My Mama’s Daughter: A Tale of Cookies

When I was young, my Mama would make cookies. If you’re imagining chocolate chip cookies, stop right there. My entire childhood, Mama NEVER made chocolate chip cookies… Mama’s favorite cookie is a chocolate oatmeal cookie-you know, the no-bake kind? She usually made two batches: one with raisins and one without. Yummo!

It was always a very exciting time. It went something like this:

First, in a bowl, she mixed oatmeal, peanut butter, and vanilla. My friend and I affectionately dubbed that “Kitty Litter.”

On the stove top, she added milk, butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. The trick is to bring it to a boil and allow it to do so for one minute. Once it has boiled, with the timer blaring in the background, Mama began hollering.

“Girls!” she yelled, “Help!” Put down more wax paper! Move out of the way! Careful, this is hot! Now, git! Stop messing!” We would look on as she spooned out cookies with gusto. Careful to not get in her way, we eyed each splatter with glee. After all, those were free. We could eat around each cookie while we waited for them to cool.

Fast forward twenty years to my kitchen here in Torreon. Without all the proper ingredients, but close enough to make it work, I began cookies the other night. I’ve made these cookies almost as many times as I watch my Mama make them, so I know the drill. I am, however, my mother’s daughter…

“Victor!” I said, quietly (but urgently) as to not wake the baby. Here I was, elbows deep in chocolate and oatmeal, stirring furiously at my bowl. I wasn’t too pleased when he strolled through the kitchen a few minutes later. He obviously has not learned the drill. Cookies can’t be made without hollering for help.

“I needed more paper!” I immediately blamed him. “I yelled for you, where were you!?” I continued accusingly. Oblivious, I had to made it work without him, and I laughed to myself. But my immediate thought, Gosh! He is just like Daddy! was followed with a more honest reflection: Could I be more like Mama?

Oh, sweet cookies. I am doomed.