A Grinch-y kind of night

December 22, 2009

Confession time. I don’t particularly like Christmas. It’s too frantic, we get all too caught up in everything we need to do and ought to do and what people will think less of us if we DON’T do, and it’s just not fun. It hasn’t been fun for a long time, but some years it’s less unpleasant than others.

This is, unfortunately, a more-unpleasant year.

I’m not sure why, except that it has to do with certain dysfunctions in the fabric of family life, and the fact that instead of being a geographically cohesive bunch, my girls and I are more spread out now and there’s not a “natural” place to get together for the holidays. And of course there’s the financial strain Christmas always puts on everyone; I’ve never dealt well with it, am not dealing well with it this year, and never will deal well with it. There’s some freedom in admitting that, I guess, as well as balking at the inclination to overdo in the gift department.

And all that’s complicated by the whole Seasonal Affective Disorder thing. But we have made it Past The Solstice, and it’s all downhill from here; I’ll treasure every extra second of sunlight I can get. It’ll be time to hit the tanning salon about February, when it’s cloudy for three weeks at a time. And the gym in January, just because that always makes me feel better.

And by this time next week, Christmas will be over. I can last that long.

Anyway, that’s my bitchin’ and moanin’ for the night. If you have made it this far (suckah!), I did at least get into the kitchen for a little while; baked up some cookies from a bucket of somebody’s kid’s fundraiser’s cookie dough, and made some skillet cookies, which are known by a bajillion different names but are at least familiar to everyone in the world.

To-wit: Said cookie involves boiling a combo of sugar, butter, milk and cocoa, then adding to it oatmeal, peanut butter, coconut, and quick-cooking oats, stirring like hell, and scooping out and dropping onto foil or waxed paper. Known variously as drop cookies, stove-top cookies, chocolate haystacks, or, as my Mama termed them, “fudgey cookies.”

Mama’s recipe:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp cocoa

Bring to a boil over medium heat, and boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add:

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix well and drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or foil. Makes 24 good-sized cookies.

Do NOT double this recipe. Make two separate recipes instead. If you double it, it sets up too fast for you to finish dippin’ and droppin’, unless you’re a really, really fast dipper-and-dropper.

But they’re good.  Even if you forget the vanilla, as I did tonight. Oh, well.

Merry Christmas, Mama. You made better candy than I do, but I’m carrying on.

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One Response to “A Grinch-y kind of night”

  1. Melissa Says:

    I hate the holidays, too. Like. A lot.

    I never get to be with my family because they live waaaay up in the mountains….I like my in-laws, but they don’t “do” Christmas the “right” way, you know?


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