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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 19, 2024

Confessions of a Cooking Fanatic: Be the vegan cookies you wish to see in the world

The foods we make, like our food columnist’s cookies and brownies, reflect the places we call home.

Confessions of a Cooking Fanatic

Graphic by Rachel Wong

I entered Tufts wide-eyed and open-minded, knowing that I would have the opportunity to form my own moral and political beliefs outside of my immediate surroundings in Wisconsin. College would be a playground for me to ask questions and state beliefs previously unacknowledged — and I chose to attend Tufts for that reason.

As I prepare for my graduation this May, I can’t help reflecting on what parts of my lifestyle have changed, what has stayed with me through my college years, what I wish to return to and what parts of myself I’ve rediscovered.

In my heart of hearts (cue Anna McClellan), I am a Midwesterner, and I’ve missed the Great Lakes states over the past several years. It’s true what they say — people in the Midwest are so nice, and they build community in slow, sustainable, long-lasting ways (it may be difficult to begin these relationships, but that’s a problem for next year). As I prepare to say goodbye to the communities that have meant so much to me at Tufts, I am dreaming of summer nights spent on lawns, bike rides around the lakes, playing volleyball in sand pits and co-workers bringing cookies and donuts into the office.

And so often, food is what brings people together, even if the food is a boxed brownie mix. On one of my in-person workdays, I brought boxed brownies into the office (I wanted brownies, but didn’t have enough friends outside of work to eat them). During our mid-morning jaunt, a co-worker came up to me asking for the boxed brownie recipe I used, because he and his wife had been trying to find the boxed brownie mix they snacked on during the labor of their first child. And my Aldi’s boxed brownies were exactly the mix they had been searching for.

What’s different now is that I will become the vegan cookies (and brownies) I want to see in the world (and this column certainly prepared me for this). Just Egg has held up in every recipe since my grand experiment, and this week’s iteration tested their inclusion in Eric Kim’s Matcha Latte cookies (note: the frosting is very difficult to make, with or without a stand mixer, with or without the dairy substitutions) as a breakfast snack amid exam season.

Soon, I'll be moving back to the place I call home, filled not just with books and clothes but with memories of every person, every class and every late-night discussion that has shaped me. And I’ll look forward to developing a recipe for vegan brownies — Midwest style, with a Tufts twist.