Six weeks ago, the majestic old elm tree in our backyard gave way during a storm and toppled onto our roof. After the initial chaos, we spent three full days listening to the drone of chainsaws as a tree removal crew (and a giant crane truck) carefully navigated the tangle of branches and fence posts and live power lines (!!!!) to remove the tree from our home and yard. A few days later we were ready for some joy as we sent Lilly off to her first day of Kindergarten. Only to receive a phone call a few hours later from the school nurse. Lillian fractured her wrist on the playground. On the very. first. day. I mean….really?
Since then, things have improved significantly. Max started preschool the following week. I dove into a month-long recipe development and food styling project with one of my favorite culinary clients. Jon undertook the daunting process of dealing with insurance and contractors. Home repairs will finally begin next week. Lilly’s cast has already come off and next week she’ll finally be able to join her schoolmates on the playground at recess. Life goes on.
But before it does, we have so many people to thank. We were overwhelmed by the many neighbors, friends, family, teachers and caretakers who stepped up and stepped in to lend a hand during our recent bought of minor catastrophes. Neighbors watched our children at a moment’s notice while we dealt with insurance adjustors and radiology departments. Our incredible sitter helped with laundry and meals while we were displaced from our home. Lilly’s teachers and school staff made sure she felt welcome and safe and nurtured after a scary injury in a brand new place. Another parent offered to walk Lilly home from school for a few days when Max’s naps veered wildly off schedule during the chaos. My parents dropped everything to drive in and watch the kids over my birthday weekend, insisting that Jon and I enjoy a much-needed romantic night out. The list goes on and on.
The universe runs best when kindness and grace are greasing the wheels and we feel blessed to have benefitted so deeply from the generosity of our community these past few weeks. Although we’ve attempted to thank everyone personally with baked goods and in-kind favors, I’m sure there’s someone we’ve missed. To each of you, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. If I haven’t baked for you (yet), I plan to.
Baking up gratitude, creamed together with butter and sugar, has become a weekly endeavor for me and the kids. The recipient of this particular batch of thankfulness was a classmate of Lillian’s, whose mother is always quick to share resources and offer a helping hand when needed. So we baked them some apple oatmeal cookies.
This particular recipe combines fresh apples and oatmeal into a soft, chewy cookie, held together by a drizzle of vanilla bean glaze. This was an easy recipe to pull together, even while overseeing “help” from the kids.
Judging by how quickly they disappeared, we’ll probably be adding them to our regular fall cookie line-up. After all, we still have a lot of people to thank.
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cored, peeled and diced McIntosh apple
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees . Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine oats, flour, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in oat mixture and apple.
- Drop 2 Tbs. scoops of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten into disks using the flat bottom of a glass or jar. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until set. Cool 3 minutes on sheets. Remove cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
- While cookies are cooling, combine confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and water in a small bowl. Drizzle cookies evenly with glaze. Allow glaze to dry for 5 minutes before serving.