Instead of going to day care growing up, I was blessed to stay with my grandparents during the summers and after school. In that time we had together, they taught me so much. My grandfather taught me what true love and compassion looks like. How a man can be so strong and yet so kind. That a real man carries a pocket knife. How to garden and grow beautiful things. My grandmother set the example in our family to be a strong, educated, successful woman. She patiently taught me how to sew. She taught me to cook and instilled a passion for baking.
When I was home over for the holidays last winter, I sat down with my grandma to go through the recipes I remember her making when I was growing up. She kept insisting that I take her oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, which I didn’t remember from my childhood. After the fifth time that she insisted I copy that recipe, I took it.
I decided to make them yesterday and instantly remembered the cookies. I remember her making hundreds of them at a time for a prison ministry program that they were involved with. And I remember being a kid wondering why I couldn’t have any of the cookies she was making.
That’s one of my favorite things about making family recipes – the memories that are associated with the food. Forever, these cookies will be associated with the compassion that my grandparents had for others. And how I can – should – strive to be as loving as they were.
5 sticks of softened butter
3 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
5 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
5 cups oats
2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together butter, sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until smooth.
Sift together dry ingredients. Add to above mixture and mix well. Add oats and raisins.
Roll dough into small balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned (the recipe says 15 minutes, but it was only 10 minutes for me). Makes about 10 dozen two-inch cookies – great for freezing or sharing!
Julia Andrus Williams
More from food