Monday, March 9, 2009

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

We have ourselves a lovely storm here in the north country. Today was our winter weather advisory, with snow all day and a lot of wind. The interstate is already closed. And tomorrow is our actual blizzard warning.

Whenever bad weather sits in, my family and the hubby’s family checks on each other, just to make sure everyone got home safe and sound. Just the usual, “Hey, did you make both make it home OK? And you’ve got food? And your snowblower’s running? OK, stay home and stay warm.” No big deal. We like each other ‘n’ stuff.

And we’re all used to North Dakota winters, so we don’t generally engage in risky behavior – like “driving” or “leaving the house” – when we know bad weather is on its way.

Except my dad. I called him this morning and he was on the road to Bismarck (about four hours to the west), and said he HAD to make it back home today. Yeah, he'll be there until Wednesday.

And then there’s Cory, my little brother. He didn’t venture quite as far – just the half-mile or so to his office, which he shares with the hubby and my dad. And, while the hubby made it the 40 miles home this afternoon, Cory is stranded at the office. Likely until Wednesday.

My mother is fretting. She wants him to call the police because she’s afraid he’ll starve or freeze or die of loneliness. (Or maybe she’s afraid that SHE will starve or freeze or die of loneliness).

Cory will have to somehow make do with what he’s got – a pizza oven, popcorn machine, computer, phone, TV, working toilet, stocked fridge, stash of candy bars, and 24-hour convenience store next door. Seriously, it’s like Survivor: Hillsboro.

He might even find a volleyball to befriend. The only thing he doesn’t have is a shower. But let’s be honest. It’s not like neglecting to bathe for a few days will be a break from the routine. (Ooh, snap! A big sis never forgets her little brother’s fourth-grade hygiene habits.)

I hope Cory makes it until Wednesday. I'm overcome with worry. I mean, if not for his occasional Facebook status updates, I wouldn’t even know he’s alive. Hang in there, Cor.

Meanwhile, let’s make cookies!

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 3 dozen

1 c. butter-flavored shortening
1½ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1½ c. flour
2 c. quick-cooking oatmeal
1 bag Guittard milk chocolate chips (or other chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using a mixer, beat together shortening and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.

3. Add salt, baking soda, and flour, and mix until combined. Add oats and mix thoroughly.

4. Stir in chocolate chips. (I love the Guittard chocolate chips. They’re ginormous and yummy.)

5. Take heaping tablespoons of dough and form them into flattened balls. Place on a cookie sheet.

Yes, my cookie sheets are ancient. And I love ‘em.

6. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let sit on pan five minutes, and then remove to cooling racks.

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