There are days that I sit down to write my column knowing exactly what my subject is going to be.  There are other days when I have a vague idea; it just needs to be fleshed out.  Still other days I am praying for a story to put with the recipes I have gathered.  My struggle writing this particular column goes back six years.

My husband, Bob, was in the hospital on life support.  I had contacted the then-editor on Sunday, October 14th, and received permission to skip my column for the week.  “Whatever you need to do is fine,” she told me via email.  After several phone calls to the hospital through the night, I knew my job on Monday, October 15th was going to be signing papers to remove the machines and medication that were the means to keep Bob alive.  However, I woke up that morning knowing what I needed to write about – the laughter that had filled our home with joy.  The column was published the same day as Bob’s obituary.

Now here I sit in front of my computer screen with all those memories going through my head.  Truthfully, I have been dealing with flashbacks for a few weeks.  The dates of 2018 line up on the same days as they did in 2012, which has caused the events of that year to seem more real this year.  It has been hard to keep myself from questioning some of the medical decisions made back then – the ones that led to the final decision I had to make.  But there is nothing I can do to change what happened, and I know that I have to let go of any bitterness that wants to grow like weeds in my soul.

A few mornings ago, I prayed for the Lord to fill my day with joy.  When I checked the “Verse of the Day” on my Bible app, it was as follows:

“You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory” 1 Peter 1:8 NCV

What a blessing it was to have that verse to start my morning, especially after my prayer!  As if that wasn’t enough, I opened an email devotional later that day to find the same verse used in it as well.

After a time of praise today, I requested peace and comfort.  I know that the Lord will provide what I need, as He has done so often in the past.  I pray that He will use me to help others going through similar situations.  An attitude of trust in Him, no matter my circumstances, keeps me going forward when I would otherwise slide backward.

[Note: to read the column I wrote in 2012, check Cooks’ Corner for “Make Time for Laughter.”]

In a total change of subject, October is National Cookie Month.  I decided to try a new recipe I found a few months ago, but it didn’t turn out very well.  My thought is that it didn’t call for enough flour, as the dough was quite sticky.  I tried refrigerating it, which helped a little, but the cookies spread out way to thin on the pan.  They were tasty enough to tweak the recipe; however, until I actually experiment with it, I won’t pass it on.  With that said, here are some old favorites:


3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sugar (may use white or brown, or 1/2 cup of each)

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

1 egg, slightly beaten

In medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and peanut butter, mixing well.  Add egg; mix well.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool 1 minute on sheet, remove to wire racks to complete cooling.


Danish Butter Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

21 red or green glacé cherries, cut in half (may use well-drained maraschino cherries)

Put butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well mixed.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after every addition.  Add lemon juice and vanilla; mix well.  Add flour; mix well.  Using a pastry bag with a star tip, squeeze dough (1-1/2 inches in diameter) onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Place a cherry half in the center of each.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until light brown.

Makes about 3-1/2 dozen.


Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1-1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended, or mix with spoon.  Add oats, flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if desired).

On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.  Yield: approximately 3-1/2 dozen cookies.

Note: Vanilla chips, butterscotch chips, or cinnamon chips may be substituted for the chocolate chips.


Fruit-flavored Gelatin Cookies

3-1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 packages (4-serving size each) fruit-flavored gelatin, any flavor, divided

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour and baking powder; set aside. Beat butter in

large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar and 1 package of the dry gelatin, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix

well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well blended after each addition.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place, 2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets.

Flatten with bottom of clean glass. Sprinkle with remaining dry gelatin.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets to

wire racks. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.