Gram Sally's Cookies

Monday, February 28, 2011

This past weekend, I traveled home for my Gram's memorial service. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Sure, I've had to go to funerals - for friends or relatives, but this one hit me like a brick. I was completely unprepared to lose her. 

Gram Sally came into my life in the mid-80's after my parents divorced and my mom met the true love of her life:

Isn't he cute?  

My teachers certainly thought so.  I swear, my high school teachers looked forward to parent/teacher conferences because they got to talk to Buck.

Of course, as a teenager, I was completely mortified.

Buck's mom, Sally, took my brother and me in with open arms.  In fact, all of Buck's family took us in with so much love that we never, ever felt like "step-children."  I can't describe how blessed I feel because of their love.  I have the most amazing aunts & uncles who have inspired me to be great, to write and to learn every day.

I am so privileged to call Sally Carmichael my grandmother.  

My most favorite (and important) memories:

  • In the 80's (can't remember the exact year) Gram let my brother and me stay up and watch MTV on New Year's Eve.  We thought we were so cool.
  • I would spend two nights a week with Gram when I was in college because she lived so close to my school.  Most nights, we ended up staying up past midnight just talking.
  • Gram helped me understand my mom.  And most importantly, she helped me understand why we didn't get along at times.
  • She took my brother and me on a little adventure.  We experienced every single park in Omaha & Council Bluffs that we could fit in, in one day.  Gram made us take off our watches and she put a piece of tape over the clock in the car so we wouldn't focus on the time - we focused on having fun.  
  • When "The Golden Girls" was actually on TV, I'd watch it with Gram every chance I got.  She told me I was special because I "got it."  

But her chocolate chip cookies? Best ever.  I wish I could describe them and I know I'll do a bad job.  Her cookies are legendary and NOBODY has been able to copy them.  She's handed out the recipe, but as we learned at her memorial, she didn't really use a recipe and she didn't "measure" anything.  She did all it by eye.  

Her chocolate chip cookies were just full of flavor and crispy.  It's really hard for me to put them into words (and I'm sure I'm not the only one).  

One of her daughters (my Aunt Rose), made sure her recipe was passed out to everyone at the memorial.  It doesn't matter because nobody will be able to replicate the cookies.  

I invite you to try.  Originally, I thought I'd have a little contest to see who could come the closest.  Then, I thought I'd just give you all the recipe and hopefully you will report back and let me know how amazing they turned out.  

Grams Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:
1 cup shortening (like Crisco - not butter or oleo)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed

Add & mix together:
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Add & blend into mixture:
1 3/4 sifted flour (or 1 1/2 cup unsifted)
2 cups oatmeal (Quick or reg. Not instant)
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt

1 12oz pk chocolate chips

Mix in chips, then drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the greased baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown in 375 degree oven.  Makes about 6 dozen

Gram's cookies turned out so light and crispy...I really hope you can recreate them, and if you think you do, let me know.

My awesome family - miss you so much, Gram!


Cynthia Mustaine said...

Jen, Thank you for sharing your Gram's cookie recipe. I will try them in honor and joy of your Gram. She was lucky to have you as a Grandchild...remember blessings go both ways. You also make everyone you meet feel welcome and important and valued. Take care of you.

Karen said...

I'm sorry you lost your dear Gram. It sounds like you have lovely memories of her.

Love your blog design and colors! I'll be checking in to see what you're cooking :) My daughter and her family live in Rio Vista. Her hubby is in the Coast Guard and is stationed there.

Jillian said...

It has been 16 years since my grandmother passed, but I still make her cookies. I think that I always will. Those little things keep your grandmother alive in your heart. I wish I could reach out and give you a big hug.

Suburban Princess said...

Grandmother's a so special...I miss mine every day.

I cant eat wheat so I will just have to wait for someone else to make them and tell me how good they are!

Ellie said...

Sorry about your gram. My gramma was my best friend, I miss her so much and think about her everyday. It is amazing how we can keep people with us by eating foods we ate together with them. Thanks for sharing your grams recipe. I can't wait to try them :)

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