A lot of things happened on the way to Boston.
My mom told my brother to slow down approximately 32.6 times. And on that six tenths of a time, he darted his head around and threatened to make her eat “ethnic food” for dinner if she didn’t keep the backseat driving to herself. She shut up after that.
And I laughed nervously.
Because I knew (secretly) that I was going to make her eat “ethnic food” for dinner that night. We had a date with six fantastic bloggers at my most favorite Afghani restaurant in all of Boston, you see. And I wasn’t about to miss it for the world. Besides, she’s the mother of a food blogger and she has to get used to it one of these days. Tough love is how I roll.
I put my feet up on the dashboard more times than you can count on both hands and feet. And my mother told me stop at least 12 times. Until I told her about our dinner plans.
Then she was rendered truly speechless.
And after that. Because I was feeling honest and virtuous and all sorts of good inside. And because good measure seemed like something I should get a handle on.
I told her that the cookies she was eating. Had beans in them.
My brother turned a lovely shade of Pseudomonas aeruginosa-pyocyanine-colored blue-green. Because he had eaten three within five minutes of me entering the car.
Hey. It’s my marathon day. I can make people cry if I want to.
That was only on Sunday.
Today it is Monday. We have survived Afghan food. And 220 mile car rides. And approximately 562 index cards.
And now, because it is 7:20 AM EST. We are in Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton, MA.
Well, I am in Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton, MA. I am sitting here with my friend Justin. Trying to talk about anything that is not the fact that in a few minutes I am going to have to run for four and a half hours straight. Maybe more.
And then, all of a sudden. I am blindsided by reflection. Haze.
Wait. How did I get here again?
There was a day when I woke up during my sophomore year of college and decided to go to the gym for the first time in my 20 years of life.
Which somehow turned into a marathon in October of 2009. San Francisco. Team In Training. (For life.) Mostly a blur but from what I can remember, there was a best friend at the end of the race screaming like only best friends can because I had done it.
Not only had I finished my first marathon. But I had BQ’ed.
Boston qualified. The pinnacle of marathoning.
And then, just as suddenly there was injury and pain. Pelvic stress fractures followed by strained and broken and absolutely livid calves.
And now. Here we are. Finally. Athlete’s village. 2011.
Yeah. A lot of things happened on the way to Boston.
On your mark. Get set.
Three. Two. One. Here we go.
I made these cookies before I left because, well. It seemed inappropriate not to. More cake-like than cookie, they are delicious pillows of cinnamony sweetness that are chock full of good wholesome ingredients. Like great northern beans. And dates. And olive oil.
Best part is? You don’t even have to run a marathon to eat them. Score.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen LARGE cookies, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
2 cups rolled oats (I used steel cut)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350 and place a rack in the top third. Line a cookie sheet (or two!) with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Pulse the oats in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and whisk with the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.
3. Pulse the beans and olive oil in the food processor until they are creamy. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse until smooth.
4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until they start to come together. Sprinkle the dates on top of the batter and stir until everything just comes together.
5. Place the sesame seeds in a bowl. Make each cookie with a scant 1/4 cup scoop of dough. Roll each scoop into a ball then coat it with sesame seeds. Set each ball on the prepared baking sheet and with the palm of your hand flatten the dough just a bit. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving at least an inch or so between each cookie. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the sesame seeds around the bottom start to get golden.