Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Cookie Jar

The grandboys swept through like locusts this past weekend, laying waste to any food in their path.
They polished off a double batch of chocolate chip cookies in a day and a half. This set me to thinking about cookie jars.

Years ago, I was a semi-stay at home mom, working part time, only two evenings a week, until my kids were teenagers. 

One thing we always had was a full cookie jar. We also had a small paycheck – mine hardly covered babysitting on the rare nights we went out – and store-bought cookies seemed ridiculously expensive when I knew I could crank out a batch of hermits or peanut butter cookies at one fourth the cost and triple the flavor. In fact, the cookie most often to be found in our house when you lifted the lid was oatmeal. Packed with nuts, raisins, and – oh yes – oatmeal, they could keep a kid going through the busiest afternoon.

          I probably made cookies at least once or twice a week, so our ‘jar’ had quite a workout. It’s a good thing I never bought one of those decorative – and fragile - china numbers, a fat-bellied bear with a perky hat for the lid or an equally fat-bellied chef sporting a white toque on his head. (You’d think that might be off-putting to the consumer, all those fat-bellied figures looking like the “after” of cookie consumption.)  I can’t imagine how those fragile canisters remain in one piece in a busy household.

          I still remember my Tulsa grandmother’s ‘jar,’ which was no jar at all.
It was an enormous battered blue tin, about a foot in diameter and ten inches high. One type of cookie, and one type only, could be found there – my grandfather’s favorite, chocolate chip. It was also a bottomless tin that, to my delight, I never saw empty. (This just might have been a factor in my weight gain when I lived with them for a few years.)

I suspect my own kids developed some useful covert skills growing up with our cookie jar. Our ‘jar’ was, and still is, a Dansk cast iron casserole that was a wedding gift from a favorite uncle. It probably became the place for cookies only out of expediency. There I must have been one day with a batch of snickerdoodles and nothing to put them in.
Oh wait – I’m not using this casserole! I’ll just pop them in here.
 And the rest was history.

This past Saturday afternoon I glanced across the family room into the empty kitchen and watched the nine-year-old grandson tiptoeing in and quietly dragging the footstool to the refrigerator. The Dansk casserole had been put up there by some well-meaning adult in an attempt to lower the boys’ sugar intake.

Soon we heard the “Clank!” as the lid was removed and a louder “Clank!” as it was replaced.  His mother could have told him from bitter experience that it takes years of practice to sneak a cookie out of a jar with a lid of cast-iron. 
Old Faithful, sadly empty.


  1. I make cookies once or twice a year.

    1. Yes, mine cookie production is now pretty much limited to grandkid visits. Fresh cookies are just too hard to resist!

  2. I say, forget eagle cams and panda cams. I want a whole show devoted to cookie cams.

  3. Replies
    1. Now why do I have a craving for a warm chocolate chip cookie, I wonder?


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