Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mashed Potatoes

I have had a craving for mashed potatoes for several days now.

I really don't know why as I haven't had an appetite for going on three weeks. (really, is it possible that almost three weeks have passed?)

Tonight, after a decidedly long and difficult day discussing legal matters with an attorney I decided to satisfy the mashed potato craving.

If it were just me that is all I would have made.

But it's not just me.

So I set out to make steamed mussels, (a favorite of TBHITW), shallow fried cod (a favorite of the 16 year old), mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.

I steamed mussels in garlic and cilantro and wine.
I dipped the cod in egg, then panko and shallow fried in oil with a big sprig of cilantro in the oil to flavor it.
I steamed green beans with lemon and salt until al dente.

And I made mashed potatoes the way TBHITW made them. It made me smile because while I did all the above, plus peeled and boiled the potatoes, the ricing was always his job. And it was a big deal.

He would load a warm bowl with a half a stick of butter, a chizle (we made words up around here) of heavy cream and a sprinkle of sea salt. Then, making a big production about having massive arm muscles he would rice the potatoes using a beautiful stainless steel ricer I bought just for him.

He would then gently toss it all together, mound it in a bowl and drizzle a little more melted butter over the buttery, steaming bowl of perfectly mashed potatoes. He would then proclaim, Dinner Is Served.

With a smile on my face and tears in my eyes I ate mashed potatoes tonight.

And it was all good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blest Are They

I was having a very hard day on Sunday.

Some days are harder than others and it seems Sunday is my worse.

I checked my email and found my sister had sent me this link to the song Blest Are They.

This song is from as the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are from Jesus's sermon on the mount. He saw the crowd gathering, and He began to teach the people how to live.

Father Jim Wiener sang this song at our wedding and again at TBHITW's funeral.

It made me happy to listen to it again. It is a joyful song.  I hope it makes you smile. It helps to sing the refrain really loud, with a smile.

Sometimes the universe and sisters give to us just what we need, just when we need it.

His Name Was Jim

TBHITW's name is Jim.

There are some things you should know about him:

He was a geologist. He wanted to be a geologist since he was 12 years old.

He was a runner. He loved to run.

And bike ride and walk and scuba dive and ski and play soccer.

He loved being a children's soccer coach when our kids were young. He let everyone play, regardless of their ability. He liked to win games but he liked for everyone to get their chance at playing more.

He liked jazz and classic rock music.

He was well read. He read science fiction, Scientific American, Geologic News, The New York Times and best sellers and all the classics.

He wanted to learn how to fly.

He had ugly feet and beautiful hands.

He watched his weight.

He liked me.

He loved being married.

He loved being a parent.

He thought his children were perfect and I had to remind him that they weren't.

He thought I was perfect and I never reminded him that I was not.

He liked to hold hands with me.

He loved movies and Christmas and Halloween.

He loved to eat good food.

He liked dark beer and hated light beer.

He liked to watch football and soccer, but not baseball.

He loved this country.

He loved babies. And dinosaurs.

He was humble and generous and cheerful and funny. No one could deliver a pun like him.

He was handsome, but he didn't know it.

He did not snore.

He never smoked.

He never stayed mad.

He was not afraid to say, "I'm sorry".

He worked all the time. He loved what he did and never considered it a burden.

He was patient with me.

He always fell asleep first. When I heard his even breathing I fell asleep myself.

He always got up before me. And he brought me coffee in bed.

He was a pack rat. He saved everything.

He kept excellent records.

His handwriting was illegible.

He always brought me flowers. For no reason.

He was a very good driver. I always felt safe in the car with him.

He knew NYC like the back of his hand. He knew the streets, the trains, the subways and all the good places to eat.

He believed in God.

He had a terrible memory for names, but not people. He always remembered their story.

He loved rocks and volcanoes and glaciers and all manner of earthly things.

He wished he could go into space.

He was a scientist and loved science. He loved to learn new things and debate old things.

He would have made an incredible teacher.

He taught me how to read a map.

And a compass.

He could identify all the constellations in the night sky.

He could grow a great mustache.

He loved life and life loved him back.

These are some of the things you should know about Jim.

Friday, August 27, 2010

On, On

I woke up this morning and told myself that today I was going to find one thing to make me happy.

Just one thing that would make me smile.

Just one thing that would lift my shoulders up and make me walk ever so more lightly.

That's not too much is it?

I picked up my CSA share yesterday and could not believe how much beautiful, fresh food was packed into a bushel box. So much that there was a second box filled with tomatoes and peaches that could not fit in the original. Watermelon and Muskmelon, beets, romaine, leaf lettuce, yellow beans, green beans, nectarines, assorted peppers, cilantro, eggplants, to name a few items.

So today I am happy to have an abundance of fresh food in my house. I may even cook something.

Each of our three children spoke at their dad's (TBHITW) funeral. The three of them stood up and with their arms around each other, read a piece that paid tribute to this cherished man.

They all spoke of the love TBHITW and I shared and how we showed them what marriage should look like. They spoke of how happy we were. In addition,

The 20 year old spoke of shared races and their relationship evolving as he became a man himself.

The 18 year old spoke of the love and special relationship between her dad and herself, his only daughter.

The 16 year old reminded us all of how this content, joyful and peaceful man would have wanted us to live:

He read:

"You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived. 
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back, 
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You an remember him only because he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close you mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

TBHITW always called out to runners, "On, On." When ever we went to see him run a race when he ran by, we'd call out, "On, On". It was our whole family's rally cry.

So today, I am saying to myself, "On, On". 

Today I will find one thing to make me smile.

On, On

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fifteen Days

It has been fifteen days now.

I am coping. Minute by minute, day by day. I had no idea that death could be so hard. So lonely, so empty and so complicated. 

Just when I think I am cried out, I cry. 
Just when I think I will drop, I move.
I go through the motions. 
I miss him so. 

It has been two weeks. I know, I know, a drop in the bucket. 

I am muddling through all the complications of death. 
TBHITW did it all. He handled all the finances, the business, the complicated stuff of daily life... taking out the garbage, oil changes, paying bills. We always said that if he "made the living, I would make it worth living"... 

I got lazy in the last two years since I left the "corporate world"... now I am trying to pick up all the pieces. His business, my business, the house, kids... dog... ugg. On top of that I would just like to lay around in his robe with his picture and a glass of wine. I'm trying my best. That has to do for now. I get up, get dressed, and go through the motions of life. I walk the dog. I watch the clock until it is a respectable time to go to bed. Then I get up and do it all again the next day. I feel like a puppet on a string. Or a fragile glass. Any one twitch or bump and I will shatter and break. 

Everyone says it will get better with time. Really? I want to shout at them REALLY???? How??? Is he going to walk through that door? Is he going to hold me in his arms? Is he going to kiss me one more time and tell me I'm beautiful?? Well, if not, then how is it going to get better?

But I don't shout at anyone. I just nod my head and say thank you and agree with them. 

And while I am screaming inside I am getting two kidadults ready for college and one 16 year old ready for his junior year in high school. And I'm doing the laundry and running the vacuum. And all the while I'm thinking... how can this be?

He came and kissed me the other day. I was napping. I always read or napped (okay, okay, napped) between 3 & 4pm on the weekend (okay, okay, during the week too)... he would be up in his office and would ask me what time I would like to wake up if I happened to fall asleep (while reading). I would say, "oh, four o'clock. I was in that half way zone of awake and asleep and I felt someone sit down and gently kiss me. It was so nice, so gentle.. I opened my eyes and it was four o'clock. 

That is what keeps me going. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Across the Miles

I have been truly touched and amazed at how many people have taken the time to reach out to me and offer me kind words of love and support.

Of course my family and close personal friends have been here with me. Holding me up. Cooking for me. Crying with me. Laughing with me. Sitting in silence with me. Sending me messages everyday or calling to check in. In the future if they ever have to go through a {{{shudder}} tragedy I only hope I can be as good and kind and wise as they have been.

Just as amazing is YOU. You people from all over the world who have reached out to me and from the heart offered me words of encouragement and love and support. Some of you have spoken from personal experience and pain to let me know that one day, one day, it will be easier. Some of you have cried across the internet with me. Some of you have reached out via personal emails. Some of you have called me on the phone.

Thank You doesn't seem like enough to say to all of you. But Thank You is all I have right now. You have held me up. You have encouraged me. You are wonderful, compassionate, giving people. You help me through each day.

Many of you have commented on TBHITW's picture on the beach. I will always cherish and ponder that picture.

And this one, where Holly Bear is turning back and he is walking on. No footprints in the sand. Just a glance back at me.

A boy I last saw in high school wrote a poem about this picture. Across the years - this now grown man (who I remember as being kind, quiet and intelligent in HS) sent me these words, the picture somehow speaking to him.

Like I said, amazing.

light                                                       by R.J. Heller

“Everything continues, light is the essence of today, the reminders of the past, and the beacon for tomorrow….”

Ever changing, yet constant, memories
In us, revealed in a smile,
In us, it is our eyes
Our Soul

It is ever reaching, and does
Not end…it continues
In time, and in all the empty spaces
Our Times

It touches, us with memory
Of joyous rapture, and
Tones of sadness
Our Reflections

Year upon year, it travels
Singing of a life lived
A life shared,
Our Lives

A smile is love,
Light shines, becomes many
Things, a touch, taste, a smell
Our Moments

It touches us, gentle reminders,
To live, and to remember
A smile is love, in light constant
Our Loves

Each memory, as it rises
Is light, linked to many more
Colors reveal the light, the smiles

Sunday, August 22, 2010

At Last

I told myself I was not going to cry this morning.

I took my coffee out onto the front porch and sat in his rocker.

I am wearing his wedding ring and find comfort in feeling the smooth, cool gold band on my own finger. I don't know why but I slipped the ring off and read the inscription. I had forgotten what I had engraved there. It says "At Last" and our wedding date. We really loved that song. It was just the way we felt when we found each other.

So then I cried. Once I start it is hard to stop. I'm past the intense sobbing, the physical shaking. Now tears just roll down my face like I have been doing this all my life.

My brother and his wife are coming to dinner tonight. I'm happy for that. I have some beautiful grass-fed, free range filet mignons that I was saving for a special occasion. Isn't that silly? Everyday is a special occasion. How could I have forgotten that? How could I have forgotten the inscription on our wedding rings?

I can't cook from a recipe right now but I can grill steaks, steam corn and slice tomatoes.

I dreamt of him last night. In my dream I told him that he was a wonderful man, a wonderful provider. He told me that no one had ever told him that before me.
I don't know if it was him talking or my dream talking. I'd like to think it was him, but I couldn't see his face and the house we were in was full of holes. In the walls, the floors, everywhere there were holes. Just like my heart.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Today was the hardest day yet.

Two weeks ago we went to the beach for a family vacation.

One week ago we spent the day at TBHITW's wake and funeral mass.

Today, we, became I.

Saturday and Sunday mornings were always special in this house. I am a spoiled, pampered woman.

TBHITW always got up before me.

Every morning he brought me coffee in bed. Like I said, spoiled and pampered.

He would bring me my coffee and climb back into bed and we would talk about the day ahead of us.

Where were the kidadults? Who had to work? Where was he going? When would he be home? Would he need me to pack his lunch? What did I have scheduled?

On the weekend the conversation would last longer. Sometimes he would bring the New York Times into bed and would read me the news of the day. At times this would annoy me as I was trying to read the sections that interested me (ie: social, married, what's happening). I would eventually give up and just lean my head on his shoulder and let him educate me as to the happenings of the world.

Today I got up, retrieved the NYTimes from the driveway, tossed it into the recycling bin and cried.

I really have no interest in the "news of the day".

The youngest (16) asked if he could invite several of his camp counselor friends over for a cook-out. It was a welcome reprieve from sadness.

I cooked hamburgers and hot dogs, fresh corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes from the garden and served it all up fresh and hot for hungry teens. TBHITW would have loved it. Many hungry mouths around a big kitchen table. I'm glad Zach got to act like a 16 year old. He is much too young (and old before his time) for any of this.

I used to look forward to weekends. Now I just want them to be over.

Loneliness. The word for today.

Because You Loved Me

Friday, August 20, 2010


I did the laundry today.

I had not done any laundry since we rushed home from the beach on that horrible day.

I folded all of TBHITW's clothes. I held each piece to my chest and cried.

TBHITW was a simple man. He liked his running T-Shirts. The ones you get free when you run a race. He has hundreds of them. I always kidded him that the only reason he ran was for free clothes.

I put all of his clothes in his dresser and our closet. Just like I always did. What else is there to do?

I was looking at some of the pictures I took while we were at the beach. These were taken on Sunday morning, just a few days before he died. We were the only two people on the beach.

It was a good morning. Just the two of us. Up early. We shared coffee and this walk.

Now when I look at these pictures I think they are prophetic. Why is only Holly leaving footprints in the sand? Was he already being carried away from me?

I want answers and there is no one here who can give them to me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I brought TBHITW home today. Well, I brought his ashes home today.

I am so happy to bring him home.  TBHITW wanted to be cremated. He did not want to be buried. And selfishly, I wanted him to come home. To me. I can not bear the thought of him being alone somewhere. Not now. Not without me.

He is interned in a beautiful natural marble urn befitting a geologist - what else would do but a rock? It is very heavy. Just like my heart.

The kidadults went with me to the funeral home to pick up his ashes. We all cried.

The 20 year old drove while I held TBHITW in my arms with a seat belt around us both. The funeral director told us to be careful as the urn is not sealed.

It broke my heart that every time we turned a corner Jacob reached out to steady us. Like you would a child riding in the front seat of the car.

I have decided that there are no rules for widows. Or for children who mourn.

What we feel and do and say and feel is right. There is no wrong.

I wonder how many tears are enough? I marvel at the ability of my body to keep producing tears. To keep moving, walking, talking.

My girlfriend invited me for dinner tonight. Her husband is out of town. I don't like to be around husbands right now, if he was there I could not have gone. I know, that is selfish and shallow, but remember I am making my own rules.

She made Chili Relenos. I ate them because I have never made them and TBHITW never ate them. The food tasted good and because it did I cried. I should have made TBHITW Chile Relenos. Just once.

My friend drove me to the farm to pick up my CSA share. I cried because who will eat all this food? The farm was glorious. Everything is at its peak. The youngest kidadult went with us because (I think) he does not want me out of his sight right now.

Everything is sad and beautiful and awful.

I'm glad TBHITW is home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Week

It has been one week since TBHITW left us.

I wonder if there will ever be a day that I wake up and don't cry.

I wonder if it will ever matter if the sun shines. Or if it rains.

I wonder if I will ever be hungry again.

I wonder if I will ever sleep through the night.

I wonder why Holly Bear keeps barking at things in the house.

I wonder why people are walking their dogs and jogging by and driving to the store? Don't they realize the world just lost a wonderful man?

I wonder if I should just tell the bank teller, or the grocery store clerk or the couple strolling by how precious and short love is.

Most of all I just wonder.

I don't have any recipes right now. I don't cook. There is food in the refrigerator and I don't know how it got there. One day I will have to unwrap all those foil wrapped packages and throw it away. Not today though.

There are flowers and plants all over the house. I watered them last night. I am going to be sad when they all die. Everything dies and I'm not ready for that. I'm not ready for any of this.

I want people to tell me about him. I want to hear stories about his friendships. I want people to understand that it's okay if I sit here and cry while they tell me his story. It's just what I do right now.

My good friend in Arizona had a baby on Monday. She is beautiful. She reminds me that it is all a circle. One life exits, another enters.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


On Wednesday, August 11th., my partner, my best friend, the love of my life, The Best Husband In The World, passed suddenly from this earth.

We are broken.

Yesterday, my children and I, along with many, many family and friends and colleagues participated in the ritual we call a funeral.

I guess that is supposed to end it.

But the pain in my heart goes on and I don't have a recipe to fix that.

We just celebrated our wedding anniversary and recalling our vows I now know there is something false about them. Until death do us part?

No. Never. I am his, and he is mine forever.

Until we meet again my love.
Until we meet again.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream

We got back from the beach and everyone was ravenous so we made nachos and chicken wings as an appetizer to a dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.

The littles came up with their own appetizer and asked me to post their recipe. (see below)

It takes a bit of time to get everyone showered and dressed when you have three moms, two teenagers and three littles.

Showers, hanging up wet bathing suits and towels, drying hair, and a bunch of appetizers later, we realized no one was hungry for burgers and dogs.

We mom's decided that a walk to the bay would stimulate everyone's appetite (and give us a little calorie burn) so off we went.

It worked. After an hour of walking the bay, searching for crabs and casting stones into the water, everyone was hungry once more.

So we walked to the Ice Cream Parlor.

What can I say, it's vacation and we have long given up on being awarded Mother Of The Year.

Little's Vacation Appetizer (makes 3)

3 slices Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Butter (a lot)
M & M's chocolate candies (more than a lot)

Generously smear bread with soft butter (so as not to tear the bread - if you tear it you have to start over - this is a rule)
Sprinkle buttered bread with M & M's. When your mom is not looking, add more.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lazy Days and Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches

Lazy Days.

Well, for some of us. The others have been very busy.

Construction projects of the IMPORTANT kind.
 (No Stimulus Money was used to build this sand castle)

Look at the attention to detail

Yes, that is a crab claw sticking out of the sand wall (ahem)

These sandwiches pack beautifully. So grill the vegetables the night before, assemble them in the morning and find yourself a sunny beach to enjoy lunch. 

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches: (makes 4 sandwiches)

One eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices (the long way, not rounds)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
sea salt
4 slices provolone cheese*
4 slices cheddar cheese*
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup mixed greens
4 Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats (100 calories and 5 grams of fiber!)

Marinate eggplant in balsamic vinegar for 5 minutes. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side or until soft. Sprinkle with sea salt, place in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. 

To assemble sandwiches:

Place one piece of each type of cheese* on bottom slice of bread. Top with 1 slice eggplant, grated carrots and mixed greens. Drizzle a little more balsamic dressing on the greens and top with last slice of bread. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and pack in a cooler. 


*use your favorite cheese, swiss, munster, asiago.. it's all good! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gone Fishing..... With Family

Tell me, is there anything better than the beach, the sand, the surf, big family dinners on a deck with an ocean view? And beautiful sisters who cook?

If there is, let me know because I certainly can't imagine it.

Recipes tomorrow.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CSA Share Week 11 and Parmesan Squash Sticks

I'm going to need a larger car.

Maybe even a pickup truck.

Every week my farm share keeps getting bigger and bigger.

I may need to get a life to boot.

Every week I find myself getting more and more excited to see what the share is going to bring me. I'm pretty sure the majority of the population of the USA has way more things to get excited about.

But that's just me.

This week's bounty:

Blueberries (pint)
Peaches (10)
Yellow Donut Peaches (5)
Raspberries (1/2 pint)
Apples (3)
Green Beans (2 pounds)
Yellow Beans (1 pound)
Italian Green Beans (1 pound)
Sicilian Eggplant
Green Bell Peppers (3)
Tomatoes (4)
Sweet White Corn (8)
Sweet Bi-Color Corn (8)
Assorted Squash (8)

In addition to the above haul I purchased a bushel of peaches. They are just so good we have been eating  at least five a day (that's one each.. not just me). In honor of a perfect peach season I am going to can peaches tomorrow. I think adding a cinnamon stick and a few pieces of crystalized ginger will be a nice kick this winter when we open up one of the jars... what do you think?

Squash seems to be proliferating along with peaches around here and my family is getting a little tired of sauteed or grilled squash. To give them a little variety (and use up some of the squash) I came up with this recipe for Parmesan Squash Sticks.

I hope where ever you are you are able to enjoy nature's bounty.

Parmesan Squash Sticks (serves 4 as a side dish)

Preheat oven to 375.

2 Medium Yellow Squash or Zucchini, sliced into 1 inch sticks
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, whisked with a splash of milk
1 cup panko bread crumbs (I am a fan)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (mix the cheese in with the panko)
few grinds of fresh black pepper
1/3 cup canola (or other) oil

Set up a breading station with 3 pie plates. 1. flour 2. egg mixture 3. panko and parmesan cheese
Slice squash and dredge in the flour. Dip in egg, then coat in the panko / parmesan cheese mixture. Repeat with all the squash and set aside.

Pour oil into a rimmed cookie sheet and place in oven for 3 minutes. Carefully, place squash sticks in oil and place in oven. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, turn and continue to bake for another 4-6 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on all sides.

Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot. Yum. Thanks Mother Nature.

A Cook's Notes: I was delighted (and amused) when my squash haters loved this dish. I called it the mystery vegetable, made everyone try at least one (even my son's friend who was having dinner with us) and was pleased when nary a stick was left at the end of the meal.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary and Kate's Cookies


Happy Anniversary good husband of mine. Here a few things I love about you:

You are kind. Even though you don't like to admit it, you are a softy.
You are generous. You give your time, your money, your attention and your knowledge to anyone who needs it.
You are an amazing dad. Kids everywhere should have a man as devoted to them as you are to ours.
You are funny. You make me laugh. Everyday. What a wonderful gift you give on a daily basis; the gift of laughter!
You are smart. You are one of the smartest people I know.
You are handsome. I still swoon when I look at you.
You love my cooking. I love an appreciative audience and you are my biggest fan!
You are sincere. You never put on airs and you always mean what you say.
You are humble. You never brag or boast even though your accomplishments are many.
You are fun. Not only are you a funny guy, you love to have fun.
You are adventurous. You never shy away from a new adventure.
You take care of yourself. You care about your body and want to be healthy for many years to come.
You take care of me. You care about my health and want me to be healthy for many years to come.
You put up with my dog. Even though you don't like her, you feed her and walk her and 'love' her in your own way.
You spoil me. I know it,  I appreciate it and I will never take advantage of it.
You let me spoil you. Everyone needs a project and a love object and you are mine.
You are tireless in your support of us, your family. You are the hardest working man I ever met, you supply us with all of our needs, cheer us on, are genuinely happy when we do well and always have our best interests at heart.

You are everything I ever wanted and more than I ever thought I needed. This is my short list, there are a million other reasons I am more in love with you today than the day we married. Like all couples, we've had our ups and downs, our quarrels and our rifts, but through it all one thing never changes, we are one; husband and wife. Happy Anniversary and cheers to the rest of our lives together! I can't wait to "be" the future with you.

Fellow Blogger Kate at New Life sent me this recipe of what she calls Ten Cup Cookies. I couldn't resist changing the name to Kate's Cookies - they are so good my family will always remember them as those cookies sent by the blogger Kate.

Kate tells me she actually resorted to pilfering this recipe. It originally comes from a restaurant (we are keeping the location secret for fear of reprisal and lawsuits). The story goes that a friend of Kate's worked in the (secret location) restaurant and Kate rifled through a recipe box to find the source of her heart's desire, Ten Cup Cookies. The original recipe was in restaurant format (i.e. bakes about 24 dozen cookies) so this one is scaled down for home baking and eating.

While I don't advocate stealing (unless it is someone's heart) - I have to thank Kate for giving my family a brand new favorite cookie. And secret restaurant, don't worry, your revenge is the extra two pounds I'm carrying around my hips, I just can't get enough of these cookies!

Kate's Cookies: makes a whooping 6 dozen cookies.

3/4 c.vegetable oil
1 c. butter (1/2 pound)
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. coconut flavor (optional)
2 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. cream of tartar
1 t. soda
3/4 c. oatmeal
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. rice krispies
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)(

Cream the butter, oil and sugars together. Add the egg, coconut extract (optional and vanilla. Add all the flour, salt, cream of tartar, salt and soda. Mix well. 

Stir in the oatmeal, chocolate chips and rice krispies (Kate tells me this is the secret ingredient and I agree, they lighten the batter and add a unidentifiable ingredient to the finished cookies)

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheet (I always use parchment). Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes. (check at 9 minutes) Let rest for a minute or two on cookie sheet before transferring to wax paper or rack to cool.

*A Cook's Notes: The original recipe calls for a teaspoon of coconut extract. I wondered what the cookies would taste like with the addition of a cup of shredded coconut. I made 1/2 batch according to the original recipe and the other half with added coconut. OMG. My family LOVED both versions - so if you love coconut and want to add a chewy, more moist component to finished cookies, add the shredded coconut. 

Notice the empty spaces in the rows of cookies? That's called "sampling"

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