Saturday, October 3, 2009

Giving not getting.

While my parents visited last week, my mom and I took a few hours to go have a proper visit with my Great Aunt Tootie (a.k.a. Florence). She's a fabulous and spunky lady, 80 years young, who busies herself with numerous volunteering and friend-oriented activities. She's a crafty old bird, too, recently transitioning back to hand-knitting after years upon years of machine knitting. She also sews, as most wives of working class dudes (like her husband, my great Uncle Sy, and his brother, my Pop Pop) did back when, and she also makes delicious blueberry muffins. In most every nook and cranny of her old house, which was built directly next door to an almost-identical model that belonged to my great-grandparents, she has inspirational quips and phrases. On the fridge I noticed a quote that she clipped from a home and garden style magazine over 25 years ago. While I can't remember the quote verbatim, it was the first line that grabbed me most.

It is better to give than to get.

We've all probably read or heard that somewhere, especially as the holiday season kicks into full gear and we're shopping like mad people in order to pacify our families with needless and often thoughtless treasures, that it's better to give than to get. While my cultural naivete is baring its bright white ass right now, I will say that it is also a very humble and simple proverb with Biblical origins. As I processed through, and continue to process through, my feelings about indie craft and where I belong and what I like, I was reminded of this at a particularly important time.

Today, Adam's Morgan was chock full of crafty folks and carnation pink balloons - heralding in the celebration of one of the mid-Atlantic's most well-known and respected indie markets, Crafty Bastards. I did not apply to sell at this show, and some friends who did were not accepted. Alternatively, there were a number of friends who were accepted into the show, and I decided that I needed to honor their accomplishments. At craft shows, there's a lot of pressure to buy, and things are tight right now as we're siphoning most of our free cash into sending Seamus to day camp (look - it was that or locking Em and me up in a loony bin). I think my friends are the beesknees so I decided to do what I do best...bake.

Picture courtesy of Ms. Broken Plate!

I took a cookie recipe that I found randomly on a far away farmer's market website. It sounded promising and easy, and I edited it slightly. After baking them up, I wrapped them in parchment paper and finished the little parcels off with baker's twine. I carried them from booth to booth, saying hi to my favorite crafty people and sharing what I could. My mom taught me how to bake, and though I never saw it (like I never saw Santa!), I grew up believing that love was a necessary and invisible ingredient.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground cloves
  • 2 t. grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup diced fresh apples
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients: flour, oats, salt, soda, cinnamon, cloves and lemon zest and whisk. Cream sugar and butter together, add egg, applesauce, honey and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix well. Add apples, pecans and raisins and blend. Drop in 1.5" balls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 20 minutes or till golden brown on the bottom. Yields approximately four and a half dozen.


  1. We loved getting our little package of cookies! They were a lifesaver -- not to mention delicious -- the rest of the day; we doled them out as our energy lagged. :)

    Thanks so much!

  2. Those cookies were pure love. mmm, saved one for coffee today. =)
    Sad I missed Seamus though.


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