Thursday, September 20, 2007

Who Needs Those Elves Anyway

There are days when no matter how hard you try, acting like an adult is really hard. Today was one of those rare days that with the exception of taking Erin to school this morning and to rehearsal this evening, I had nothing specific that had to be done. There was plenty that could be done - mowing four acres of grass that is nearly up to my knees, vacuum the fur balls that are about to take on life, tackle a growing pile of laundry, grade some papers, finish reading the script for the show I am working props, write the center essay for the next issue of Spirit of Knitting, finish knitting the sweater I am teaching a class on in a few weeks. This is depressing! I was wrong. There were many things I should have been doing. There is always tomorrow . . .

I did manage to clean the kitchen, do a load of laundry, and pay a few bills. Then it was time for lunch. I was hungry, but nothing sounded good except . . .a peanut butter and jelly, or maybe banana, sandwich. How first grade is that? I am happy to be in first grade today. I had my PB&J, some pretzels, and a glass of tea. I must say that this hit the spot - with the exception of one little thing. I needed a cookie! Every good sandwich and chips lunch should come with a cookie. We did not have any. I had two choices; I could throw a first grader's tantrum over no cookies or, lacking a personal relationship with the Keebler elves, I could do the adult thing and make some. I did not have enough energy for a respectable tantrum, so my decision was to make the cookies.

What kind of cookies to make? I decided to make my all-time favorite cookies, No Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies. Craving these cookies is definitely a sign that today was a first grade day because they have been my favorite since I was in the first grade. If you are counting, that is forty years.

I was five years old and we lived in Newport, Rhode Island. When mom would go out on Friday nights to play bridge with the other Navy wives whose husbands were deployed, Kathy the babysitter was given the dubious honor of entertaining me. She took this 25 cent an hour job quite seriously. After feeding me the regulation babysitter dinner that mom left (Salisbury steak TV dinner with tater tots) we would make cookies - No Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies. I loved Friday nights! I am sure that Kathy;s memories of me are not nearly as positive as mine are of her and her cookies.

As I got older and no longer needed a babysitter, mom still went to play bridge on Friday nights. I thought that was my sign that it was time to make cookies. I did have quite a philosophical debate with myself over this issue, however. My mom's rule was that I was not allowed to "cook" while she was away from home. The TV dinners, which required cooking in the oven because this was before microwaves, were out and sandwiches were in. This was fine with me as long as there were cookies. These cookies said they were "no-bake". Is that close enough to "no cooking"? This is only a little misleading. They do require just a little melting of sugar, butter, and chocolate and bringing this to the soft ball stage, but they are called "no-bake". I figured that was close enough so I went with that. And with no babysitter, I did not have to share the cookies. I still loved Friday nights.

And I still love these cookies. Even though it was Thursday afternoon and not Friday night, I made some. I also ate too many. I did, however, share with BK and Erin. Sharing was today's conceit to being grown-up.

I am not sure what it is about these cookies that makes them so awesome. I guess it is that they contain the three ingredients that rock my world - chocolate, peanut butter, and oatmeal. Any one of these things makes me blissfully happy; when you put them all together life is perfect! Though the taste is out of this world, these are not the most attractive cookies. We all know, however, that you should not judge a book by its cover. if you decide that don't look good, I'll be glad to take care of your share.

It is nearly midnight and there are still some left. Assuming I go to bed soon, Erin will get a couple in her lunch tomorrow.

Don't they look good! Because I am in a sharing mood, here is the recipe.

No Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 C sugar
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 2 T cocoa
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 3/4 C peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 C quick oats
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Heat sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in sauce pan. Once all is melted, add peanut butter. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oatmeal, vanilla, and salt. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper.

Tomorrow is Friday. If you find yourself home alone tomorrow night, try these cookies. If you have date, cancel and stay home and make these cookies. You won't regret it!