Family Recipe Swap: Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was first invited to be a part of this family recipe blog hop, I immediately had visions of red velvet cake dancing in my head.  I imagined my mom and I hovering over a bowl of fluffy cream cheese icing with silver spoons in hand. “Does it need more powdered sugar? Perhaps more cream cheese?” Then we’d wipe our hands on the front of our matching aprons and head to the butler’s pantry to get a cake stand.   I wanted to share with you a quintessential southern memory of baking with my mom.

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But I didn’t grow up in a quintessential southern home. I grew up in a military family.  Even now, I don’t know how my mom managed to be both our mom and our dad for so long.  She taught school full time and ran the house like a boss. It makes us all giggle now because she’s so mild mannered and has the personality of June Clever.   When we talk about that period in our lives we call it her “Steel Magnolia” phase.

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There was a two-year period when she didn’t work.  We had just moved back to Florida from Texas and our family needed to regroup in the worst way.  I’ve come to realize that constantly moving does something to your soul.  You feel like your roots are in one city and your reality is in another.  Imagine having a husband that is frequently gone and you’re raising three high maintenance girls mostly by yourself.  Your family is hundreds of miles away and you don’t know one soul on or off base. That was my mom’s reality.

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She threw herself into our family life once again.  She woke us up each morning with freshly squeezed orange juice and told us we were rock stars.  On the way to school, she would play Louis Armstong’s, “What a Wonderful World” and we’d belt it out like we were his back up band.  She left encouraging notes for us in our lunch boxes every single day because lets face it, middle school is tough.

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But the afternoons were my favorite part of the day.  My sisters got out of school an hour after I did and for two solid years, I had her undivided attention during that time.  She would pick me up from school and have a surprise waiting for me in the front seat of the car.  These gifts were rarely extravagant.  They were anything from a pair of earrings to a new tube of Bonne Bell Lip Smacker.

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At least once a week, she would bake cookies. She tried all different kind of cookie recipes but chocolate chip cookies are my favorite.  My Mom would bring these freshly baked beauties in a little basket, wrapped with tea towel to keep them warm and we’d head to the boardwalk for a cookie picnic.  We’d spread a beach towel out on the sand and talk about our day interrupted only by the sounds of the crashing waves and the seagulls.  That hour was hands down the best part of my day.

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Eventually, we all settled back into a routine family life and she went back to teaching full time.  But those treasured afternoons together have stayed with me all these years. And I can honestly say, I haven’t eaten a chocolate chip cookie or listened to Louis Armstong without thinking of her since.

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Creating a cookie picnic for someone you love with what you have at home is easy.  All you need is a food safe container for the cookies, something to drink, something to sit on like a blanket or towel, napkins for the crummies and sunshine.  Turn off your cell phone and enjoy the uninterrupted gift of time.

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Recipe Swap-April 2015

For additional recipes and family memories, make sure to visit my other friends in this pre-Mother’s Day blog hop:

Bluwaterlife

The Altered Past

Concord Cottage 

2 Bees in a Pod 

Many blessings,

CoCo

Comments

    • says

      Thanks so much for the kind words, ladies, she’s a total rock star. I know you guys are close like we all are and that is such a gift. She teaches us something new every day. She’s awesome. Hugs to you both, Coco

  1. says

    What a wonderful story Coco! As you know, it is the ways our lives are different growing up that make us into our own unique selves. I loved reading about your special hour with your mom each day. My son is in middle school and it just reminds me how much I need to unplug us both to spend some good time together. The high school Culinary Arts teacher where I work used to be a White House Chef. Every few weeks he makes “White House Chocolate Chip Cookies”. He doesn’t share the recipe but does share the cookies. I’m working on getting him to crack. I die for chocolate chip cookies! Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Even though it was just an extra hour a day, it made a huge impact. I was really blessed she was able to carve out special time for me and I know your son will feel the same way too.

  2. says

    As the mom of three girls myself, your mom definitely sounds like an incredible woman to have done so well while your dad was stationed away. A great example to us all! These are sweet memories!

    Hugs!

    • says

      She is super fantastic, Angie, I don’t know how she did it. I would have gone crazy having all of that responsibility by myself but she handled it like a champ and I know that you do too. Hugs, Coco

  3. says

    Such a wonderful story CoCo ~ and who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies! Your mom sounds like an amazing lady and I know she is super important to you. I can see middle-school CoCo sitting at the beach with mom, sharing cookies and stories. Thank you for sharing your memories, and now I have an uncontrollable urge to go make toll house cookies!! Bwg ~~~
    Bluwatergal recently posted…family recipe swap ~ sweet potato pieMy Profile

  4. says

    Coco, your story is beautiful. As a military wife, I feel like your mom and I’d be kindered spirits. That song was the lullaby I would play for my babies, puts a smile on my face every time thinking of their sleeping angelic faces. I agree, I’ve been off from work for a year and a half now, to regroup the family, we needed some down time. Thank you for the cookies, they definitely are a comfort food, and yours look delicious. It’s time for me and the girls to do a celebratory chocolate chip cookie baking day! Have a great week! xo Christine
    Christine recently posted…Celebrating Earth Day 2015My Profile

    • says

      Christine, my dad just retired last year after being in the service for 45 years. It was a bittersweet time for all of us because it’s the only life we’ve ever known. I’m glad you’re able to take the time off with your girls. It made such a difference when my mom was able to stay home with us. Have a great time with your girls baking cookies. I know from experienced those memories will be cherished always. Big hugs, CoCo

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