Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Written on

March 21, 2020

Wally’s favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin.

In our 21+ years of wedded bliss I have only baked them for him once, like 3 weeks ago. I am not sure what took so long for me to crack open the red and white, classic cookbook we received as a wedding gift, and bake the man his favorite cookies. But, it was his birthday. I definitely thought that it was about time and he was worth the attempt. They turned out REALLY good and I made sure to add raisins to the next grocery pick-up list.

Baking them again made my mental to-do list as school was canceled this week. My thought was that he and our girls would appreciate the effort.  I definitely would have the time and it would make the whole house smell of cinnamon and warmth on these wet, soggy days.

So, Thursday came. I knew I would be working from home but anticipated being able to balance those responsibilities with the shuffling of cookie batches from the batter bowl to the baking stone from the hot oven to the cooling rack. I didn’t think this was an unrealistic expectation . . .

Then the message came that schools would be closed through the end of next month. My mind flooded with questions that no one can answer. My heart physically began to race and emotionally broke as the implications of the closures snowballed in my head. My spirit felt defeated – except, I wouldn’t give in . . . I would still bake those cookies!

I am not sure where in the process I was . . had a started the batter? Was the first batch in the oven? There was a lot going on in my kitchen. Wally arrived home from the church. The girls were processing the news on their own. My phone was beeping and buzzing with various indicators of text and email messages.

To add to the confusion, I pulled out the first batch and my well-seasoned Pampered Chef baking stone from the 375 degree oven to find the dozen or so scoops of batter were no longer separate cookies but one thin glob of oatmeal raisin goo. My oldest daughter and I scooped the goo into a rectangular dish, grabbed some parchment paper and shaped it into granola bars.

While proud of our resourcefulness and thankful that they tasted yummy, I couldn’t figure out what went wrong, but plowed ahead and put a second batch into the oven only to get the same result. Thinking that maybe my batter needed to be chilled, I put the bowl into the fridge. Resigned that the cookies would not happen that day, I decided to try the chilled batter on Friday morning.

Chilling the batter overnight did not help. Friday morning I finally gave up. I didn’t just pitch the rest, but used it to make what I’ve decided to officially call, “granola.” It tastes good and my family will eat it. I didn’t fail, I just didn’t do what I had set out to do.

In light of all our current events, my disappointment was rightfully minor and short-lived, but I found myself frustrated by the whole thing nonetheless. I mean, I couldn’t even bake cookies for Pete’s sake! What would the next 5/6 weeks look like?

I couldn’t just shrug my shoulders and let the cookie thing go. I found myself thinking about them again this morning as the sunlight crept through the blinds in my bedroom. Did I add flour to the batter? I don’t remember adding flour to the batter . . . IF I didn’t add flour to the batter then of course the buttery, sugary scoops of batter would melt into each other on the hot stones. There was nothing to hold it altogether through the baking process.

Now, I don’t want to over-spiritualize the “Oatmeal Cookie Fiasco,” but I am looking for God to speak spiritual truths to me in the little, everyday things so here are a couple of thoughts:

  • The flour in the recipe was the support the eggs were supposed to bind the rest of the ingredients together. Without the flour I made something good, but it wasn’t the great thing that I had intended to make. ~ I can “do” life alright on my own for awhile, but for me to experience it as He intended, I can’t leave Him out. He is the “ingredient” that makes sense out of all the rest of my life’s components. He is the center that fulfills the purpose for which I was created.
  • When I multitask I set myself up for issues. Had my kitchen a little less chaos, I seriously doubt I would have overlooked flour on the ingredients list AND in the instructions on the recipe page. In my “normal, non-quarantined” life, I multitask a ton. Actually, I just started to type that I do it as a matter of survival, but then quickly realized that my definition of “survival” is changing. I may have thought that I multitask to “survive” and I was definitely making life “work,” but at what cost? Multitasking, for me, is definitely not thriving. God has gifted me with the time AND the opportunity to just be in each moment. He has taken away the necessity of multitasking and now, I will re-learn how to do just one thing at a time.
  • God cares for me in the little things and He transforms my mistakes into beautiful things. If the cookies would have burnt black or if the subsequent concoction had been inedible, I would have cried. In the midst of everything that was going down in the world and in my kitchen at the time I was trying to bake oatmeal raisin cookies, I could not have handled failing at my attempt to bring some “happy” into our home. God knew this. He knows me. He knows me better than I know me. He intervened. He took my mistake and redeemed it. And, He continues to speak to my heart and teach me through it.

Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

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