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Article Published October 22, 2020

A Good Week, Despite it All

By Lee White/

It has been a wonderful week or so of delicious food, music, and a documentary.

Although it has not been exactly like Julie Andrews singing “My Favorite Things” in The Sound of Music, I was content during this difficult political climate and this devil of a pandemic. Last week I made two key lime pies, just because I felt like it. I shared one with my neighbor who shared it with other neighbors. In return, she gave me six hot-from-the-oven onion and potato spicy triangular samosas; I ate them in no time flat.

With little to watch on television, except political free-for-all nonsense, I asked Alexa to play Simon and Garfunkel, Three Dog Night, the Eagles, and Carly and Joni and Judy. That always makes me happy. Then I watched a Netflix documentary called My Octopus Friend. Now I love octopuses. I also watched football, tennis, and the LA Lakers. In addition, a new friend, Richard Swanson, who works for The Day, gave me some incredible food. He is a much more creative cook than I. He gave me a small beet pie sweetened with five-spice seasoning, a grape jam (he suggested trying it with crackers and cheese) and, tomorrow, I will make his fennel sausage with pasta.

I also picked up November’s Stop & Shop free magazine, Savory, and found four new recipes, one of which, couscous with peas and pork cutlets, I made. I adapted it a bit and will write about it in next week’s column.

But for today, my friends, here is the best chocolate chip recipe you will ever make. Judy Westwood, who lives in Stonington, has been sharing these cookies and was kind enough to give me the recipe. They are chewy, dark and chocolate-y and as good the day she makes them as they are days later. Even though chocolate is not my drug of choice, I hunger for them.

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at

Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Stonington, Connecticut’s Judy Westwood

Yield: Depends on how big you make them

(she uses a 2-inch scoop)



2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup each brown sugar and granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

12 ounce package of real chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 375 degrees; prepare half-sheet pans with Silpat or parchment

Cream butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add two eggs, one at a time, and mix until each is combined. Add the vanilla and mix together.*

In a separate medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Add dry ingredients into the creamed ingredients in stages. Judy uses the lowest “stir” setting on her KitchenAid. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a stainless steel scoop, or your hands, place rounded dough on the prepared pans, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, turning pans around and from one oven rack to the other oven rack. Cookies should be a bit dark. When done, place pans on two baking racks for a few minutes. Then, using a spatula, put cookies on racks.


*Pure vanilla extract is very important. Judy buys only Neilson Massey. I make my own with a quart of vodka and around 20 good shrink-wrapped vanilla beans I order from Amazon. If you would like to make your own, e-mail me at