I've got my coffee in hand, and I'm sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying the rare silence. ;) It's usually the loudest place in the house, and that's a good thing. Homeschooling brought many blessings and lessons for me, and one of those lessons was learning the powerful combination of kitchen and family.
I discovered that some of the best
thought-sharing and worry-calming conversations could be had around a
platter of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies fresh from the oven. Just the
smell of cookies wafting through the house would bring a smile to each face
as they came through the door. When they smell that aroma, it sends the
message that all is well and Mom’s in the kitchen! (The recipe for the Bennett family favorite chocolate chip oatmeal cookies is included at the end of this post.)
Take time to cook with your kids, and let them feel the adventure of creating something delicious! Remember to share your own memories of cooking as a child, as a newlywed (funny stories at our house!), and stories behind some of your family's favorite recipes. Scooping cookie dough, decorating a homemade pizza, braiding their first loaf of braided bread, or watching the temperature rise on the candy thermometer for their first batch of fudge - all provide wonderful learning adventures, as well as opportunities to strengthen relationships and share great memory-making experiences.
At our house, life revolves around the kitchen. People of all ages are drawn there, and the conversations as we all cook and enjoy a meal together are part of the glue that holds us close. Cooking together allows us to share stories, try new tastes, and teach the next generation. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies a la Amanda Bennett
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream:
1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
When thoroughly mixed, slowly add:
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Then blend in:
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 quick or old-fashioned oats (I use whatever is in the cabinet)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts are our favorite)
Drop dough by rounded spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 10-12 minutes. I let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, them move them to a wire rack, where they usually get eaten long before they completely cool. ;)
This recipe makes 4-5 dozen cookies, and they tend to bring more and more people into the kitchen and around the table. Good!