Love From Scratch
Going to the old homestead was always a joy. I couldn’t wait to step up onto the old plank porch, and swing open the kitchen screen door.
Mmmm, the smell of apples bubbling down in a pot, in preparation of the making of apple sauce. The sensational wall of warm, sweet, juicy apples would fill me completely like a blanket that was wrapped around me after it was sitting in front of the fireplace.
Feeling all warm, and cozy with images of a real, down to earth, loving home, now you can add maybe a touch of the image of a child and mother baking a batch of home-made, melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies! With the giggles of laughter, Momma starts to slip the cookies into the oven. The oven light is turned on so the child could wait and watch as the cookies turn that golden brown.
(yes, I can be cruel)
I’ve got some of your best senses going and now you are tempted to go to your cupboard and reach for that bag of chocolate chip…..What!? Oh no, no, (shaking my head), store-bought cookies will never do! They just are not comparable!
Well, okay, I know they are “do-able” in a desperate time. And besides, not everyone has the time now to make a batch of home-made. Come to think of it… not everyone has the basic home-made, chocolate chip recipe!! So they don’t even know how simple it is!
Oh the horror of it!
When you think about how many people are growing up these days without the basic recipes, it’s frightening and sad really. 😦 All lost to the convenience of pre-package, grocery store stuff. The simple, plain, and pure (as we can get it) ingredients are lost by way, for the substitute of those ingredients mixed in with colors, numbers, and words I can not even pronounce! How sad!
But is that all that is lost to convenience? I use to think so. But really, it isn’t. Remember how I started this story? Oh… the memories that were triggered with that! The smells, the warmth, the love, the fun, and the family time. Yes, all this too, are all lost to six-pack of pre-package apple sauce just toss in your lunch bag along side the pre-packaged cookies bought from the store. In lesser quantity than that of home-made of course!
How sad it is to know that so many children today, are growing up with pre-packaged everything. It seems like everything is pre-made, pre-packaged, pre-stored, pre, pre, pre, pre! Anything that would give more memories to children are pre-made. All of the doing it together is already gone.
A picture is brought to mind of a certain commercial with child and parent sharing a glass of milk to dunk their cookies in. Awww how sweet I thought! And now, I think not! Where was all the communication? The talking with real words. The learning of the basics of baking. The sharing of stories of the day, or asking how to solve friendship problems. Where was the plain, old, good fun of doing something together, and then enjoy the yummy accomplishment together over a glass of milk?!
A cookie is just a cookie, I’ve heard some tell me, but I beg to differ. As a gift, I would rather have home-made, chocolate macaroons given to me as a gift than store-bought. There’s just something more special about them, other than, the fact they taste way better. There is something unspoken about the heart of your gift-bearer, that you feel when receiving home-made baked cookies, and that goes for all baked goods.
I remember the first time I baked something, and then offered it to someone. Oh the anticipation I had in hopes they found all my hard work melting in their mouth with delight. It was intense waiting for that smile to show approval to which I would enthusiastically offer more. This is another special kind of togetherness.
Better still are all the good memories of making things together from scratch. And yet, they are gone for our convenience! Makes you want to cry.
And the fact is that most of us just simply don’t have the time, despite having the heart to want to do this more often. Time in so many areas of our lives have been taken from us in disguise of, ” buy this you’ll have more time”.
So what do we do? How can we right this wrong? Well, being the Mammy that I am, and I only like to cry tears of joy. I started asking myself what would I be willing to give up in order to have more time building memories with those that I love? The answer was very simple of course. It’s the one thing that I won’t miss in my memories at all!
When listening to the ol’ folk tell of their memories, it was through those memories that I heard a common theme. They are all made with family by doing things together. Those were the passionate stories that you can take with you and share were needed.
And so, I won’t miss TV shows and video games! They won’t make a difference in my life with my family. Tv shows and video games are not, and never have been fond memories that have been shared in later years. What a simple thing I can spare. I can let go of the ‘boob-tube’, (or to keep with today, the ‘flat-screen’), and start living my life, not watching someone else’s fiction.
Sure, there might be some protest from the those that I want to build memories with at first, but when the doing of something fun and yummy is experienced, I know the protests fade quicker than I might think. Who knows…they just might surprise me and want to do it more often, after all, I remember the fights over who got to lick the mixing bowl …….way back when 😉
A little advise though, for those just starting out… expect that there will be the clumsiness of first timers. Seize them all as opportunities of laughter and good times. Don’t forget to take the opportunity to take the made from scratch pictures! They can last a life time!
Time with family is dear, and it’s fleeting. I see how I must guard this time, and hold it in high priority. We have allowed a lot to be taken from us, but a lot can be taken back. Sure, my family is older now, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. It means there’s still time to get messy, have fun and build future stories to be shared over and over again.
This basic recipe came my way through an unexpected source. (A past friend and co-worker of my son; Thanks Ben 🙂 ) He knew we were in tough times, years ago, and out of the goodness of his heart, he gave our son a margarine dish of cookies to bring home. 😉 We were truly surprised! And wow! Those cookies were delicious! Treats like this in sadden times can really touch your heart as well as your stomach. So for all those times, for gifts of love & memories to make, I share this recipe with you.
-½ cup vegetable oil – ½ cup white sugar
-½ cup brown sugar – 1 egg
-1 ½ cups flour – 1 tsp vanilla extract
-½ tsp salt – ½ tsp baking soda
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375’
Mix together oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract.
Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Combine with liquid mixture and mix well.
Spread dough on greased baking sheet.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over dough and press lightly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, longer for a crunchier cookie.
Allow to cool completely and cut into strips.
* good substitutes are M&Ms, raisins & nuts.
Enjoy making Love From Scratch my dear ones J
You can’t pre-package that!
© Mammy Oaklee