The summer season at Lake Tahoe lasted 13 weekends this year, and we managed to soak up an impressive 11 of them. We’d sneak out of work a little early on Friday and shoot up the mountain ahead of the evening crush. We stayed in cheap motels, a few decent condos and occasionally at a swanky cabin owned by one of my coworkers. But it never much mattered where we were staying because our days were spent on that breathtaking, sparkling expanse of blue water. Every morning, we’d pack our boat with a picnic and a little wine, smear ourselves with sunscreen and set out for a long relaxing day of sunshine and total, decadent inactivity.
At the beginning of the summer, we’d often get out there and I’d wonder, in a moment of panic, what in the world will we do all day? I’m so used to juggling tasks and busying myself with work and errands that the idea of sitting on a boat with only a book and a stack of magazines to distract me seemed a little daunting.
But it’s amazing how quickly you slow down when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do. By the end of the season, I was so accustomed to the whole routine of nothingness that the day would sometimes seem to pass in the blink of an eye. As the season wore on, the sun would start to sink toward the west shore just a little earlier each evening. And we knew it all had to come to an end.
Indeed, the weather turns quickly at 6,500 feet elevation. Last weekend, with a tear in our eyes, we pulled the boat out of the water and towed it down the hill for winter storage Reno.
We’ll always have pictures to remember the summer by, and surely next summer will be here before we know it. In the meantime, I’ll have more time for baking and cooking now that we’re spending more time at home.
Just this week I made almond butter cookies one evening while Moe watched football in the living room. Shorter days… football… cookies in the oven. A new season begins.
Chewy Almond Butter Cookies
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy almond butter
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 375. Grease two cookie sheets.
Cream the butter, almond butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Add to the butter mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Drop batter by the tablespoonful and flatten slightly with the back of a fork. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of turbinado sugar and bake 7-9 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, 9-11 minutes for denser cookies.
Serve warm. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to four days.