Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for Sandy Hook

21 Dec

Cookies and Crafts for Sandy Hook
There will not be a Fired Up Friday post today. Instead, I’m joining my fellow bloggers in #BloggersForSandyHook. Today, we post in honor of the victims, families and community of Newtown, CT.

I know parents everywhere, upon hearing of the shootings at Sandyhook, immediately thought of their children and wanted them in their arms as soon as possible. I do not have kids. I thought of my mom.

Red and Mom at Pep Band
This is my mom and I. My mom is a teacher. She teaches music. Never did I hear her refer to “my students,” they were always “my kids.”

I thought about my mom and my heart sank, because I knew that if that was her school, she would have done everything she could to protect her kids.

I don’t want to preach about what needs to change  to make sure this never happens again. I hope, as a country, we can have a new dialogue about gun laws. I hope we can have conversations about mental health. I also hope, as a country, we reconsider the value we place on our teachers. Teachers play a huge role in the lives of our children, but I believe they are severely undervalued. Not only are they responsible for a child’s mental and social development and the most critical stages of growth, but Sandyhook showed us that they are charged with the safety of their students – whom they protect as if they were their own children.  I’m sure no teacher imagines their job description includes “shielding children from bullets,” but it doesn’t have to, because a good teacher just will.

Are there bad teachers out there? Yes, but I think it’s our responsibility as voters to make sure school boards and politicians have structures in place to make sure the bad teachers are weeded out and the best and brightest talent is recruited and given the environment/resources to have positive affects on their students’ lives.

That is as political as this blog will get, because while I enjoy conversations about our improving our society, I have not lived enough, nor learned enough to pretend I have all the answers. However, when it comes to supporting education and  America’s teachers, I think it’s a no-brainer.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Cookies are also a no-brainer; to make with your beautiful children, to give to teachers, to celebrate the holidays, to escape.

A simple oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is the first recipe I remember baking with my mom. It always felt like a special occasion when it was time to bake chocolate chip cookies. I would always cream the shortening, sugar and eggs, while she measured out the flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips and got the oven and pans ready.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Creaming sugar and shortening was a tough task for a five-year old arm and I wanted to get to the good part where we added the oatmeal and chocolate chips! So the dialogue would go:

“Is it creamed yet?”
“Just a couple more stirs.”
“How many more stirs?”
“Maybe 10. Until you can’t see the shortening anymore.”

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
After all the cookies were scooped onto the sheet and baked, it just so happened that there was always just enough dough left over in the bowl for a kid-sized finger to come in and scoop it into a kid-sized mouth. Thanks mom.

My heart goes out to those parents who have lost the opportunity to teach their child how to make cookies and to the kids who will miss out on the chance to collect the doughy rewards of a job well done from their parent.

In his remarks about Sandyhook President Obama mentioned that “we can do better than this.” We ARE better than this. Please, let us not fall back into pointing fingers, blaming and arguing with each other about why this happened. Let us show pride in our country by standing together and saying we won’t let this happen again.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
probably from some women’s magazine

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (but mom likes quick oats best)
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream shortening and sugars together, then add vanilla and eggs.

Add flour, salt, baking soda and oats and mix until incorporated.

Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 8 – 10 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

** This is old school, so mom and I don’t use a stand mixer or sift the dry ingredients together before adding to the wet ingredients.

3 Responses to “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for Sandy Hook”

  1. Katie @ Blonde Ambition December 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Very well said! My mom is also a teacher, so that’s right where my mind went too one week ago. I know most people like to keep politics out of conversations/blogs, but change will never happen if no one is ever brave enough to talk about the issues no one wants to discuss!

    • Red December 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      Thanks Katie. God bless your mom!

  2. Diane (Mastick) Kohrs December 21, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    “I’m sure no teacher imagines their job description includes “shielding children from bullets,” but it doesn’t have to, because a good teacher just will.” So true!

    And what a great tribute to your mom!

    I was one of your mom’s “kids” and you are totally right about her. Above and beyond her ability to engage kids in music (which was great!), I always felt like she knew me and cared about me. Her band class and Jazz Band were some of the few positive memories I have of middle school!

    It takes a special person to be a teacher in the first place and kids always can tell who the good ones are. Your mom was/is one of the best!

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