Posted by: chlost | September 25, 2011

Betty must be so proud

As soon as fall hits the air, I begin to feel the age-old urge to prepare for the long, cold winter. I feel that visceral human reaction to the hardships of the coming season, and an overwhelming need to…….BAKE.

Husband and I are now empty nesters. And believe me, either one of us could fill that nest all by ourselves. Our bodies could survive many months without fresh supplies of food. If we were bears, winter hibernation would be a snap. We have no little cubs relying on us. No little mouths to feed. There is no one in this house in need of additional caloric intake in order to make it through the long, cold winter months.

I think you have the picture.

So, of course I had to bake.

My go-to recipe in this situation is for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I have had the recipe for more years than we have been married. I have no recollection of where I found it, but I have modified it over the years. Raisins can be substituted for the chocolate chips, a version I prefer. But husband loves the chocolate chip variety. And because I was making these for him (I was-really!), I used chocolate chips.

The best modification I have made to the recipe is to bake the cookies by spreading out the dough on a cookie sheet, to make bars. Saves the time and boredom of baking multiple pans of little cookies.

The recipe has been well-loved over the years.


The dough just gets plopped on to the pan and made into one very large cookie/bar.


This must be healthy. It has oatmeal in it.

When he came home from work last night, husband was thrilled. Part of it was because there were freshly baked bars, and he loves them. The other part is that he was happy that I had done something other than spending the entire day on the computer. I’ve been working on a writing project lately, and the days just slip away from me in the fog of editing and rewriting.

When I was in high school, I won an award known as the “Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow”. Other than that award, there has been nothing in my life before or after that award which would support the concept that I was a homemaker. I certainly would never be pegged as an award-winning homemaker, that’s for sure. Well, unless the award was for having 5 different ways to use hamburger to make dinner in twenty minutes for a family of five, then it was an accurate prediction of my destiny. That would be hamburgers, chili, sloppy joes, goulash and spanish rice, in case you are wondering. I was a whiz with the spices.

Today I am back at the computer, there is a half-sheet of cookie bars on the kitchen counter (I told you he loves them), and I am trying desperately to keep the urge to bake a cake in abeyance.

Because a chocolate cake is not nearly as healthy as…………pie, right?




  1. Dammit, now I want to bake.

  2. Hmmm. It’s been years since I went in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Something like 25, to be exact; I finally had to make up my own perfect recipe and made it for my children when they were small. Chunky Chippers, with oatmeal and crunchy peanut butter and chocolate chips. For some reason, I’ve been thinking of them lately. Would it be frivolous to offer to fly my daughter’s whole family here for Christmas just so I’d have a grandson in the kitchen to bake Chunky Chippers for?

    There’s just no denying destiny. And now I’m curious about that writing project of yours.

  3. What makes a house smell better than something yummy baking. I do try to refrain since I am the only one who eats the stuff.

  4. It is the fruit that gets to me in the Autumns: apple crumble, blackberry crumble, quince and apple crumble, plum crumble, poached pears and cream, elderberry cordial, raspberry vinegar, then, do not even get me started on the savoury dishes, especially the casseroles with herb dumplings!!
    None of which I can eat on my present diet. Oh what a slave I am to my stomach:)

  5. Hey, I got the Betty Crocker award too! I don’t know how to bake or cook, or anything else, really, but I did know how many teaspoons were in a tablespoon and I think that put me over the top among the, uh, zero other applicants.

    • Hey….I made a lot of the “home ec” girls very upset. I was very good at taking tests. Not so good at baking, cooking, sewing, or god forbid-cleaning. They thought it should go to one of them. A friend in a nearby town was one of, or maybe the, first males to win the award. Quite the uproar in those parts! It would be rather interesting to see what happened to all of those future homemakers.

  6. Not to worry. I’ll take one for the team and help you eat some baked goodies when I get there! Flying is hard work that burns calories – right?

    So far right on schedule…mostly.

  7. mmmmm….. cookies! pie! cake! I love baking in the fall also!

  8. I’ve been having an urge to bake cookies but I always get distracted between batches and burn them. I’m going to try the bar thing.

  9. I used to make cookies as bars all the time, back when I actually baked. If I were to back something today it would be peach cobbler….Just the thought of it. Oh well, I’ll be good and just eat the fresh peach I brought with me.

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