The first time I ever met Big Jim’s mother, a few months before Jim and I began dating, she was wearing a dress, heels, pearls, and folding her laundry. I was stunned. My Mom was no slouch but our house looked like there were four teens in it and I folded most of the laundry, unless I could con Scrabblebuff into it.
That first impression, stuck with me for a long time. Two years later, as a new bride, I was still intimidated by this incredibly dedicated housekeeper, wonderful cook, and magazine perfect hostess who also managed to hold down a full time job. In other words, by marrying Big Jim, I ended up with a mother-in-law who was the role model for June Cleaver!
I spent endless hours trying to live up to my perception of this paragon of womanhood, always sure my house wasn’t clean enough, my roast wasn’t juicy enough and my clothes weren’t ironed enough. My lack of self confidence prevented me from inviting my in-laws over very often and if I did, I worried about everything until the moment they came through the door. Instead, we went to their house nearly every Sunday until we moved to Texas.
The week before our 3rd Christmas, I finally scrounged up my courage and took a pie I’d baked to her house for dinner. I was terrified. I hated baking pies but Jim kept on about his mom’s for so long that I had to acquire the skill. It took me 5 apple pies that Saturday to get the lattice top just right. I was upset when I’d had to piece one of the last strips because it broke .
Jim’s dad took a bite and stared at me. His Aunt Ted, just smiled. His brother Dennis said, “YOU baked this?!”
I was ready to run out the door, when Mom asked, “Dear, did you make this from scratch?”
“Oh Lord have mercy! This is delicious! You’ll have to share your secret with me. I haven’t made a pie crust since the frozen ones first came out! My crusts were always like clay.” Our relationship changed that day.
Several years later, while we were living in Bellingham, Washington, she called me to share a wonderful recipe she‘d read in a magazine. The timing was perfect as I had to bake 12 dozen cookies for school Christmas parties that week. The kids were totally intrigued by these cookies and loved to help make them. Sage even called her a different year to get the recipe himself so he could surprise me with a batch.
Mom’s gone now but our memories are still fresh, especially when any of us bakes a batch of these cookies.
Grammy’s Forgotten Cookies
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts
Beat egg whites, to which salt has been added, until stiff. Fold in sugar and vanilla. Then chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto aluminum foil covered cookie sheets. Or pipe from a plastic bag with one slit corner. Place in 350 degree preheated oven. Turn off heat at once and leave for 2 hours or even overnight.
( Now you know why they call them Forgotten Cookies.)
See ya down the road,