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Banana oatmeal cookies

I  don’t know why my banana oatmeal cookies don’t look like this.

I was watching a cooking show the other night.  The cookies all turned out exactly the same size.

Mine are as big as scones.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls…

Okay, I never learned to bake.  My mother didn’t bake, except for Duncan Hines.  Those cakes were good.  Chocolate cake, white cake, German chocolate cake.

“They’re better than homemade,” she said.

I wouldn’t know, because I never ate homemade cake.

My grandmother didn’t bake cake, but she did bake cookies.  For some reason she did it in secret.  The kitchen had to be immaculate when we visited, with no traces of cooking or baking.  We would get a mysterious call:  the banana oatmeal cookies were just out of the oven.  Or she would roll over to our house in her big Chevrolet and deliver them in ice cream cone boxes.   Then she would drive to my cousins’ house to drop off their cookies in ice cream cone boxes.  There was no reason to have a cookie jar if you had ice cream cone boxes.

But it’s the craziest thing.  Why didn’t she teach us to bake?

When my mother was growing up on the farm, before they moved into town, my grandmother had to cook three square meals a day for my grandfather and the hired hands.  My mother thought it was a horrible life, and hated the country.  She would cook hamburgers, or fry some chicken, but beyond that, nothing.

“Mother doesn’t write down her recipes,” she would say with a sigh.

Surely she had to have made the occasional biscuit or something.  But she said no.

She clearly didn’t care about it, either.

Determined to learn to cook, sew, and  all those other things a girl was supposed to do, I made my first chocolate chip cookies from a refrigerated Pillsbury roll in home ec class.

Not really baking.

Then I progressed to homemade chocolate chip cookies.  They always tasted good, despite their irregular shape.  Tip:  forget creaming just the butter and sugar. Throw in the eggs and vanilla, too, and cream them all together.  Is that why my cookies turn out so odd?  Because I skip a step?

I recently found the easiest cookies of all:  a banana oatmeal cookie recipe that is very much like my grandmother’s.  They are the best cookies in the world.  But mine look hilarious.  Seriously, they look like this!!!!!!

My banana oatmeal cookies.

They are as big as scones.

The internet tells me I need a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to make my cookies the same size.  Perhaps I’ll go to one of the ___marts and get one.

Everyone will like these cookies, which last two days tops.   You can entertain your aunt who raises chickens, the folks from AA or your book group, the political door-to-door-ers, and even friends:  all will be happy to eat your banana oatmeal cookies.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup margarine or butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 ripe bananas mashed
2 cups rolled oats
Optional:  1 cup chocolate chips (I don’t use these)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together until smooth.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix.  Sift together flour, baking soda, cloves and cinnamon and stir into dough.  Then add the mashed bananas and oatmeal and mix until blended.

Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

Voila!

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