Teresa Hatchell 2005

When I was growing up, my mother and grandmother "put on an extra layer of patience" on inclement weather days. Their shared motto was: "There's is nothing like old fashioned family fun to chase away the blahs brought on by foul weather. Believe it or not ... and many of you may recall ... there was no such thing as cable TV or satellite TV until the late 1970s. And, VCRs weren’t popular until about 1980 (later taken over by DVDs, etc). Of course there were no tablets or laptops to allow people to sit for hours face down staring into a screen, connected to the ever-expanding World Wide Web. Home entertainment consisted of three network channels and one or two public broadcasting channels, if you had a good antenna, that is. On stormy nights, families played “Go Fish,” “Rummy,” "Scrabble," or other board games. It sounds corny to today’s youth, but many of us have cherished memories of times spent around the kitchen table enjoying pure family fun.

In my family, we often popped up a huge batch of popcorn and whipped up a batch of homemade cookies before we played games. We children learned to measure and stir ... mess and all. What’s a little egg on the floor or flour on your clothes compared to spending “quality time” with loved ones! I have told readers before, and I firmly believe, what my mom always said: "Messes are easy to wipe away. Memories last a lifetime." That said, I urge you, on the next squally day or evening, to clear the clutter off of your kitchen table and stir up some fun with your family.

Graham cracker cookies

3 cups crushed graham crackers

1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened

1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 cup plain flour

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

16 to 18 ounces milk chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. This recipe will come out well if you stir all ingredients together in a large bowl. Drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Crispy oatmeal-raisin and chocolate chip cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 cup margarine, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup vegetable oil

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1 cup Rice Crispies

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup raisins

1 cup chocolate chips

3-1/2 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, brown sugar, egg, margarine, vanilla and vegetable oil until well combined. Stir in Rice Crispies, oatmeal, raisins, and chocolate chips until well distributed. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. Gradually stir this dry mixture into the cookie mixture in the large bowl. Drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Contact writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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