Comfort food, ch. 3: Oatmeal Turners

Ok, so I know oatmeal isn’t exciting. And I know a lot of people could careless. But let me put this out there: I freakin’ love oatmeal. Yes, I am a living on the edge wild child for the fibre treat. I love hot porridge, I love oatmeal skin products, I love the way it feels to sift through a bag of oats with my hands, and I love to fucking destroy a plate of oatmeal cookies.

The oatmeal cookie and all it’s simplistic glory calls to the Midwestern genetics in me that my mom has worked so tirelessly to destroy (but somethings can’t be helped; this love of sweat pants and trashy TV didn’t evolve on its own, Mom). They’re filling, but not too sweet, so you can eat about a million of them before you feel sick. And, you can convince yourself that since it’s oatmeal, butter, and brown sugar, you’re basically eating a bowl of oatmeal. That makes them a breakfast food. Aw yeah. But more than that, oatmeal cookies remind me of dad’s mom, Gramma.

My Gramma Turner was known for a few things: her incredible piano skillz (she had her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and owned two black Steinway baby grand pianos and a room FULL of sheet music), her swift intelligence, her quilting talent, her art and calligraphy, buying us amazing toys and “forcing” us to do crafts (damnit I wish somone would force me to do crafts now); but she was not known for her cooking. I can’t blame her, she was born and raised in the mid-west, famous for Mayonaise and meatloaf. But these cookies. They made me say gat-damn. 

She had this recipe that just killed. I’ve never had a cookie that tastes like my Gramma’s cookies. They were basic oatmeal cookies, but they were white — which is weird. And they had this taste to them that I’ve never been able to replicate. It was like a raw cookie dough taste, rich, savory, but fully baked. It was plain, but it was haunting.

I couldn’t get enough of them. And whenever we’d visit, she’d always make a batch just for me, and keep them in a big, round, blue tin on the top of the fridge. She’d only let me have two at a time, and it drove me crazy. And I’d get in trouble when she realized I had snuck in there and eaten a handful. #worthit We have her recipe and have tried to make them a few times, but they don’t taste the same. By the time I had the interest to sit down and talk recipes with her, she was deep in the throws of dementia. And then she passed away. Whatever secret ingredient or method she had, she kept a secret.

Enter: Oatmeal Turners.

They’re a hybrid of my Gramma’s cookies, and my mom’s Exceptionally Badass Oatmeal Cookies. They’re fluffy, soft, rich, delicious little oatmeal bites, and they’re the closest cookies I’ve come to my Gramma’s. Every time I make them, it’s like a trip back in time. With one bite, I’m 7 years old, and sitting in my Gramma’s sunporch in Lexington, Kentucky, playing with our Barbie Dream House, waiting for her and my mom to go shopping so I can sneak more cookies.

So get a gallon of milk, make these cookies, and have a good time. You won’t regret it. Fun fact: I’ve also made these Vegan for my plant-friendly pals by using unbleached sugar, and swapping the eggs for Arrow Root powder + water, and the butter for canola based margarine. And they’re still good. Like they always say, getchu a cookie that can do both.

Here’s the low down:

Cast of Players

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ACT 1

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Combine the butter, sugars, vanilla and almond extract
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In a separate bowl, mix the flour, almond meal, salt, baking soda and coconut
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I wisk it all together because it makes me feel fancy
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Cream the wet stuff, 2-3 mins
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beat in eggs one at a time
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SLOWLY mix in the dry stuff (or dump it all in at once. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life. It just depends on how much you like cleaning up flour bombs.) Also, scrape scrape scrape to make sure the flour mix is well incorperated.
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The best part of baking is licking cleaning the beaters.

ACT II

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mix in the oats
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realise that mixing this with a utensil is futile, and use your hands — trust me, it’s the easiest way to go about it
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et voila. This is also the stage where you add goodies like white chocolate chips and walnuts, but I opted for classic flavour this time
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using a 1/4 cup measure, make big cookie balls. I use grease paper instead of a buttered pan because it makes the bottoms come out perrrrrrfect
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bake em up! at 325*F//260*C
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I use my trusty “10 mins first” and then “3 mins more” method until they’re done

ACT III

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The trick is to leave them just slightly undercooked. It helps to retain the fluffy softness, and super rich flavours. After about 13 mins, the skewer should come out clean, but slightly damp. That’s when you know they’re done. They’ll be ridiculously soft, so be careful when taking them off the tray (as evidenced by that dented cookie on the left). As they cool, they come more durable.
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Dat bottom. The bottom should be golden brown like the top. If the cookies overbake, then they’ll become extra crunchy when they cool. Like a Nature Valley bar.
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Enjoy!
Oatmeal Turners by Kim Turner
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flower
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup shaved coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • optional: 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • optional: 1 cup white chocolate chips
  1. combine butter, sugars, vanilla + almond, set aside.
  2. combine flour, almond meal, salt and baking soda, and set aside.
  3. cream together butter and white and brown sugars.
  4. add eggs one at a time.
  5. slowly mix in dry ingredients.
  6. slowly mix in oatmeal and coconut and other mix-ins (pecans, white chocolate chips)
  7. use 1/4 cup scoop to make balls of oatmeal dough deliciousness, and distribute them on baking sheets
  8. bake for 8-10 minutes at 325*F//260*C
  9. remove immediately from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
Mom’s pro-tips:
  • you aren’t baking successfully unless you’ve dirtied up every measuring device you own.
  • pull the cookies out when they’re almost done. They’ll continue baking when you bring them out of the oven, and it maintains the soft texture/crispy edge harmony.
  • For every baking sheet you bake, you get one spoon full of raw dough to eat.
  • Therefore, use every baking sheet you own.

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go eat the rest of these cookies, because I had an IUD fitted today and my uterus is furious with me. But more on that later.

How do you bake oatmeal cookies? Let me know!

xo

Me, too. But not really.

I want to say “me, too.” But I’ve been wrestling with it all week.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve been very fortunate that my experiences with men have mostly been harmless. I say mostly harmless because I haven’t been put in danger or physically harmed — unless you count that time my brother accidentally hit me in the head with a wrench when I was 5. But I have experienced the joys of being female on more than one occasion:

Have I earned less than a man doing the same job as me? Yes. Was I told he had more experience? Yes. Did he actually? Nope.

Have I told a patient/customer/client something, only to be rebuked, and have the same patient/customer/client become compliant after a man literally tells them the same thing I said, and when I’m annoyed by it, have I heard, “Well, sometimes they just need to hear it from a man.” Yes.

Have I gotten a job because “We had a tall redheaded woman in here before and she did the job just fine,” even though I had more than enough skills/qualification? Yes.

Have I been told “You can’t have a water cooler because there’s not a man here to change the jugs.” Yes.

Have I been told that my gynaecological health wasn’t important until I started having sex? Yes.

Was I told that I’d be used for sex the first chance a guy got? Yes.

Have I been told not to wear tops that showed my bra strap or my midriff or skirts and shorts that showed too much thigh or high heels because it’d make me a target? Yes.

Have I walked through dark parking lots clutching my keys because I just knew someone would be after me? Yes.

Did I hear “You’re on the pill? Cool, that means we can fuck without a condom.” Yes. (Did that one statement ensure we never did anything remotely close to fucking? Also yes.)

Have I assumed the primary contraceptive responsibility for my entire sex life, because I’m the one who’d get pregnant? Yes.

Have I listened to the “women can’t be president because they have PMS and therefore can’t be trusted month-to-month to make rational decisions, it’s science.” from both ass-ignorant backwater dick bags, and very educated, normally respectful and like-minded men? Yes.

Have I read articles limiting coverage for birth control, and cutting funding for Planned Parenthood with my fists balled up in rage? Yes.

Did I flirt with a guy I’d known and kinda liked for a while all night, accept a ride home from him, and let him inside to use the bathroom? Yes. Did he ask if he could crash at my place because he didn’t feel like he could drive safely? Yes. Did he insist on sleeping in the same bed? Yes. Did I state emphatically, without a question that we wouldn’t be having sex? Yes. Did he try incessantly to have sex? Yes. Did I kick him out after the third no? Yes. Did he call me a cock tease, and try to guilt me into letting him stay? Oh yes. Did he ever fully acknowledge me in public again? No. Did he ever apologise? Also no.

So I’ve been put in unfair and infuriating situations based on my sex. But I have I been physically assaulted, grabbed my strangers, catcalled, been in a position of sexual intimidation? Nope.

I’ve been molested before, but not by a guy. I was 5, maybe 6? I was at a girl’s house who was a year or two older than me, she had a Power Wheel and I wanted to ride in it. That was the only reason I was friends with her. I can’t remember her name, what she looked like, or literally any other detail about her. But I vividly remember sitting in her room in the dark and her telling me, “I’ll let you ride my Power Wheel if you kiss me.” I didn’t want to kiss her, but I wanted to ride that power wheel. But I remember very well that feeling of agony, the grip of should I? Shouldn’t I? 

I can’t remember if I kissed her or not. I do have a vague memory of hands and her really trying to kiss me. I remember my dad came to take me home not long after because I didn’t feel well. And I do remember I never got to ride the Power Wheel.

I was never pressured into sex — by a guy. When I was 13, a shocking number of girls I knew were already having sex (or at least claiming they were)And these girls were champions at putting me down because I wasn’t having sex. It wasn’t “Nah, nah, Audrey’s a virgin!” taunts while they threw tampons at me. It was more sinister. “He dumped you because Jackie puts out.” “They had sex. He said he likes her a lot more than you.” “He told me he’d like you if you had bigger boobs. Or if he could ever see yours.” It laid the foundation for years of subconscious “he won’t like me if we aren’t having sex/we aren’t having sex he doesn’t like me/only valued for my orifices.” trains of thought that plagued me for most of my adult life.

So it’s not just men who’ve put me in compromising situations. I’m luckier than most in that my compromising situations didn’t leave lasting scars – emotional or otherwise. As I see more and more people I know sharing #metoo sentiments and stories, I think, “well, me too… but not really.” And it makes me feel like it’s inappropriate to share my side — like I’m trying to milk the situation for attention. Yes, I’ve experienced the frustration, the bewilderment and the WTF-ness of it all, but I haven’t lost anything as a result.

But then, that’s not the point.

It’s not a competition.

It’s not “I’ve been through worse than you, I win.” There’s no winner in sexual abuse, intimidation, or harassment.

It’s “You’re not alone. It wasn’t OK what happened to you. And I stand with you.”

#metoo

 

 

 

 

Prepositions

I couldn’t sleep the other night. I tried reading blogs and Googling random celebrities (did you know that Dianne Wiest was basically broke in 2015 and almost lost her apartment?), which are my go-to sleep tricks, but to no avail. So I turned off my phone, closed my eyes, and started diagramming sentences.  Continue reading “Prepositions”

My body, myself. Or, growing up.

When I was 10, we had two TV’s with cable – one in the living room and one in my parent’s room.  Between my brother’s Super Nintendo and my sister’s Food Network, I rarely got to watch it in the living room, so I commandeered my parent’s TV. My parents had a giant bed with 47 pillows and tons of blankets, and I had privacy – I flipped between Wishbone and MTV while writing stories about unicorns whose parents were ax murderers and no one bothered me.

Continue reading “My body, myself. Or, growing up.”

Twinkies (or, Notes on Inadequacy)

I showed up to my writer’s group tonight and couldn’t wait to share how productive I was last week – an outline! Research! Narrative! Character design! I AM PRODUCTIVE! Continue reading “Twinkies (or, Notes on Inadequacy)”

Comfort food, ch 2: Sweet Metric System Casserole Cookies

I love cookies. Or biscuits*, as my British based, adopted homeland calls them. I love pies and desserts, but my most favourite dessert is soft, buttery, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and creamy vanilla ice cream. /droooooool

Continue reading “Comfort food, ch 2: Sweet Metric System Casserole Cookies”

Beach burns

When I was nearly 13, my mom let me go to the pool with my friend Pam – and no chaperone. I was pumped. Going to the pool without an adult meant I was officially an adult. She lectured me about being on the look out for creepy older men and about putting on sunscreen EVERYWHERE and I was all “fuck that, I’m getting a tan,” and as I packed my backpack with a comic book and a towel and my rainbow striped hat and 2 boxes of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, I purposely didn’t bring the sunscreen. My friend Pam was Italian and naturally bronze and I wanted to look just like her. Continue reading “Beach burns”