Saturday, October 11, 2014

_The Hancock News_ Column-- September 17, 2014*

When we first moved to Hancock, the oldest person in our congregation was a gentleman by the name of Clarence. He was 103 years old! I once heard Clarence talk about his longevity, and he partially credited oatmeal. You see, he ate a bowl of oatmeal everyday. 

That health benefit might be the only reason my husband forces the stuff down when we have it for breakfast. Give him oatmeal in granola or cookies, and he loves it. And he likes almost any other hot cereal--cornmeal mush, cream of wheat-- you name it. But when it comes to hot oatmeal in a bowl, while he puts on a good face for the children’s sake, I know he’d possibly rather be eating dirt.

It’s a shame, too, because we eat oatmeal at least once a week. Our oldest son cooks up a mean pot of oats with raisins and his own proprietary blend of spices. If that doesn’t sound good enough, I try to make the oats even more palatable for my husband by setting out yummy toppings like butter, cream, blueberries, sliced bananas or apples, toasted pecans or walnuts, and brown sugar or maple syrup. Sometimes our oatmeal breakfast is a true feast. Sometimes it’s plain with just brown sugar and milk. Occasionally I’ll beat up an egg or two and stir that into the pot at the end of cooking time for some unnoticed extra protein. Simply blending in some peanut butter is another one of our higher protein variations. 

While all these additions up the protein to help us stay feeling full longer, nothing helps. My husband will agree that the porridge tastes better, but he still doesn’t like it. Therefore, if I really want to please my husband with oats, I’ll just need to stick to putting them in his absolute favorite-- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed (I prefer dark) brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups oats 
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350℉. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Add the flour mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats and raisins. 

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool one minute on cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack.

*The actual date on the paper was marked September 10, 2014, but this was an error and actually came out on September 17, 2014. 

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