Friday, December 10, 2010

growing up me

My parents built the house they still live in today, when I was about 5 years old.
I have a few memories of the building process. When the concrete was being poured we made mud pies in the water trough they used and got into big trouble. We were told, "NO MORE MUD PIES!" so, in response we made more mud pies but we were smarter about it. we buried them in the dirt after we made them. funny. we never could find them when we tried....
but thats not what this post is about.

When my parents built the house they put this stove in:
Not sure what led to that decision but its all I ever remember in terms of a stove. I thought thats what everyone had. I remember watching mom cook all our meals on this stove. Yes, even thanksgiving and christmas meals. When we lost power (which was often cause we lived in the sticks) and it was cold, we'd light the stove and sit near it. which was odd because we DID have a fire place.
This stove brings such memories.
I was home for thanksgiving and as we prepared the meal on this stove it struck me how odd it was and how wonderful it was.
i learned to cook on this old stove. I hope my parents never remodel.
Here is a recipe we made countless times on this stove:
that is my memaws INCREDIBLE pound cake. I love the year scribbled on it. 1972. I am sure it was written on this paper as some random note. This recipe is old. and barely legible. but that doesnt matter. I have it memorized. and yet, we pull it out every time. :)
and this one
its my moms famous beans.
in a world where everything is newer and better and faster and bigger and shinier. I really love some of the old things.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I was given a really sweet gift a couple of days ago. My sweet Aunt Debbie handed me a jar as I rushed out the door to leave town. I thought it was so nice. It looked like this:

now, Ive been given these "cookies in a jar" before. tons of times. they make a sweet gift. HOWEVER, I noticed these were not the ordinary chocolate chip cookies and I needed a desert for a get together at my house so I quickly threw together these cookies. They were INCREDIBLE. shockingly so. I was amazed! where have they been all my life? does no one love me enough to have given me these before?? my life has been drastically changed. how i lived so long (ok, not THAT long!) without these I will never know.

so, because I love you so much, I give you:

The layers in the jar give a pretty "sand art" appearance that makes the jar pretty enough to give as a gift along with the instructions for making the recipe.

Makes about 36
5/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (note: flour is divided to make separate layers in the jar. If you are not making a Gift-in-a-jar, just combine the two flour measurements)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order listed. Attach a tag with the following instructions: (or dont, and just make them for yourself!)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

these instructions are for putting everything in a jar and presenting as a gift but let me say- you MUST make these at least once for yourself. I know Im bossy but you will thank me!

when I am not putting these together as a gift, I just add together all the dry ingredients in one bowl, in another I beat together the softened (very- melted almost) butter, egg, and vanilla, then add to the dry ingredients and mix by hand. then I use my hands to put them onto a cookie sheet.