There he is, behind the kids. This was on his birthday.
Oatmeal raisin are his favorite kind. With Father's Day this weekend, this will be part of his gift. It didn't hurt that we had another rainy, cool day because the kids didn't even ask about getting in the pool today. It was a fine day to bake.
The best recipe I have ever found for oatmeal raisin cookies is the one that comes on the top of a container of Quaker Oats. Someone else gave me one once. When I told her I had to have the recipe she informed me that's where she got it. She didn't have it because it was always on the container. I went out and bought a container of Quaker Oats just that one time for the recipe. After that I've always used the generic brand of oats, but I've saved the top of that container for years. No need to keep buying the more expensive brand, right?
It sits in my recipe box I've had since I've been out on my own along with a few other choice recipes I have acquired over the years.
The kids did 99% of the work on their own. I was basically just supervising the use of the oven. And taking a few pictures.
The cookies turned out delicious. As I'm typing this, I'm remembering that I was a little older than my daughter when my mom started letting me make cookies on my own. I absolutely loved that feeling. And I mostly made oatmeal raisin cookies for my dad.
So in honor of him on Father's Day, I'll share some of the best pieces of advice he's given me and things I've learned from him over the years:
1. During a very difficult time in my life personally, I remember him saying to me, "Keep your chin up." I actually think of that during times when I'm feeling particularly downtrodden. I will literally lift my chin up in the air and therefore straighten up my posture when I think of it. Always makes me feel better and stronger.
2. In another challenging time during my career, I had a horrible boss. I was talking to my dad and mom about quitting and doing something else, I was so fed up. He said something that stopped me right in my tracks. "If I were you, I wouldn't let them run me off." I realized he was right. This was the job I had worked hard to get. Now I have the frame of mind, "You want me gone? You're going to need some dynamite."
3. Using humor to deal with things improves the situation the majority of the time.
4. Money: It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep. My brother wrote a song about this in which he succinctly summed up my dad's views on finances with this one line. I've never had credit card debt or a bad credit score. I paid off my student loan for my Master's degree completely on my own. I know that's in part due to the example he set.
5. Sometimes it's just the "Nature of the Beast". This was one of the phrases I remember him using, particularly when I was in college. To me, it's a reminder that you'll never find a completely ideal situation 100 percent of the time. Life isn't all sunshine and unicorns. Difficulty comes along with everything. You need to learn to deal with it.
So Happy Early Father's Day to my Dad! We love you! Oh, and here's the official Quaker Oats cookie recipe for you other readers in case you don't want to waste your money on the name brand oats. I know my dad would approve if you didn't.
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 cup raisins
Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees.