The situation was dire, very dire indeed. The man had been holed up with his hostages for the past four hours, and so far there had been no sign of a breakthrough.
Suddenly, there came a demand screamed hoarsely through the window. "Give me the Chief of the Police. I'll only talk to him!" The Chief, who had been huddled with his emergency situation team, straightened up and started to head towards the room that the man was in. "Hell's bells!" he thought to himself. He was desperately trying to remember what he had learnt in Hostage Situations 101 whilst attending the police academy, but the only thing he could remember was the edict to not anger the hostage. He felt pools of sweat gathering under his arms, and hoped like heck that his fellow officers couldn't see how tense he was. He was the man in charge - he should be coming across as being completely in charge. There were 6 hostages up there with that man. He shuddered to think what might happen if he mucked things up.
He was led by a member of the swat team to the barred door that the hostage take been previously communicating through, when he wasn't bellowing through the window. Tentatively he tapped on the door, and declared in an embarrassingly faltering voice "Um, it's the Chief of Police here. Or you could call me Herbert, if you prefer." Inwardly Herbert winced at how pathetically wussy he sounded, but he plowed on. "I'm here to assist and help you. Let us know what your demands are, and we'll try and resolve this situation as peacefully and expediently as possible."
The hostage taker laughed derisively from the other side of the door. "You people!" he scoffed. "How could you possibly know what I want? What, do you have a group of psychiatrists hiding there next to you, telling you what to say?"
At this Herbert turned bright red. His wife was a psychiatrist, and he was not going to allow any old hostage taker to slander her chosen profession. Drawing himself up indignantly he said in a voice that was now positively dripping with equal parts authority and sarcasm "It's my job to get these people out safe, and I would appreciate it if you would kindly remember that it's your job, sir, to make your demands, so start playing the game before I start playing it for you!"
Herbert had no idea of it at the time, being so full of righteous fury of behalf of beloved psychiatrists everywhere, but he had hit the tough love nail on the head. On the other side of the door the hostage taker hung his head in shame. All he'd wanted was a snack, but the cafe downstairs was closed for renovations, and when he had found out that he couldn't get a treat he'd just snapped, and before he knew it he had found himself in a room with six frightened interior decorators, yelling that he'd had enough, and somebody was going to pay. He stood there, filled with a sudden and overwhelming remorse, feeling just like he had as a kid when his mother had grizzled at him. He could hear Herbert tap tap tapping his foot impatiently on the other side of the door, and he decided to declare what he really wanted before things went any further. "Herbert?" he asked tentatively. "I just really, really want some chocolate chip cookies. Not supermarket ones, mind you, but real home made ones. If you could just get me some of those, then I'll let everybody go, no harm done. Besides, their constant chatter of how they are definitely going to put a jacuzzi in their own homes if they get out alive is really beginning to do my head in!"
10 minutes later, Jorth was somewhat alarmed to answer the door to a group of burly swat men. But once they explained the situation, she jumped into action. "Criminey!" she thought. "I mean, I know these bickies are good, but I never thought they would save the day!" And with that she began to bake.
Some Pretty Darn Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies
230 grams butter, softened
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
200 grams really good dark chocolate, cut up into chunks (I use Green & Black's Maya Gold for a nice orangey finish)
1 - Preheat the oven to 190 C. Beat the butter and the two sugars together using an electric mixer until they are creamed and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract, and mix until combined.
2 - Sift the flour and baking soda into the bowl with the creamed butter, sugar etc. Mix until well combined, then add the chocolate chips.
3 - Place tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking paper lined tray (I usually fit 6 onto mine) and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until golden. Allow to rest on the tray for two minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
Makes 36. Not that they'll last long!
>> Friday, January 13, 2012 – Food glorious food