Larry Enright

Larry Enright

Friday, March 25, 2011

Recipe for Disaster - Sample Sunday 03/27/2011

I love Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, so much so that I am sharing my favorite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe with you. It was a family secret, but Quaker Oats also had the same recipe on their Oatmeal box. Fancy that. What they don't have is Tom Ryan's method of making them. So, here goes...

“Why should I?” Tom Ryan was twelve, not quite a teenager, but with every bit a teenage mentality.
His mother was the patient sort. How could she not be? Twelve years of enduring Tom was enough to inspire the patience of Job or the anger of Zeus, and she was more the Job type.
      “Don’t you like Oatmeal Raisin Cookies?”
“Yeah, so?”
“Making them is half the fun, I think.” Helen continued to get the ingredients together while Tom sulked. He had been grounded for throwing mud balls at little kids getting off the school bus and she was desperately trying to do more than just send him to his room. That would have been asking for even more trouble.
“How can work be half the fun, Mom? Wouldn’t play be all the fun? That doesn’t leave half for anything. It’s mathematically impossible.” When Tom tried logic like that with his father, it almost always failed miserably. With his mother, he sometimes had more luck. Not this time.
“Just a sec, dear. Let me make sure I have all the cookie ingredients first. Can you help me? I’ll read them off and you make sure they’re all there by moving the ingredient from the table to the counter. Okay?”
“We’ll time ourselves. If we can do it in under a minute, we get the gold!”
A challenge. Tom was always a sucker for a challenge. He smiled. “You’re on.”
“Don’t worry about the amounts, just move the container. Okay? Ready, set, go!”
Helen read and Tom raced:

4  tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine, softened
2  tablespoons heat-stable sugar substitute equal to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4  cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4  cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4  cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate (thawed)
1  teaspoon vanilla
1  cup all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4  teaspoon salt (optional)
1-1/2  cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1/3  cup raisins, chopped

“Done!” she threw her hands up high.
“Done!” Tom shrieked. “Fifty-three seconds. A new world record for Team Ryan! Yeah, yeah,” he roared into cupped, pretend-crowd-noise hands.
Helen clapped while Tom did his victory dance.
“What’s next?” he asked.
“Well, first let’s make sure I pre-heated the oven to 350°F.”
Tom checked the range. “Check!”
“Great! Now you rub this stick of butter around on this cookie tray to grease it up.”
“Can I pretend it’s Frankie Marx’s face?”
“Well,” Helen thought. “I'd like to think of it more like making a skating rink all slippy so we can iceskate on it.”
Tom’s interest level immediately fell. Helen knew that look.
“But!” she added, “Now comes the gushy, icky part where we mix everything in a big bowl and slosh it around like mud pies!”
“But the kind you eat, not the kind you throw. Trust me. These will taste way too good to throw at little kids. Let me read this and you follow along.”
In large bowl, beat margarine and sweetener or sugar until creamy. Add egg substitute; beat well. Add applesauce, apple juice concentrate and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.”
“And be very careful not to throw this tasty mix at anyone littler than you.”
Tom followed all the instructions until this last one. Suspicion was in his eyes. “It doesn’t say that.”
“Yuh huh.”
“Nuh huh.”
“Does, too.”
“Does not.”
“Prove it!” Tom folded his arms across his chest and tapped his foot.
Helen slammed the book shut. “Oh! I forgot to mention! Now we have to do a bombing run!”
“You know, a bombing run? We make little balls out of the mix and pretend we are bombing the cookie sheet. But the spacing is crucial. We have to make sure we bomb the entire sheet or our mission is a failure.”
“Where did you learn tactics like that?”
Helen just smiled. “I wasn’t asleep all that time you boys watched Combat! you know.”
It took fifteen minutes of bombing and strafing and zooming and circling, but the cookie sheet was finally covered to Tom’s liking.
Helen popped the sheet into the oven and they waited. She checked them after ten minutes to see if they were firm to the touch and lightly golden brown, but they ended up waiting the full fifteen minutes. Tom went on and on about expanding the campaign to include meatloaf, green beans, and mashed potatoes while he and his Mom cleaned up the mess.
When the clean-up was done and the cookies were out of the oven, they sat down to a glass of milk and a plate of oatmeal raisin cookies and talked about the things a twelve-year old and his mother talk about in precious moments like these — things like stopping the invasion of caterpillars from the woods next to their house.


Like? Here are some other recipes from writers that you might enjoy!

Linda Prather "Food To Die Smiling For"
Sibel Hodge  "Discover the recipe for a Chocolate Orgasm!"
Mel Comley
Mira Kolar   Brown Magic Mushrooms – Killer Omlette « mirabooks and Eastern Promise – Baklava
Betty Carlton  "Mine Alone"  See what Penelope cooks for her captor
Traci Hohenstein  Firehouse Chili recipe from novel BURN OUT
Thea Atkinson Lobster Dip
Tania Tirraoro  Asparagus, Watercress and Pan Roasted Cherry Tomato Risotto