Friday, October 11, 2013

You've Got Mail

They come from a world where imaginatively abridged grammar, shift key created symbols and underground slang are the vehicles used to profess the melodramatic declarations of youth.    Yet, recently, their little used Facebook pages have become littered with dorm addresses from their new college homes.  This texting generation now begs for someone to send them a real letter-one with real words and sentences and expressions of meaningful sentiment inside.  They pull up Twitter and tweet to the world that they know they are loved because in their dorm mailbox today was a letter from their mother.

 A letter from home.

They tweet to the world about the purple ink that letter was written in.  They tweet to the world about the picture of their dog that was included.  The tweet about the lighthouse stamp that was on the envelope.  It reminds them of the best family vacation they ever had.  They attach an Instagram picture of that trip to prove it really was the best trip ever.  They post a 6 second Vine video of them holding the letter near their heart.  They say that it makes them so happy and so sad, all at the same time, that letter from home.

The teenager has become a college girl.  Despite being 19, calling her the teenager no longer seems appropriate.  Because she is 19, calling her a woman doesn’t seem appropriate just yet either.  And the suggestion to call her the “co-ed” is just something a mother cannot stomach given the #2-#5 rated R definitions of the word in the Urban Dictionary.

 And so, for now, she will be the college girl.

Like her peers, the college girl would like a letter in her dorm mailbox.   I’ve quickly learned, however, that it’s not just letters these college kids want.

 They want care packages.  

They want food.

And boy, do they get it. Perhaps it’s not only midnight pizza and certain beverages that deserve indictment in the case of the Freshman 15.  Guilty as well is the Grandma who couldn’t decide between brownies and chocolate chip cookies and Rice Krispie treats-so she sent them all.   Her close accomplice is the mother who fills a box with 37 packs of M&M’s… and Skittles…and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…and a family size pack of licorice.  Because, food is love and it makes people less lonely.

 My college girl would not receive pounds of food in the mail like her peers.  She’s running track for her college and is trying to eat well and stay in shape.   I didn’t think she’d be interested in boxes and bags of sugar and fat.  Besides, I’m cheap.   Food is heavy.  It would cost a fortune to mail.

So instead, I bought a pumpkin.

I would send this pumpkin to the college girl. This tiny pumpkin that fit in my hand only cost me a dollar.  I knew the college girl would be so surprised to get a pumpkin in the mail!  She would be the only one in her dorm with such a creative mother. I was sure she would be so happy to not only get a package in the mail but she would be grateful when she realized the wonderful comfort of having a seasonal dorm room decoration.  I knew my plan was a brilliant one.  

Mailing a pumpkin, however, is not as easy as one might have thought it would be.   Visions of postal violence resulting in splattered pumpkin guts kept popping into my brain.  I knew I’d have to protect that cheap little pumpkin.   I covered my tiny orange friend in bubble wrap.  I filled a box halfway with Styrofoam peanuts and gently placed the protected guy inside.  I topped him with more peanuts, included a cheery greeting and sealed the box.

“That will be eleven dollars and 17 cents,” said the post office lady.

“What…um………… much?”  I stammered.

“$11.17.  Unless you want it there tomorrow, then it would be $15.64”

“How come it’s so much? “ I managed to spit out.

“Well that’s a pretty big box you’ve got here.   I see it’s going to a college address.  There’s food inside, isn’t there.  That’s pretty much the only thing college kids want, isn’t it?”

“Wow.  I had no idea it would cost so much.”

“Yeah, especially for a box as big as this one.  It can get pricey fast.  Hey, next time you could try writing a letter.  It’s cheap and kids just love seeing an envelope in their mail box at school.   It makes them feel loved.”

Said the wise post office lady.

Check This Out!
If I were to send cookies to the college girl, this is the super easy recipe I would probably use. The now vegan little brother of the college girl loves these cookies. If I didn't tell you they were vegan you would never know.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
from the book
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I've been told any milk will do-soy, cow etc)
1 TBL tapioca flour (makes the cookies chewy-I found it easily in my regular grocery store)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups chocolate chips (most dark chocolate chips are vegan)
Combine sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour in mixing bowl.  Mix well by hand for about 2 minutes until the mixture resembles smooth caramel.  Mix in the vanilla.
Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda and the salt.   Mix until well incorporated.  Mix in the rest of the flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
For 3 inch cookies roll the dough into ping pong size balls and flatten a bit.  They will spread a bit.  (For 2 inch cookies-walnut size balls, then flatten )(For some reason my dough has never been particularly stiff.  I've just glopped a soup spoon full of dough onto the cookie sheet and called it good.)
Place the cookies onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes (6-7 for smaller cookies)  until they start to brown around the edges.  Cool 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks.


~amy~ said...

oh jeez, I shouldn't of clicked on the urban dictionary link...ugh, def NOT co-ed. How can it be possible that the girls are in college? I bet she loved the pumpkin:)

Melissa said...

She actually did love the pumpkin. Thankfully. Perhaps I should have put a rated R warning on the co-ed link!