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Bedtime Kids Teens & Young Adult

      “Hand me another bag of flour,” I said. My hand was out, waiting to feel the weight of the bag.

           Nothing.

“Okay, PLEASE hand me another bag of flour,” I said, this time with my palm up and my fingers wagging in anticipation.

           “Anna, that was the last bag,” said Layla, my best friend, and eighth-grade science partner. 

           “How can that be the last bag? I counted 6 bags this morning. The dough is too runny, we need more flour,” I said with panic in my voice.

“I’ll call your Mom and see if she can go to the store and get us more. My Mom is at work for a few more hours,” Layla said wiping her hands with a clean towel.

That was Layla, always on top of it, and that was just how we all liked it.

Layla and I were at our school, working on our junior high science fair project that was due next month. We were experimenting with different kinds of flour to see how they changed the consistency and flavor of the five recipes we had selected to experiment with. We were using basic recipes for chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, devil’s food cake, golden cupcakes, and pound cake and things weren’t going so well.

“Your Mom is on her way,” Layla said as she hung up the phone.

When we picked the food card during class we thought it was going to be easy, but it had turned out to be everything but that.

“We should just throw all of this in one giant bowl and make one giant cake,” I said, frustrated with the consistency of the cake I was working on.

“Where are the instructions for the science fair?” Layla asked.

“In my backpack,” I told her.

Layla pulled out the instructions for the science fair and started reading.

“It says here to come up with a unique project that shows the correlation between food and science,” Layla said.

We were doing that, but it wasn’t working out in our favor.

“What if we make a giant cookie and talk about the science behind the ingredients combining and the heating process to cook it. We could use three or four different size cookies to show our results,” I said.

“That actually sounds like a better idea than the one we are working on,” said Layla, wiping flour off of her face.

           “How much did the world’s largest cookie weigh?” I asked.

Layla pulled out her phone and looked it up on the internet.

“Baked in May 2003, the cookie was 102 feet wide and weighed more than 40,000 pounds,” Layla read from the site.

“How are we going to afford all of the ingredients for that cookie?” I asked.

“Why don’t we build a small-scale model of an outdoor oven and bake cookies in it for the science fair and we can start a fundraiser to gather money to help us build a real giant cookie using our outdoor oven concept,” Layla said.

And that is how the idea for the giant cookie started.

The next day we presented our proposal to our science teacher Mr. Higgins. He thought it was a fantastic idea and asked us if the whole class could be involved. We of course said yes.

Mr. Higgins said we would have a class meeting the following day to discuss the project and start assigning job duties to everyone in the class. He told Layla and me to put together a list of stuff we thought we needed and he would talk with us before class.

           That night after dinner, Layla and I sat down at the kitchen table at my house and started putting together the list of items Mr. Higgins had asked for.

          Things weren’t going very well.

“Layla, they used over 12,000 pounds of flour to make that giant cookie, and they only raised $20,000 that day selling cookie slices. A 50-pound bag of all-purpose baking flour costs, let's just say, twenty dollars. Three hundred bags of flour, which is what we will need to make a bigger cookie, will cost us about six thousand dollars. I don’t think our class is going to be able to pull this off,” I said, trying to be realistic.

           “You are right, Anna. This cookie is getting bigger than we can manage, we need a new plan to present to Mr. Higgins. I was just reading up on the original giant cookie and it took them over six months of experimenting just to get the heat and circulation to the right levels in a smaller ten-foot test oven. We don’t have that kind of time or money,” Layla said.

           What were we going to do? Time was running out and we needed some ideas and we needed them fast. I really liked the idea of making a giant cookie and so did Layla. Winning an award would be fun but being in the Guinness Book of World Records would be a chance in a lifetime for our class.

           “I have an idea. What if we get the bakery that beat the record to help promote and sponsor our project?” I asked Layla.

           “They are in North Carolina, we are in California, I don’t think that is a good partnership. I do understand where you are going with this, Anna,” Layla told me.

           “Then we need something else,” I said, starting to get frustrated.

           “How about we break the record for the tallest homemade cookie tower? That one looks like our class can do it. The previous winner stacked 48 homemade chocolate chip cookies to create a tower. Why don’t each of our classmates make individual towers and then we could have two records, the largest cookie tower and the largest number of cookie towers created by a group at once,” Layla said.

           “If we bake them ourselves then they will all be the same size,” I said, smiling at Layla.

           “How is that going to work with our science fair project?” Layla asked.

           “I’ve got it, we will make chocolate chip cookies using different types of flour and we will discuss the similarities and differences of each,” I offered. 

“How about consistency, thickness, the stability of the cookie when baked, flavor differences, color differences, baking times for each type, oh and baking temperatures, how well they stack into a tower, how high of a tower we can make based on the type of flour,...”

“Whoa, Layla, I think that will be plenty. Let’s make a list of those ideas before we forget them,” I said quickly.

“...and then we discuss why the cookies did what they did,” Layla said, finishing her original thought.

“Hey, Mom, what do you think about this idea we have for the science fair?” I asked. 

My Mom was loading the dishwasher.

“I think it is a great idea, Anna. When I was in school kids did volcanoes and solar systems for their projects. It is nice to see that they want you to figure out the connection between your topic and science. I just wish my teachers had come up with such a great challenge. Your Dad and I will be happy to help you in any way you need,” she told us.

It was perfect. Now to present the idea to Mr. Higgins. Our class was sure to win an award for breaking the giant cookie record, even if it was for a giant cookie tower.

The End.

December 10, 2020 21:59

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1 comment

D. Son
22:09 Dec 17, 2020

Giving the kids an incentive - the science fair - was a nice idea. It is a good story for children, which also aligns with your bio. A few grammatical fixes required (commas mostly) , but the story is short and sweet.

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