PB&Martha- Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies- 69 eggs, 54 cups of sugar, 47 1/2 sticks of Butter, and 50 cups of flour used so far- 139 recipes to go!

June 23, 2010

Martha's Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

André's Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I love oatmeal cookies. I love peanut butter. I love chocolate. Based on compatibility, I think I could possibly marry this cookie. I baked a batch up of this sinfully delicious treat for a group of my co-workers and the raves are still coming.

In my opinion, this cookie has all the elements needed for cookie success. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It has a bit of a bite from the lightly salted roasted peanuts. It has a fabulously crispy texture thanks to the oatmeal combined with a minimal amount of whole wheat flour. It has the creaminess of the chocolate mixed with peanut butter, and it, of course, contains butter. Enough said?

Bake this cookie! Bake it with abandon- and often! Enjoy it with a tall glass of milk. Enjoy two or three if you must! Your soul will thank you.

How’s that for an endorsement?

I am running into a bit of a snag with cookie manufacturing. Between baking, photographing, blogging, and distribution, I am running into supply challenges. I simply do not have enough containers in which to transport these cookies. Therefore, I am making the following proposition.

If you would like a batch of cookies, contact me at adubroc1968@hotmail.com and I will send you my physical address. You, in turn, can send me a container. You know, an old Christmas tin or a piece of tupperware with your return address inside. I will then fill said tin with cookies and send them back to you for review. Simple enough? I cannot guarantee you will be sent cookies right away. You will, however, get a batch of cookies in the mail at some point over the next year. Hopefully when you’re least expecting it but really needed it. If you are someone who knows me personally, you can simply drop off a container to me with instructions on how to get the cookies to you.

That pretty much wraps up business, huh?

I’m a bit of a name-dropper, admittedly. Some people drop names to feel self-important and impress others. Not me. I do it to impress others and feel self-important.

I’m about to drop a bunch of names in this story. I know it is considered tacky to do so, but in a culture that promotes Wife Swap and The Real Housewives of Sag Harbor what do I have to lose?

Back in the Fall of 2003 while living temporarily in uptown New Orleans at Sycamore and Danté (pronounced DAN-tee to the natives), and working as a theatre teacher at the Jefferson Academy of Fine Arts in Metairie, I received a call from my agent. She sent me to a downtown hotel to meet with a casting director  to read for a role in an upcoming feature film being produced by 20th Century Fox.

The film was and adaptation of  Because of Winn Dixie based on the novel for young adults by Kate DiCamillo.  I rushed out and purchased the book. I skimmed through the pages to get a general idea of the tone and feel of the story.

When I arrived at the hotel I was directed to the third floor where the long and dim hall was filled with young child actors and guys who looked like me. “Oh, great!” I thought to myself. “Another cattle-call.” I hated these types of auditions. They snap your photo. You wait forever to be seen. When they finally call for you, you’re rushed into a room where the casting director barks a few orders at you. You state your name and try to act out a few lines from the script and then you go home depressed and suicidal. Honestly, the intake procedure in most county jails is more humane.

My name was called and I entered into the hotel room. The casting director was a tall and flamboyant man in his mid-forties. He was sporting a button-down, extravagantly patterned, impeccably pressed shirt. His smile seemed to glow framed by his harshly tanned face.

“You’ll be reading the role of Eugene, Sweetie.” -he lisped, pausing to adjust his camera.

“State your name and show me whatcha’ got!”

I read the lines with a goofy Southern drawl. The casting director laughed insincerely. He then handed me another page and told me to go a little broader with the character and read the role of the manager.

I did and he laughed even more- insincerely, that is.

“Very good job, Hun. We’ll call you.”- he said as he shook my hand and escorted me from the room.

I thought the audition was a bust. He must’ve seen at least seventy men read those same lines and probably laughed just as politely for each of them.

Two days later I received a call from my agent.

“They want you to play the role of the manager. It’s a two day shoot and you’ll get paid scale.”- she announced gruffly.

“Being paid scale” means that you are being paid the minimal amount allowed by the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG). It’s not a lot of money and therefore the amount paid to the agent isn’t very much either- hence, the attitude in her voice.

My New Orleans agent was a strange bird. She lived in her office on Magazine Street. She was a total recluse. Not many people had ever actually seen her including most of her clients. I, in fact, never had seen her face to face. I heard she was the victim of a violent crime at some point in her life and never stepped out of her home/office ever again.

After reviewing some of the details of the contract, she told me to run by her office and pick up a script from the mailbox.

The script had a note for me to contact the costumer with my measurements and to report for a fitting prior to the shoot date. When I called the costumer she seemed confused. The manager? Impossible. The manager was to be played by a local friend of mine, Jake. I, however, was to play the role of Eugene. Jake’s wife and kids, however, were to play my wife and kids.

I was confused and a little irritated. I was just told by the costumer that I was, not only, recast but, in fact, lost a whole day on the set which meant lower pay.  Well, that was okay. If the film did well I’d still receive a little money in royalties.

I went in for my fitting and  called Jake to joke about me making off with his wife and kids. A week later I reported to a small hotel in Houma, Louisiana for the final read-through with the cast.

Houma is a small, Cajun community nestled along Bayou Cane in the swampland a few miles outside of New Orleans. Its residents are like most Cajuns- cheerful, funny, hospitable, but always a tad suspicious and gossipy. Hollywood had come to their town and the red carpet was pulled out. Filming in Louisiana had begun to increase significantly since a generous tax incentive was put in place by the Louisiana Film Commission. In fact, the amount of filming currently done in Louisiana has earned the State a new nickname- Hollywood South.

The hotel was a lower-end Best Western. Their only conference room had been cleared out and several large tables had been moved together to comfortably seat all the cast and essential crew at the read-through.

A read-through is simply that- a chance for everyone to sit and hear what the script sounds like as spoken by the members of the cast- and what a cast it was.

Upon entering the room, a friendly dark-haired fellow in a black shirt and jeans briskly shook my hand and said, “Hi. I’m David.” Shaking his hand, I responded, “No shit.” It was Dave Matthews, after all. He laughed. This was David’s second feature film experience but the first time he was to play a character that was developed and integral to the story. David was to play Otis, the awkward and shy owner of the local pet store who had the ability to charm the animals with his singing. It was a relief to see him actually a little nervous. He was, after all, stepping out of his comfort zone.

Wayne Wang was the director. I had loved his film The Joy Luck Club and was quite excited to meet him, let alone act in one of his films. He was a funny, quirky man who spoke in clipped and broken English. His attention seemed to whirl from one area of the room to another. He introduced me to Jeff Daniels who was to play Opal’s father. Jeff was a kind soft-spoken man with a great smile and a terrific chuckle. He, in turn, introduced me to a Hollywood legend- Eva Marie Saint. I shook her hand. Honestly, I almost curtsied. I was that nervous.

As we began to take our seats, I spoke briefly with Opal (AnnaSophia Robb) and her mother. Opal was one of Anna’s first really big roles and I was shocked at her ability to remain so poised and focused at such a young age. I also met little Elle Fanning (Dakota’s little sister) who was to play Sweet Pie Thomas. Her mother, the matriarch of the Fanning empire was there, too. I was surprised at how Mom-like she was, I mean, y’know, for a Hollywood mom and all.

It was quite a cast. Wayne welcomed everyone and introductions were made. He also announced that there was a last-minute recast. Whoopi Goldberg who was to play the role of Gloria had just accepted another gig and therefore would be replaced with Cicely Tyson. There were a few unhappy mutters among the cast and crew. Cicely had a reputation of being a little difficult on the set. She also, would not be joining us for the read-through.

After the endless introductions, the read-through began. It was fascinating to hear these words come to life and the story unfold. It was fun to hear the mistakes and the unexpected bursts of nervous laughter. Wayne Wang had one of the funniest and unusual laughs I had ever heard. It was like a steady titter on steroids.

Afterwards we had lunch and chatted. I listened mostly. We all sat down on the floor and surrounded Eva Marie as she spoke of her work with Hitchcock. Jeff Daniels was in awe of her and seemed to know every nuance of her work. It was like watching her being interviewed by one of her biggest fans.

We sat and listened to David play a few tunes on the guitar he wrote for his character to sing.

In that lunch hour, everyone dropped any facade of Hollywood and just enjoyed each other’s company. The stress of  the monumental and expensive task of making a movie could wait until tomorrow.

It was a perfect day.

The filming, however, was not.

But I am saving that for my next post.

Stay tuned for Because of Winn Dixie – Pt 2.

2 Responses to “PB&Martha- Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies- 69 eggs, 54 cups of sugar, 47 1/2 sticks of Butter, and 50 cups of flour used so far- 139 recipes to go!”

  1. Russ Says:

    If I’d met Dave Matthews, I would have said “Hi, Hootie – -where’s the Blowfish?”
    Yeah, I’m not a fan.

  2. sarah Says:

    i cant believe you met Dave matthews!!!!! I LOVE him. Oh and i totally want some cookies – sending you a container. 🙂

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