No Bake My Heart — Kid Stuff
My affair with the No Bake cookie started in Junior High. At least twice a week those wonderful magical women who served as the cooks in the school cafeteria crafted these delicious little morsels for the grubby hands of adolescence to greedily snatch and place on their plastic lunch trays next to the likes of a sloppy joe or macaroni. With little to look forward to in my Junior High career (note school bully, a tale for another time), the No Bake cookie was one of my delicious joys that even the wretched white trash douche bag Patti Lumm (yes that's her real name, die bitch!) couldn't take away from me. Imagine my delight when one day in Home Ec the assignment was to make No Bake cookies using the recipe from the school kitchen! I hurriedly copied the recipe on notebook paper and stuffed it into my Lisa Frank trapper keeper, a treasure for the summer to come.
That summer, and every summer after, my sister and I would make No Bake cookies and lay in the basement where it was cooler and watch soap operas on the small black and white TV, eating No Bake cookies until our fingers were stained brown and there was nary a piece of cocoa-covered oatmeal left on the bottom of the dish. You know, now that I think about it my entire childhood existence was punctuated by memorable and delicious deserts, like my mother's homemade chocolate fudge, rice krispy treats, hot vanilla pudding with banana slices and vanilla wafers, hot cocoa with half of the mug filled with tiny melting marshmallows, No Bake cookies, Little Debbie's oatmeal creme pies at my grandmother's house, and brown paper bags filled with drug store candy. I really dodged a childhood obesity/diabetic bullet there. Anyways. The point is the No Bake cookie was a damn fine cookie and one that gave this little girl from Michigan much joy.
As anyone from divorced families know, much is lost when a divorce happens, more than just family, things like treasured recipes disappear as well. A few years ago I was visiting my mother in Michigan and like every time I visit my mother I riffled through all of her drawers and boxes and books and music and clothes and storage bins. You may think this rude but I have an intense curiosity about my mother, I need to know her, really know her, and I tell you there's no better way to do it than to familiarize yourself with every item she owns. I have done this all of my life (ask her about it, she loves it!) and I know immediately upon walking into a room or opening a drawer what has changed, what is new and what is gone. So as I was going through my mother's recipes taking small and silent joy in staring at the familiar yellowed pieces of paper with delicate graceful handwriting and stains of food from actual past makings, I stumbled upon a small torn piece of yellowed paper with blocky bubbled handwriting and lots of misspellings. It was my No Bake cookie recipe! Graciously, my mother allowed me to snag this little jewel and take it home with hopes of recreating my beloved cookie.
I guess when I got home the recipe was just placed into my own recipe book (the fact that I have a recipe book by the way is hilarious, because I don't actually cook, in fact I mostly hate cooking) because I pretty much had forgotten about it up until the other day when I was looking for a chicken recipe to make for a dinner guest. Upon discovering it again I slipped it out of the plastic sleeve it was sleeping in and placed it on the counter as a reminder to attempt a recreation of paradise.
Last night after my dinner guest flaked on me, I needed a little cheering up and so I decided to finally make the cookies that hadn't seen my tastebuds nor tummy in a good 15 years. As soon as the concoction started to boil, emitting a familar smell, I started getting strong memories of playing Intellivision's Dungeons & Dragons, drinking lemonade, watching Santa Barbara and Days of Our Lives, and sneakily reading my mother's Cosmopolitan magazines. As soon as they were made and had time to set, I sat down on the couch with one placed on top of a blue paper napkin and a glass of unsweetened ice tea on a coaster. The moment that I bit into that cookie and tasted the cocoa and oatmeal and coconut, I, for that moment, remembered myself perfectly. All of those defining moments in life that you're completely unaware are defining at the time, a passing joy, a frequent indulgence, a smell or sound, experiencing those things after years of absence, well, it's as good as time travel.
Well ... maybe not as good as ...
Doll's No Bake My Heart cookie recipe
2 cups of sugar (that's right 2 cups! don't be a wuss)
Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3 1/2 cups of oatmeal
Stir until oats and coconut are coated in the melted sugary cocoa goodness.
Don't say I never gave you anything.
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