It was almost three quarters of a century ago that I was relegated to the kitchen at the age of 12 years to cook for my farm family because I could not work in the fields. I became sick (turned green) in the sun and my mother took my place in the fields and I, her place in the kitchen. Her brief directions were exactly that, brief. I learned quickly.
We took farm journals and farm newsletters and I scoured them for recipes. One of my favorite recipes was an oatmeal cookie recipe that the family loved and especially my brothers. The clipping in my scrapbook of recipes is brown with age and I think it has gone into public domain because it is so old and no name was attached to the article. It was also a time when cookies were not a snack but a valuable part of the day’s calories. It was also a time when children worked their chores and when the days were longer in the summer, had some time to play. This was a time for dreams and ideas and experimenting. This was a time when the word ‘boring’ was not part of the language. Because we knew that if we could not find something to do, an adult would soon find that something and it would be work.
The recipe can be doubled because the numbers are easy to remember. If you decide to double make certain you have a sturdy mixer. If you don’t, it is safer to do small batches like this one. You cannot go too wrong, (if at all) with this. A minute longer in the oven makes them crisp, too soon out and they are chewy. Both conditions excellent. A glass of milk is a fine accompaniment. I made these this week and I had forgotten how good they are.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (added one at a time)
1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour (I scoop the flour and shake the cup to level)
1/2 tsp salt (I never add salt when I use baking soda. I just never do)
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups oatmeal (quick or regular)
Mix in the order given and drop by teaspoons. Do not bother shaping as these spread during baking. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets until light brown. (approximately 10 minutes depending on your oven but watch because they brown quickly in the last minutes) Wait a minute before removing from pan. Move to racks or waxed paper on counter to continue cooling.
Good food is something everyone understands, no matter the age. They will think you are a genius.