While we were living in Tokyo cupcakes were a very popular treat. Cupcake shops were popping up everywhere in the US, but not many in Tokyo. I loved cupcakes before they were cool. Kristina and Ruth always seemed to find a new spot to try cupcakes when I would visit from Japan. I worked with young women and many others in Tokyo to teach them the art of frosting and decorating cupcakes. It was a lot of fun.
I think cookies have taken over and I have always loved cookies, too. When I was young my mother’s method of home baked cookies was to buy the refrigerated dough from the grocery store and bake it. It was fun for us, but they were usually hard and dry.
Both of my grandmothers made cookies, but they each made just one kind. My dad’s mother baked oatmeal raisin with chopped maraschino cherries added in. She always had some of these in her deep freezer, but they were a rare treat. We loved these! My mother’s mother made frosted sugar cookies for Christmas and Easter. She kept them in a Tupperware container for weeks.
Susan and I asked for the oatmeal cookie recipe and tried to make them. It was sad when we realized she had left out a main ingredient and they failed miserably. I have grandma’s sugar cookie recipe and when I baked them they turned out like dry hockey pucks. I need to try and recreate them.
During our CES mission in Oklahoma City I baked cookies forever. I didn’t keep track until our last semester and I baked 1,205 cookies or cookie bars. That is a lot of cookies. I made a lot of other food, too.
Currently, my cookie favorite remains chocolate chip, but I like brookies, oatmeal chocolate chip and white chocolate chip with dried cranberries. You can find many of my favorites atÂ Vanilla Carrots
I am not doing a good job of keeping you updated on what we are doing. It has been busy with the start of a new semesterâ€¦preparing lessons and baking and more baking. I would welcome any treat ideas you have sweet, savory or gluten free.Â
During the summer we taught a class in the south stake and Elder and Sister Bailey taught a class in the OKC stake. We are not teaching the class in the south stake this semester, Brother Valletta our S&I coordinator (CES employee) is teaching that class (29 students), but we will visit often and will sub for him sometimes.Â
The Baileyâ€™s are teaching the Wednesday night Book of Mormon class here in Edmond and they had 23 students. They also take lunch on Tuesdays to the class at the OU health Science Center. We plan to trade off with them in the future so we can visit this class. We teach a Tuesday night New Testament class in Edmond and we have 20 students registered for that class. We also teach a Book of Mormon class in Shawnee with 4 students. We visited that ward today and met some more potential students. We will work on praying them there. Shawnee is about 50 miles from here, each way. One of the interesting things we learned was that two of our students work for â€œThe Tribe.â€ Thatâ€™s exactly how they said it. The tribe is the Pottawatamie Indian tribe. There are many different Indian tribes here in Oklahoma and from what our students tell us they are very wealthy. The casinos are always run by the tribes. One girl works at the preschool and one of the young men works as a bagger at the tribeâ€™s grocery store.Â
Tuesday, we will be teaching for Brother Valletta at the Stillwater institute next to the Oklahoma State University campus. He is going to court to finalize the adoption of his youngest son. So we are definitely staying busy. We also go to the temple once a week. Itâ€™s only a 30 minute drive from here.
This week besides our missionary activities and attending the temple we finally made it to POPâ€™s on Historic Route 66. Itâ€™s an interesting place, itâ€™s a gas station, convenience store, burger joint. They have a huge bottle of pop out front and we hear that at night itâ€™s lit up with neon. Weâ€™ll have to check it out.
Hereâ€™s the 66 foot tall pop bottle and the front of the convenience store/burger place:
They are famous for stocking 600 hundred different kinds of soda from all over the world. (EXCEPT, the one I was looking for, Shikuwasa, from Okinawa). Although, I did see a few Japanese sodas, none that I recognized. Andrew and Leigh…They did have Cheerwine. Every bottle is $2.19. Here are our selections, both root beer: We also had burgers with fries and onion rings followed by this dessert, an apple pie-ish thing topped with ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce and cherries. It was huge and yummy: Â They have cartons to fill with your favorites, which we did not do. At $2.19 each, thatâ€™s a pricey 6 pack. However, 6 packs were flying out the door. All the windows across the front and back of the shop are lined with bottles of pop.
Then yesterday after our visit to the temple we drove to Choctaw to this: Yes, we know itâ€™s still August, obviously those who live in Choctaw know something about when to hold Octoberfest that the rest of the world has missed. We went mainly to eat and itâ€™s a good thing since the main attraction seemed to be drinking beer. We had water!
Our meal, bratwurst on a pretzel bun and smoked pork chops smothered in sauerkraut with red cabbage. We also had potato pancakes with applesauce:
We listened to two bands, the first played polka type music and the second played Cajun??? There were even a few people dancing.
Today on our way back from Shawnee took Route 66 again and got to see the Round Barn in Arcadia, itâ€™s just a little east of Popâ€™s. It was built in 1898.
Okay, so there you have our week. We love you all and miss you!
Cutler’s is a sandwich shop in Centerville, Utah that I like to visit whenever I am there. They have great sandwiches, soup and best of all cookies. They make several different kinds but I am partial to their sugar cookies. I found a recipe for them from a woman who lives there and attended a class the owner taught. I was really hopeful that they would be the same. Sadly, they were not. BUT… they really are good sugar cookies. I frosted and decorated and delivered some to Kristina (who also loves Cutler’s sugar cookies) and took some to Family Home Evening last night. They were a hit. I love sharing my baking!
Yes, I know that probably should be Taco Tuesday like it is at my niece, Nicole’s house. However, I will be serving her famous Taco’s a la Nicole. They involve smearing a soft Â flour tortilla with guacamole and then wrapping it around a hard taco shell followed by all the usual taco fillings. Yummy! I know I should sign up to feed the missionaries more often, but the calendar is usually full, but this month I grabbed the calendar early so I’d be sure to get a date and include this as part of my birthday project. They’ll also leave with bags of the cookies I made yesterday.
Although they won’t be delivered until early March, I ordered Girl Scout cookies from every girl scout selling them in our ward. I have never ordered 33 boxes of girl scout cookies before.
P.S. We don’t plan to eat them ourselves, we are giving them to the missionaries.
My grandchildren* love Shipley’s donuts and in my effort to satisfy all their food cravings, (Wendy’s, Chick-fil-a, Sonic, Starbuck’s hot chocolate…) I got up and made a run to Shipley’s this morning. After I paid I noticed that the tip box had 13 cents in it. I dropped in my change along with a $5 bill.
*This applies particularly to my 9 grandchildren who live outside the US and do not have access to these fast food venues for up to a year at a time.
Maddie and her cousin Rorey
When my granddaughter Maddie arrived from South Africa last month, she told me she wanted to try making a cake with fondant. Maddie loves watching cooking shows and especially shows about cakes. Yesterday we shopped for fondant and today we baked a cake and covered it with fondant and flowers. Maddie did all the work. I love helping my grandchildren with projects and I learn new things, too. I have never worked with fondant before.
Maddie’s Fabulous Fondant Cake
Not long after we moved to this neighborhood last year I became aware of “The Friendly Guys.” They live down the street from me. They walk every morning for 6 or more miles. I see them everywhere and often. They are two of the most friendly guys I’ve ever met. They greet everyone…and with more than just a “hi.” They are just so chipper.
After I finished my last chemo treatment I started walking in the neighborhood again. I passed while one of the guys was working in his yard. We greeted each other and I continued on my way. He called after me and asked why he hadn’t seen me for a long time. I explained about the cancer and that I had recently I had been doing my walking in the air conditioned comfort of the Kingwood Medical Center. I told him I was glad to be back outside. He explained that he was a cancer survivor. He was positive and encouraging, telling me I’d be fine and to keep walking.
Today I dropped off a Christmas card with a Panera gift card inside. I thanked them for being so friendly and encouraged them to go out to lunch together. I had a big smile on my face as I hurried away from his mailbox!
A few days ago I received an email explaining that a family at my church needed dinner brought in for awhile. The father recently had surgery to have a kidney removed. A friend had set up an online calendar, but she recently had surgery and now my friend Emily is going to coordinate the meals. Then on Sunday an announcement was made requesting help for them.
Here is my thought process…I am tired…Time is running out and I have so much to get done…I don’t know them…Maybe I can sign up in January when things settle down…Someone else will do it. I am not proud of that thought process. I am always willing to serve when it’s convenient. However, the nature of my life is such that it’s not usually convenient. People usually don’t need help when I have free time.
Rick forward me the email this morning with his comment, “Something we can do!” I opened the online meal calendar and noticed that no one was taking a meal tonight. Someone else was not doing it! I quickly repented and signed up. I just dropped off the meal to their very pleasant and grateful teenaged son. I smiled all the way home.
This birthday project is doing my soul good!