I still love them but chocolate chips sure got me into some trouble when I first encountered them.
It was at the end of World War II and my family moved back to Atlanta from the farm where we’d lived during the war. Atlanta was so overcrowded that Dad could not locate any house or apartment to buy or even rent. We had to move into his sister's large home and place our furniture and household things in storage.
My aunt and uncle were also sharing their house with a soldier, stationed at Fort MacPherson, and his wife Marge, who had a day job. The house was crowded but all the adults, including my parents, had jobs and my brother who lived at home went to boys' high school, on the other side of town.
I was enrolled in the 6th grade and had a rather long walk to and from school. I came home in the afternoons to that big, empty house and was very lonely.
Sometime that fall, Marge showed us a bag of chocolate chips - the first I'd ever seen. She said she was going to save them to bake Christmas cookies. She placed them on a shelf in the refrigerator.
A few days later, after coming home from school, I got to thinking about those chocolate chips. Pure chocolate, she'd said, not bitter but kind of sweet. I'd seen a picture of the tiny teardrops on the package, which I often examined when I was looking for a snack. My aunt was quite strict and did not encourage snacks at all.
I finally gave into temptation. I snipped a tiny hole in the package, quickly removed two or three chips, and carried them upstairs to our bedroom. I carefully sucked them one at a time. Oh, such heaven! I can still taste them.
After that, I allowed myself three chips, each afternoon, after school but never on weekends, of course. I just carefully worked the chips out of the bag without removing it from the fridge.
About two weeks before Christmas, I was reading, up in our bedroom. I heard screams and loud shouts coming from the kitchen area. It seems Marge had decided that was the day she'd planned to make her cookies but alas the bag only contained five or six chips. Guess I'd missed some!
I was immediately called downstairs and confronted with the pitiful, flat bag. I folded and confessed the dirty deed. I was scolded severely yelled at by everyone but my mother. Her attitude was, what did you expect when you put chocolate in front of a child?
School holidays began shortly after the awful incident. I was sent to stay with my mother's sister who had a daughter my age. My dad rented a tiny apartment, which was all he could find, and we moved into that.
My oldest brother came home from the navy and my parents just put beds in every room but the kitchen. We didn't care that the tiny apartment was crowded.
It was a wonderful Christmas. We were all together again, and shortly after we found a lovely home to buy.
Chocolate chips became more readily available and I've been making cookies ever since.