Jury Duty 4/12/10 – 4/22/10. Yes, that’s exactly what the frame around the picture says. The past two weeks of my life were spent serving as alternate juror #1, and it was an experience that certainly was interesting. Sure, it took much too long, and sure, I didn’t even get to contribute to jury deliberation, but it gave me a first-hand look into our judicial system.
What surprised me most was how much our jury bonded. And as much as we bonded, I still don’t know all their names. We didn’t bother with formal introductions because we were all hoping each day was our last day. We didn’t know each others’ names, but we knew all about each other. We shared about our professions, hobbies, background, and faith. To keep each other awake during the trial, we brought candy and gum and shared with one another. Juror #1 noticed when alternate juror #2 was unusually quiet one morning, and asked if everything was okay with her. I found a great lunch buddy for the week, and after the trial ended, we’re still playing a game of Words With Friends.
We sensed our last day would be the 22nd since closing statements finished the 21st. The very talkative teacher insisted on taking a group picture, and we found it too funny to pass on. She gathered our email addresses and said she’d email us the picture. Instead of emailing, she printed out copies with that silly frame for each of us. She distributed them to us on our last morning together, while I brought cookies and my lunch buddy brought brownies for the group. It was like a grade school party for the last day of class.
Who knew jury duty would feel like going away to a weird adult camp? Maybe instead of a boring summons, the state should send out flashy mandatory invites to “Jury Camp.” Surely then, people wouldn’t try so hard to get out of it. Maybe?
Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups butterscotch chips
1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute.
3. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the butterscotch chips.
4. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.