In 1981, my father co-signed a $1200 bank loan for me and my brother, aged 13 and 12–both with paper routes, to purchase our first computer, a TI 99/4. The whole family was excited by the potential of this machine but in different ways. My brother and I wanted to learn how to program games. But the first two tasks my mother asked me to do for her was to transcribe her address book and her recipe book on to the computer. For my mother, computers have always been about communicating with family and about sharing good food together.
About 10 years later, after both my brother and I had left home, taking our computers with us- my mother got her first computer, a hand me down 286 running windows 3.1 which had acquired the name of Arthur. With this computer, and each new computer, my mother’s first tasks have always been to first update her address book, and later her recipe collection.
One Christmas, after my siblings and I had left home, we each received a very special present from our mother. It is a small 4X6 plastic photo album, but instead of photos, in each plastic slot, there is a typed recipe, each one a family favorite from our childhood. This ragged little book is one of my prized possessions and one I hope to pass on to my daughter when she is grown.
To commemorate the 100th episode of the Catholic Foodie, I can think of no better way than to share one of my favorite childhood family recipes. This recipe is for uncooked cookies. In my adult life, I have heard them referred to as Chocolate Macaroons. I always refer to them by the name we called them as kids, but before I tell you our family name for these delicious cookies, allow me to share my mother’s recipe.
Boil together for three minutes:
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup margarine
- ½ cup milk
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup coconut vanilla
- and up to 4 Tablespoons cocoa
Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper.
Now it is important to make sure you boil the liquid mixture for long enough or the cookies will remain mushy and they will not harden. They will still be delicious but you will have to eat them off the wax paper with a spoon. These cookies were our family’s favorite contribution to bake sales and pot luck dinners but we always broke into awkward silence and giggles when people asked us what we called them. My mother would usually step in just in time and say, “Oh those. They are no-bake cookies”. But she knew and we knew that that was not what they were called at all.
So, Jeff, Congratulations on reaching the 100th episode of the Catholic Foodie. My family has greatly enjoyed getting to know you and your family over the past two years through your podcast. Let me welcome you into Catholic Podcast 100 club. In honor of achieving such a milestone I can think of no better tribute than presenting you with my mother’s recipe for… ahem TURDS.