the ultimate sacrifice

IMG_7670Happy Ash Wednesday! Nothing gets a Catholic fired up like a brand new Lenten sacrifice. HCG and our readers love Lent. I've chosen some huge, incredibly challenging sacrifices in the past: reality TV in 2005, cursing in 2006 (my quickest defeat), shopping in 2010 (what the hell was I thinking?) and all forms of bread and sweets (both failed attempts to lose weight while honoring Jesus. Don't act like you haven't done it). This year, I’m making a small but necessary sacrifice: Nestle Toll House Break & Bake cookies. Before you judge me for taking it easy this year, first consider how often I have eaten B&B cookies over the last six or so months: almost every single day.  It’s rare that the sun sets in Philadelphia without HCG throwing back a few B&B minis. If you’re single-handedly blowing through one to two packages of B&B cookies per week, you need to admit you have a problem. If you convince your husband to move your car on a Monday night from a neighborhood with notoriously difficult street parking solely for the purpose of going to the store to get B&B cookies, you are a junkie. If you get violent in the dairy section when you realize the store is out of B&B minis, something's wrong. When I’m having a long day, I just think of the B&Bs waiting in my fridge and I immediately relax. If I'm eating dinner out and don't totally love my dish, my mind will remember my B&B stash and picture an evening ahead filled with warm happiness. Addiction is a tough animal no matter what your drug.

Here’s how I get my daily fix: I buy a package of B&B minis and bake about one third of the package at night then store the remainder in my fridge. Yes, this process requires using my oven practically every night of the week. Only to bake cookies. Of course, I eat a small portion of almost every raw cookie before I slide the tray in the oven. God how I love cookie dough.  If you are a functioning adult and you can say cookie dough was the first thing you ate in the morning (I have eaten it upon waking several times in the last 6 months), you are officially out of control. Is anyone surprised I haven't been sickened with salmonella poisoning yet? Maybe I am a living testament that cookie dough really doesn’t pose much of a salmonella risk (sorry to prove you wrong, NYT).

What are you giving up this year? If you’re like the Pope, you could be the first person in 600 years to give up your life’s work just because you feel tired. Guess what, Benedict: Jesus was tired when he carried that cross. But he didn’t just quit.

Image of a beautiful field of freshly baked B&B minis on Christmas Eve 2011 via HCG