The post with too many names.

Here it is. I’ve made it all the way to 100 posts! I can’t imagine how in the world I’ve found 100 things to write about in the last two years, but I hope you’ve found them interesting and informative, enough to keep reading at least. So, at this milestone, let me thank you again for faithfully reading and for allowing me to feed my soul a bit with writing.

When I first envisioned this post two weeks ago, it was going to be called, “Distraction is the best medicine.” I had just received some pretty earth-shattering news, the true magnitude of which didn’t hit me until a few days later. Luckily, I was headed out of town to celebrate my mom’s birthday, looking forward to being enveloped in the arms of family and welcoming the distraction of celebration, fun times and happy faces.

A few days later, I could have called the post, “When it rains it pours.” My 94-year-old grandmother fell and cracked three ribs, my mom was scheduled for foot surgery, my great-aunt (also in her 90s) entered the hospital with bronchitis and my aunt took ill with pneumonia.

It felt like our family was falling apart. So the more appropriate title became, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

The good news is that all of the women in my family seem to be on the mend now … fingers crossed.

With all of that going on, I’ve been out of the cooking and baking loop, but have been reading voraciously. The public library might even put me on a list soon for checking out too many books at once. I’ve been able to tear through many titles that have been on the list for awhile, so I’ll update my Reading List as I go. Maybe I’ll even give you a review or two.

It’s time to get back up and running, so I’ve decided that when life gives you lemons, you make … oatmeal raisin cookies. These are a special favorite of my grandmother, so they are prepared in her honor, to brighten her day a bit during recovery. Mimi, here’s to you.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar (I used dark, but light is fine)
1/4 cup white sugar (*optional if you don’t like it too sweet)
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts — walnuts, pecans, etc. (optional)

Oven: 350° F.

You’ll need a couple of cookie sheets, so find those and set aside. No need to grease or prepare them, unless you feel like lining them with parchment paper. I didn’t.

In a large bowl, add the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Note: I used dark brown sugar since that’s what I had, but light brown sugar works. Dark gives a little more flavor, which I happen to like. Cream them together with a hand mixer (or tabletop mixer, if you wish) until smooth. In a separate, medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and stir with a whisk to break up any lumps and ensure it’s well mixed. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mix and beat with the hand mixer just until it’s combined. Don’t overmix!

Add the oats, raisins and nuts to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until all of the ingredients are mixed in. Using a small-to-medium ice cream scoop or two soup spoons, scoop out portions of the dough and place them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Chill the sheets in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes — if you turn on the oven after you’ve put the cookies on the baking sheet, you’ll have enough time to chill them while the oven heats up. Bake at 350° F for 12 minutes, slightly less or slightly more, until the center looks set and the sides are golden. Rest for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool before handling.

These are good warm, right from the oven, with a glass of milk. Or you can do as I did today and eat two for breakfast. Okay, three.

Adapted from Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

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