Toll House Tales: All Fired Up – 117

Fireside stories include the tale of the special cookies...

Fireside stories include the tale of the special cookies…

Fireside storytelling begins. Cookies are a springboard into a deeper discussion the includes a bit of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.”

FADE IN

INT. BEACH HOUSE

The scene opens with a close up of the sand dollar cookie and pulls back to show the girls enjoying the fire while studying the cookies closely.

FRAN

Sand Dollar cookies?

GAYLE

Another one of Grandma’s traditions… obviously influenced by her beachcombing experiences.

FRAN & JULIE

Oh?

GAYLE

One of the first things she did when I brought home a sand dollar is explain to me the symbolism in the various markings on it.

FRAN

Symbolism?

She turns to Fran.

GAYLE

Sure. May I borrow one from today?

Fran hands it to her.

GAYLE

Check this out.

She holds the sand dollar out for them to see.

GAYLE

According to Christian belief the markings symbolize the life, death and resurrection of Christ– but my grandmother took it to an even higher level -equating it to the hero’s journey.

JULIE

Hero’s journey? As in Joseph CampbellPower of Myth?

Forecast_Mythic_H_Moyers_Campbell

Bill Moyers interviewing Joseph Campbell for The Power of Myth, a TV documentary that aired in 1988.

Gayle smiles. Julie smiles.

FRAN

How did you…

JULIE

I told you my teacher was way into mythology.

FRAN

Oh yeah. (to Gayle) Sorry… Please continue.

GAYLE

So, there’s also talk about how this five-point thing symbolizes a poinsettia plant. I was never much for holiday plants. But I liked my grandma’s take on the five-point thing…

She holds up her hand.

GAYLE

Grandma’s spin was that she felt that in your lifetime, if you are lucky, you will meet and connect with 5 people… that end up being the true “call anytime” friends …the type you can talk to about all kinds of things and have an unconditional relationship.

FRAN

For real? Just five?

JULIE

She could be right… I’d be hard pressed to come up with…

Her voice tails off as she is lost in thought.

GAYLE

No worries Julie. It’s pretty normal when you are building your career that relationship development moves to the back burner.

JULIE

Gee… I didn’t mean for that to happen… it’s just…

FRAN

You got busy–Yeah, we know. Been there done that.

GAYLE

Yeah. We know all about it.

All goes silent as they sip on their tea and munch some more on the cookies.

JULIE

By the way– your cookies are incredibly yummy! What’s in them? It’s way different from anything I’ve had before.

GAYLE

Chai… Basically, these are Tollhouse chocolate chips spiked with Chai.

FRAN

And looking like Sand Dollars — talk about fusion!

JULIE

No doubt there’s a story behind these too…

Gayle smiles.

JULIE

This is fun… Please share.

Fran gets up and throws another log on the fire.

FRAN

Yeah– we can’t have such a terrific fire without some good fireside stories…

GAYLE

Okay… here’s the story that my grandma told me about the origin of these cookies…

Now we dissolve to flashback mode (sepia toned) and hear Gayle’s voice describe what we are seeing.

GAYLE

So what happened is that one of the evenings, on salon night, a COUSIN of someone here in town came by with these incredible cookies. The cousin talked about how much she enjoyed her visits to the Oregon coast and how the sand dollars made her feel so connected to out here — and the sereneness she experienced.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. COUSIN’S CITY KITCHEN

We dissolve into the cousin’s kitchen. Where we see her in comfortable sweats — enjoying hot beverage while thumbing through a cookbook. Gayle continues the voice-over.

GAYLE

The Cousin was working and living in the City. Due to her work obligations, she couldn’t travel during the holidays. So she was feeling a bit cold and lonely, when she suddenly got a great idea for how to warm up her tiny studio… she’d bake.

The holidays always reminded her of fresh baked goods and especially the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg.

After flipping through several pages, she jumps up and heads for the cabinet. After moving some things around, she pulls out a package of Toll House Chocolate Chips.

We see her reading the back of the package — and then gathering the various ingredients needed. We watch as she pulls out a large mixing bowl and another bowl and pulls out a hand mixer. As she is going through the process, we see her look up and smile. Cutaway to a look over her shoulder, where we see that she’s looking at several sand dollars on the window sill nearby. Next to those sand dollars is a tin canister.

COUSIN

There you go– two great tastes that taste great together!

CUT TO:

INT. BEACH HOUSE

Fran interrupts Gayle.

FRAN

Peanut butter chocolate chips?

JULIE

Yummy!

GAYLE

No. But on the right track…

JULIE

Oh– did it have something to do with the tin?

GAYLE

You got it! Are you familiar with Chai?

FRAN

Isn’t that Chinese for life energy?

GAYLE

That’s Chi… but good try though.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. COUSIN’S CITY KITCHEN

Gayle continues her voice over as the Cousin is seen reaching for the tin can and dipping into it with a measuring spoon.

GAYLE

Chai is an amazing mix of ground black tea with a combination of spices: pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and sometimes either cloves or ginger. This mixture is boiled with milk and then strained. The canister contained all the spices minus the black tea.

We see the Cousin making cookies while the voice over commentary continues.

FRAN

Sounds like an interesting combination.

JULIE

Definitely different from my dad’s Lipton, that’s for sure. They laugh and then Gayle continues her storytelling.

GAYLE

You see… you weren’t that far off with the chi thing. The Cousin actually admitted to the people around the fire that she opted for those spices because the name Chai reminded her of Chi.

FRAN

See! I knew it.

GAYLE

So she worked the Chai spices into the mix.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. COUSIN’S CITY KITCHEN

A short while later, the first batch is pulled out of the oven. Then the Cousin takes an empty cookie sheet and starts with another batch when she stops herself… and smiles.

COUSIN

Now that… that would be way cool (she says to herself).

We cutaway again to see the sand dollars on the window sill. We see her pick one up and sit at the table to study it. Then we see her do some sketching on a napkin.

COUSIN

(to herself) Humm… there’s got to be a way to put some sort of light glaze on these cookies — so the markings of the Sand Dollar can be etched -at least on the front side of the cookie.

[Montage of cookie experiments to Madonna’s “Over and Over” song.]

LYRICS

You try to criticize my drive
If I lose I don’t feel paralyzed
It’s not the game it’s how you play
And if I fall I get up again now
[Chorus:] I get up again, over and
over
I get up again, over and over
I get up again, over and over
I get up again, over and over
Got past my first mistake
I’ll only give as much as I can take.
You’re never gonna see me standin’ still.
I’m never gonna stop ’till I get my fill
It doesn’t matter who you are
It’s what you do that takes you far
And if at first you don’t succeed
Here’s some advice that you should heed…
You get up again, over and over
You get up again, over and over
You get up again, over and over

GAYLE

So she did a lot of experimenting during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, every night after work. It took her quite a while to figure out the right ratio of Chai spices to cookie dough.

We see her sifting chai spices into the flour. Blending with the hand mixer. Spooning onto the cookie sheet.

Baking, cooling and tasting (repeated cycle). After about the third time, we see the Cousin bite into the cookie and then she jumps up and down

COUSIN

That’s it! That’s the right combination! Cool!

We see the Cousin immediately begin attacking the glaze for the sand dollar design. She’s looking at her sketches and flipping through her cookbook for hints.

COUSIN

Now… to add beauty without changing the flavor of these…

We hear a reprise of the Madonna OVER AND OVER song as the Cousin works through this problem

LYRICS

You get up again, over and over
You get up again, over and over
You get up again, over and over

Then we see her figure it out. She tastes the glaze. Brushes it on the slightly cooled cookies and then etches the five-point star that appears on the sand dollar.
The Cousin holds up the cookie in the light.

COUSIN

That’s it!

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BEACH HOUSE

The tight shot of the cookie dissolves back to Fran holding the cookie in present day and then the camera pulls out to show the girls sitting around the fire.

GAYLE

And the chocolate chip & chai sand dollar cookie was born.

JULIE

Wow! Great story.

FRAN

Yeah. For sure. In fact, it seems to me that you picked up quite a bit hanging out by the fire, listening to your grandmother’s visitors.

FADE OUT

###

To be continued in Toll House Tales #118


Bonus Content:
How to make Chai tea.




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  1. […] To be continued in Toll House Tales #117 […]

  2. […] Toll House Tales: All Fired Up – 117 –Fireside storytelling begins. Cookies are a springboard into a deeper discussion the includes a bit of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.” […]

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