Giving thanks and Christmas goodies

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This holiday season has been a challenge for me. Because of its ups and downs, I have incorporated into my daily routine a moment to stop and give thanks in all things. I am here to tell you, of all challenges a woman of faith faces in a day, giving thanks in all things is simply not easy. Looking adversity straight in the eye is not comfortable. And thanking God for it? Well, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!

Today has been a very tough day for me. The last final days of preparing for Christmas have been hard because I am missing some of those who are most dear to me. So, procrastination has set in. I have created lots to do – all that has absolutely nothing to do with my very long to-do list.

But that is okay, because my feeling of being a bit blue has led me to a distraction, which has led me to a wonderful opportunity to give thanks in all things.

While cleaning the office, when I really should be cleaning the bathroom, I found an old column of mine – my very first published column – ever! A former editor, Steve Stein, took a chance on me, and on Christmas Eve, 1998, I was published.

The memory of the excitement of seeing my byline, combined with the words I wrote 14 years ago, gives me the opportunity to thank him and so many others who have helped me along the way. I can never thank my former editors and writing colleagues enough.

“Sugar Buzz” was written when my oldest was 13 and my baby was one. This column reflects what Christmas used to be like in our home, 14 years ago. Of course, I miss those days of Christmas past, and in giving thanks in all things, I look forward to the memories of Christmas present and future.

I hope you enjoy this column! God bless you and your families as you create special moments together.

“Sugar Buzz,” written by Lynne Cobb and published in The Mirror Newspapers, December 24, 1998:

I know I read somewhere that sugar does not affect children’s behavior. Well, this experienced mother can truly dispute that statement! Any parent who has ever hosted a child’s party or helped out during classroom parties can attest to this fact as well.

But who am I to complain? Growing up, there was always “something sweet” with coffee after dinner. This tradition has carried over to my household as well as those of my siblings. I have a panic attack if we have surprise visitors and there is nothing sweet in the house.

Now, as parents, my husband and I try to keep our children’s sugar ingestion to a minimum. (I said try!) All four of them were born with a sweet tooth. Dessert is part of the food pyramid, right? And Christmas is coming, which means – more sugar and goodies.

I honor of all the parents who will try to talk their children into vegetable sticks in lieu of candy and cookies, I lift my cup of cocoa to you. And here’s a tune I penned to “Silver Bells” to get you in the mood:

Sugar Buzz

Sugar buzz, sugar buzz,

It’s Christmas time in my kitchen.

Butter rings, fudge and things,

Soon kids will be spazzing out.

City children, country children,

With their hands gooey-gross,

Keep eating the cookies and junk food.

See them laughing, see them jumping,

See them bouncing around.

And they just keep on chowing junk down!

Sugar buzz, sugar buzz,

It’s Christmas time in my kitchen.

Angel wings, sugary things

Soon kids will be spazzing out.

Grandma’s baking, candies making,

See the kids beg for more.

Mom and Dad roll their eyes – plead for mercy.

Hyper children, sticky clothing,

Today’s the year’s longest day…

And tomorrow we’ll start this again!

Sugar buzz, sugar buzz,

It’s Christmas time in my kitchen.

Red food coloring, fined everything

These kids just can’t simmer down!

Merry Christmas!

© Lynne Cobb – 2012

The Comfort Cookie

This past Monday, June 25, 2012 would have been my dad’s 77th birthday. For the most part, I had a pretty good day. Of course, I had my moments of sadness. But the weather here was picture-perfect – “his” kind of weather. It is hard to be gloomy inside when it is so pretty outside. Plus, it was cool enough to comfortably make comfort food at the end of June 🙂

And that’s what I did. I made fried chicken for dinner. But I had no dessert in the house. So I made some awesome cookies. The sweet aroma filled the house. To brag on them, I posted a picture on Facebook. Requests for the recipe began. You now know the story behind my creation.

Let me know if you make these. They were a huge hit in my house!

“Jazzed-up” Chewy Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from cooks.com)

3/4 cup butter

1 1/4 cups of firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup of milk

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

3 cups of oats – uncooked

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup of dried cranberries

Melted chocolate for drizzle (optional – recipe below)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper OR lightly grease the baking sheets.

Combine butter, brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix into creamed mixture at low speed. Slowly blend in oats.

Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared sheets, about 2″ apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and let stand for three or four minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Drizzle with chocolate if desired.

Makes between 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.

Chocolate drizzle can be made by melting chocolate chips or my making this super-easy chocolate sauce. Use this sauce over desserts, ice cream, in iced-coffee, etc. I found it on a blog that has great recipes. Check it out: httpsss://modernchristianwoman.com/

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

1 cup of cocoa powder

3/4 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of water

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Stir constantly! Let cool. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Store for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator – if it lasts that long!

© 2012 – Lynne Cobb