In my previous life where the Sensory Cart made its debut, a Cookie Cart also played a supporting role. To fill the Cookie Cart, there had to be a Baking Group. So each week, a group of residents would gather in “That 70s Kitchen” (that’s a whole other story for another time) and make a different type of cookie. Surprisingly, I was not in charge of this group. One of my favorite residents was a participant and she thought she was in charge of it. In fact, she would hoard all the ingredients in front of her to make sure everything was done properly. The Recreation Therapist in charge of the group had to do an intervention with her so the other residents could have something to contribute. We’ll call my favorite resident Delicious Dee. Delicious Dee was an old-school Italian lady who ran the Rosary Group on Saturday evenings and hated the word, “Eye-talian.” She wore her white hair pulled tightly back in a bun, on top of her head, and had her ears pierced all the way up to the cartilage. She loved to talk about her son, food, cooking, dining out and being a hostess at a local restaurant back in the day. When she particularly liked a dish, she would wax poetic about it being, “Delicious.” It’s safe to say it was her favorite adjective. She even used it to describe tripe, which frankly, still scares the crap out of me. No pun intended.
Delicious Dee also helped fill the snack baskets with cheesy-poofs every Thursday while I set up to tend bar for the resident happy hour. This was when she would tell me interesting stories about her life. One afternoon, I got a story I never expected. Dee always talked about being a single mom to her son. I had always thought her husband had passed away. Apparently, that wasn’t the case. Between mouthfuls of cheesy-poofs, she relayed the tale of how her husband had stepped outside of their marriage with his secretary. By the time Dee finally got wind of it, she was madder than a wet hen. In fact, she was so infuriated that she drove to his office with a baseball bat and proceeded to beat the living daylights out of his vehicle. Some time after that incident, her husband asked her for a divorce so he could be with his mistress. Being a devout Catholic and a stubborn, scorned woman raising their son, she politely declined to give it to him. Apparently, this went on for years and years. She simply refused to give the cheating cad what he wanted and made him miserable. Brilliant.
What’s the point of this post? Well, I came across this recipe from the Baking Group the other day and happened to have everything in the house to make the cookies. Of course, I naturally thought of Dee hoarding ingredients, her baseball bat story, and how she managed to live her life and raise her son despite her husband’s dalliances. Plus, the visual you now have of a white-bunned woman beating up a car with a baseball bat is pretty priceless. I’m pretty sure her hair wasn’t white when that occurred, but that’s always how I’ll remember her. I have so many good stories about Dee and several others from the Sensory Cart years. This might the only recipe I have from that Baking Group. I’ve modified it slightly and added chocolate chips to below, but the original recipe was plain. If you go sans-chocolate I would probably recommend adding a touch of cinnamon.
Lady Sensory’s Keep it in Your Pants or Else Cookie Recipe:
(Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup (or half a bag) of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Mix sugars and shortening in another bowl until creamy, add the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture, a little at a time, until blended. Then add the oats and coconut. Stir in the chocolate chips at the end. Drop teaspoonful-size balls onto a greased cookie sheet (I used parchment with a little non-stick spray on my sheets). Cook for about 8 minutes (keep an eye on these). They will have a slight golden brown top. Remove from the sheets carefully and allow to cool. Makes at least 4 dozen – plenty of cookies to share with others. Sharing your cookies is a nice alternative to sharing your privates and will help keep you and your vehicle out of harm’s way.