Saturday, June 26, 2010

Farmhouse Gratitude

Let's face it- you have to take care of the volunteers who help you. Whether you are a Sunday School teacher, VBS worker, camp counselor or the generally have a helper or two who make your go of it a bit easier. Their time is precious and given freely; our gratitude is necessary.
This past week I had the privilege of working alongside five wonderful volunteers. We had never met each other before this week so we had no idea what to expect of one another - no heads up as to temperaments, preferences, personalities, energy levels- you get the idea. Yet, in God's perfect plan, they were a blessing to me and to the children we worked with. Each one brought a different element to the classroom- unique and necessary.
To give them a much needed dose of appreciation, the farmkids and I put together some Cowboy Cookie mix in a gift jar. Simple, yet handmade, this gift shows care and effort in its making. The elements are everyday household staples, lovingly layered and attractively packaged. We thought we'd share the recipe with you.

Cowboy Cookies Mix (in a jar)

1 1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Layer these ingredients in order given in a one quart wide mouth canning jar...note I say wide mouth- it's best- if you use a regular mouth, it will be tougher..but you can do it. Press each layer firmly in place before adding the next ingredient---this is important- they will not all fit in the end if you don't press after each addition. I use a small gravy ladle to tap down the ingredients. Now, decorate as you like - raffia, ribbon, fabric strips, whatever fits you're mood. Next task is to make a label for the jar with the following instructions.

Cowboy Cookies
1. Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix.
2. Add: 1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3. Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands.
4. Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place 2" apart on greased baking sheets.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes- until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to racks to finish cooling.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.

We hope this inspires you to give a dose of appreciation to the extra hands that help you here and there. Or maybe send this special gift to a friend or neighbor who just needs a pick me up. Now, you may even want to just make a batch for yourself!


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