Sunday, May 20, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies


Today I had some time to myself so I spent part of my afternoon in the kitchen "with" my Grandmother Ruth.  I was delighted to find she had a recipe for Oatmeal Cookies in her old green box that looked like it would be quite to my liking.


Having only known Ruth when I was a young child, I allow myself to imagine a lot of things.  It's easy to idealize someone after they die, and I try not to do that.  I have more of a running list of things I'd ask, especially now that I'm pregnant again.  I want to know about her pregnancies and labors, pivotal times in a woman's life.  In reality, the closest I can get is what kind of oatmeal cookies she liked, well, so be it.


While I baked, I thought about what I do know about Ruth.  She had waited until after World War II to start a family, a somewhat surprising choice for a woman of her era.  She was 34 when my mother was born, and 39 when she had my Uncle.  I'm not sure what kind of looks she might have gotten as an "older" pregnant mother in those days.  I suspect she was secure in herself and didn't care what people thought. 

As I age, I hope I'm getting closer to the type of grace that I believe my mother and grandmother had.  The kind of grace that brings acceptance and a certain capacity to deal with things head on and get through challenges with poise.  I realize now as an adult, that life brings plenty of these opportunities.  There will be challenges until the very end, and even that prospect we can face with a certain amount of grace.  


So this was my pensive kind of afternoon.  But there were also cookies.  I am extremely partial to cookies with walnuts, and I will always choose a cookie without raisins.  It must be an idiosyncrasy of mine, because I know some people adore raisins in their oatmeal cookies.  To me, these are simple and satisfying.  I'm hoping they stick around long enough to be packed up for a picnic on one of these beautiful spring evenings.  And if they remind me to be graceful, well, all the better. 

Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup shortening (or margarine, butter or a combination half/half)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups quick oats (I processed regular oats quickly in the food processor)
3/4 cup Grape nuts cereal or chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the shortening and sugars with an electric mixer and add one beaten egg.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon and add to the shortening mixture.
Then add the oats, grape nuts or walnuts and vanilla.
Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350.
Roll walnut-sized pieces in your hands, then dip in granulated sugar and flatten as you place on a greased cookie sheet. (Or you can line with parchment.)
Bake for 12-15 minutes.


  1. What a nice recepie! And the recepiebox, it must contain so much soul and history. I Will definitely try theese! Have a wonderfull day!

    1. Monstercircus- thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoy them if you try them!

  2. Nicole: you are very graceful and an old soul already, clearly the niece of your amazing grandma Ruth. And these looks so bite-able. I like nuts too.

  3. Amelia, as always thank you! We just finished off half the dough- (i saved the rest in the fridge to bake today on this very rainy day!)

  4. I'm intrigued by the Grape-Nuts. They weren't in mine, were they? In college my roommates all had oatmeal cookie preferences and I'd bake accordingly. Some with only chocolate chunks, some with only golden raisins, some with both, some plain... I think I know that grace you speak of. I continue to reach in that direction.

    1. Denise, yours were a totally different recipe. I think everything but the kitchen sink was in those. These are simple and not healthy :)
      The grace thing was actually inspired by a long time family friend who is dying and she's doing so with such grace (i.e. total acceptance) - I really hope to get over my petty grievances like aches and pains and just live! It's always good to keep aiming that way, at any rate!

    2. Well, I loved mine.

      I see the grace in you, Nicole. I hope you see it too.

  5. I always enjoy what comes out of Ruth's box--her recipes, and your musings on her life. richness abounds. like you, I prefer the true "oaty-ness" of oatmeal cookies. raisins can get in the way of that.

    Grace is life's balm. I'm sure you carry that with you in every day interactions.

  6. I also like my oatmeal cookies plain, so this is right down my ally.
    Your grandmother Ruth sounds like a very interesting woman, it would have been nice to know more about her.

  7. I also like my oatmeal cookies plain, so this is right down my ally.
    Your grandmother Ruth sounds like a very interesting woman,!Laptop service center in adyar

  8. Amelia, as always thank you! We just finished off half the dough- (i saved the rest in the fridge to bake today on this very rainy day!)Laptop service center in chennai


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