Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). That kind of sad.
That’s what I think has been causing my sense of self worth to crater for the last week. Those menacing dark clouds and torrential rains may have nourished my garden, but they sure tipped my mood toward melancholia.
When I’m blue, I get food cravings. Big ones. Often, it is refried beans–straight out of the can. More times than I want to admit, it’s been gorgonzola. This week’s craving has been for oatmeal cookies–a favorite indulgence from my childhood. As a little girl, I could put away a whole package of those crisp flat oatmeal cookies that came right off the supermarket shelves.
Lest I feel guilty about my cookie indulgence, I want to say up front: oats are good for you! I know. I know. It’s a cookie. But still.
Sages from the ages, Hippocrates and Galen among them, have noted the healing properties inherent in oats, giving oats credit for everything from curing a cold to acting as a desiccant for the skin. More recently, scientific evidence has identified oat and oat bran consumption as an effective tool in the fight against heart disease.
Despite long-held beliefs that oats were a part of a healthy human diet, the early cultivation of oats was skewed towards feed grain for animals. In fact, until the 19th century, only the Irish and the Scots incorporated oats as a regular and significant part of their diets.
According to a publication about oats by The American Association of Cereal Chemists (Yes. There is such a group.), the consumption of oats by the Scots led to a dust up of sorts with the English. The AACC credits Sir Walter Scott with chronicling the details of that English-Scottish tiff and with uncovering what is undoubtedly history’s most famous quotation about oats. According to Scott, the renowned English writer Samuel Johnson, in a moment of puerility, described oats as “a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.” Johnson’s slur drew blood in Scotland and a prominent Scottish nobleman, Lord Elibank, responded to Johnson’s insult with a bit of trash talk, replying: “True, but where can you find such horses, where such men?” Take that, Samuel Johnson!
So, it goes to figure that it was Scottish settlers who brought oats to North America. Interestingly, because oats were believed to be a food for the infirm, most oatmeal was sold in pharmacies in those early days Gradually, oats got a reputation as a healthy breakfast cereal for broader public consumption and was moved to the grocery aisles.
Here is a very good recipe for oatmeal cookies. It’s easy. It’s quick. There are lots of healthy oats. You’ll feel better.
Me? It’s drizzling here this morning but, sitting here with a plate of warm cookies, a steaming hot cup of tea, and a dozing sweet Juliet in my lap, I’m seeing nothing but blue skies. Life is good.
The original recipe appeared on the AllRecipes site. A link to that recipe appears at the end of this post.
20 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 1 C. softened butter
- 1 C. brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1/2 C. white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 2 t. ground cinnamon
- 1 t. salt
- 3 C. quick-cooking oats
- 1 C. chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar together in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg is added. Add vanilla. (I used my Kitchen Aid standing mixer with its paddle attachment for this step.)
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add this dry mixture gradually to the butter/egg mixture. Add oats and walnuts. Mix until just blended.
- Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto the cookie sheets. Allow two inches between each cookie to allow the cookies to spread while cooking.
- Bake at 325 degrees F. for fifteen minutes or until cookies are beginning to turn a light brown and are firming up. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
Here is the link to the original recipe: