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Nora's Cookies

A friend recently sent us the following note. I think it'd be a great gift to send to our Marine, sailor, soldier, and airman friends.

"My mother recently passed on. As we were going through her papers, I found her recipe for oatmeal chipped chocolate cookies. I remember how when my brother was in the Army in Germany, and when family friends were serving in Vietnam, and when we were in college or otherwise away from home, she would send a package of these cookies to us.

As one Vietnam vet who served as a pallbearer remembered after her funeral, "The only thing wrong with her cookies was that there were never enough of them."

Today, or tonight, if you know someone who is in the armed forces, make a batch of cookies and send it to them. It doesn't matter whether they are in the Mideast, somewhere in the US, or in Korea, or wherever. Just send some cookies, and maybe a brief note saying "Thanks for what you're doing." If you want to make the same cookies my mom did, the recipe is below.

Whether or not you agree with the war, these brave men and women are putting their lives on the line for us. Cookies and a thank you aren't enough, but they're a start.

And if you know someone whose father or mother, daughter or son, brother or sister, or spouse is serving, take a minute to thank them, too. All too often their contributions and sacrifices are overlooked.

Thanks for taking the time to read this... Feel free to forward it to anybody you'd like. Mom's cookie recipe follows.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup nutmeats if desired (Mom rarely included these)
1 pkg semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
2 cups oatmeal

Sift flour, salt and baking soda together.
Cream sugar, eggs, and shortening together. Beat after each addition.
Add vanilla and sifted dry ingredients.
Mix well. Add chocolate chips and oatmeal.
Drop by teaspoon on greased or non-stick baking sheet. Alternatively, form into walnut-sized balls, and place them on the baking sheet. After you’ve formed the balls, you can freeze some to be thawed and baked for the next batch.

Mom used her recipe often enough that she didn’t need to write down the baking temperature or time. For the rest of us, 8-10 minutes in a 375 degree oven will do.

After they cooled, she would wrap each one in waxed paper, and then put a bunch of the wrapped cookies in plastic bags, and then the plastic bags with hometown newspapers used to cushion them in boxes. If you’re sending overseas, you’ll need to take the finished package to the post office and fill out a customs form for them.

If you’ve got room in the box, here are some other things that might be useful:

Batteries for Walkman stereos

CDs / DVDs

Their favorite soap

Lipbalm

Small electronic games

Writing paper and envelopes

Playing cards

Pre-paid long distance phone cards

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