Friday, December 07, 2007
In December 1997, Scott was working remotely for Middlebury College. They wanted him in Vermont for a meeting, so the day after Christmas, we packed the kids in the car and drove the 12 hours it took to get here. We stayed, as we had always done, at the Middlebury Inn, a beautiful 1827 inn. Unlike previous visits, we were put up in a room in the adjacent Porter Mansion. The kids and I settled in, Scott went to his meetings.
A few weeks earlier I had made some Christmas cookies, but was little down. The cookies I *wanted* had gone un-made. I couldn't find my recipe, and was still in the throes of baby/toddler/preschooler brain fog so there was no way I could just remember it. Mom had it, I know she did because that's where I got it, but no over-the-phone description of these cookies rung her "a-ha!" bell and she not only didn't know where to look, she honestly had no idea what I was talking about. These days were very early-internet for me, and the web was still pretty young. Google didn't exist, and I had no idea how to even begin sorting through the tangle to find a recipe. No cookies. Short of an excavation through mom's recipe drawer, there might never again be cookies! *sob*
So we found ourselves in a quaint, but small, New England town knowing no one, and with little to do. Tori was 4, Simon was 2, a shopping adventure was out of the question. The Inn had some sleds, we played in the snow for a while, but it was cold, and the kids got tired of that soon. We came in, had some hot chocolate with real whipped cream (this place knows how to treat guests), and went back over to the Mansion to see what exactly this place was. The front of the building has a circular staircase, with a small landing on all three floors - a couple of chairs, some board games, stacks of old books. We went up to the top floor - the kids played in the patch of sunlight on the floor, and I picked up a book. I couldn't tell you what it was called, but it was old, with an index card dated 1931 used as a bookmark. I opened to the marked page, and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. Goosebumps, clammy skin, trembles. Written on that index card bookmark? My cookie recipe.
Chocolate No-bake Cookie recipes are easy to find on the web now, hundreds of them, and many include nuts of some sort. Around here, EVERYone makes them with peanut butter. Mine, just like the ones on the bookmark, have coconut. And I make them every year, but only at Christmas.
Chocolate No-bake Cookies
Measure into heavy saucepan:
2 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup butter or margarine (must be 100% fat stick margarine, NOT spread)
1/2 cup milk
Bring to boil, and cook, stirring at rolling boil for one full minute. Remove from heat and stir in:
3 cups quick (not instant) rolled oats
1 cup coconut
Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to cool and set.
Serves 2 ;o)