My nana past away this past weekend. And I really didn’t see this one coming. I knew her health was declining, but after not seeing her for a year, to walk in the last hours of her life was shocking to see. She died peacefully late Saturday night, and the air among my family was she chose her time. Ironically, she past on the same weekend of her family’s reunion. Her family has a lot of history. Her father owned an apple orchard in Sterling, MA. Even I can remember visiting the orchard and sitting on her father’s lap (my great grandfather) while he took out his bottom dentures to scare me. She loved that farm, and would have done anything to be there at the reunion. Almost all of us were planning to attend, but when things went down hill, we opted to stay back. We had our own immediate family reunion, said our goodbyes, and we truly feel she stopped at the family orchard on the way ‘home’ to say goodbye to everyone there too. When I think about it that way, it makes death seem divine. And I guess it is- we, the living, just don’t ever see it that way.
Nan Betty was a simple woman. She didn’t need anything fancy, and kept everything calm and practical. Including food. She cooked a mean Thanksgiving Dinner, but aside from that her cooking was centered around “pinch the pennies, make the most of the food you have.” It was frugal eating, and taste was not always the priority. However, she made some amazing desserts, and with every visit we made, there was always a cookie jar with fresh baubles waiting for us. She always had Washington Cookies in that jar. Those cookies were served at my wedding this past summer. Those cookies will keep Nana Betty’s Spirit alive. And as I sit here baking these cookies, feeling guilty for not living close, not visiting more- her spirit comes alive and hugs me as the smell of Washington Cookies wafts through my home. And her spirit tells me it’s okay…
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup margerine (that’s what she used but I use butter)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups rolled oats
1 package of chocolate bits
1. Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla
3. Add dry ingredients
4. Slowly add nuts, oats and chocolate.
5. Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes at 350.