Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sowing My Oats (oatmeal cookies, that is...)

As I grow older, I am realizing how much of my childhood memories have shaped my relationships~ both with people as well as food. One of these relationships is with my Grandma Aziz and her oatmeal cookies. Grandma wasn't the typical stay-at-home grandma as she has worked since I can remember. During my younger years, I remember getting to spend time with grandma as she ran a statuary store in Hawthorne, California. Then, in my later teen years, I would sometimes drive over to Torrance in the summer to meet grandma at a local restaurant during her lunch break from TRW where she was an executive secretary. She also didn't do a lot of cooking as my Grandpa Ed was (and still is) the cook in the family. I think this was the reason her baking was so special. She didn't have a lot of "specialties", but whatever she did make would be delicious!

I have eaten a lot of oatmeal cookies in my life, but none come close to the sweet oatmeal-y and raisin-y taste of grandma's cookies. These were the first cookies I can remember trying to bake on my own as a 12-year-old budding cook. The best part was how they turned out~ chewy but a little crisp and an almost melt in your mouth consistency~ every time I tried making them. As I grew into adulthood, I went through an cookie "experiment" phase and have tried numerous other oatmeal cookie recipes thinking maybe there was a recipe out there somewhere that would be...dare I even say it...better than grandma's.

My children have been subjected to crispy, raisin-less, chocolate chip added, buttery oatmeal cookies throughout their growing years. Not that these were bad. In fact, some were pretty tasty. The only thing that was missing in any of these experimental oatmeal forays was that they weren't grandma's recipe.

It has been a few years since I've actually made oatmeal cookies~ grandma's or otherwise~ but this morning, after getting up before the rest of my sleeping family, I decided to try another batch of grandma's cookies. Reading through the recipe again, I realized how these are the epitome of oatmeal cookies~ simple yet complex, both in the making and the tasting.
I decided to double the recipe~ just in case they turned out good~ which is a good thing to have done. First thing David- my 16 year old "bottomless pit" eater- did when he woke up this morning was to ask for a cookie. His response made baking these worthwhile as he exclaimed how good they were. My only response needed to be, "why, of course, they're grandma's recipe"!!

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