mix in flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Fold? In the cup? What is the difference between mixing and folding when you’re talking about enough batter for one cookie!)

Microwave on high for 40 seconds, or a maximum of 50 seconds. Serve warm (ice cream optional).

Note: The cookie may not look completely cooked on top, but it is fully cooked below. Wow. Making me want to try this even more….

Mom’s Version


Bag of chocolate chips

Ice Cream (optional)


Eat chips. Add ice cream if you want.

Sometimes you need to simplify things…

Love, Mom