Today is my mom’s 60th birthday. That’s her on the left in the photo below, with her brothers, circa 1955.
It’s days like today that really make me wish I lived closer. But since I couldn’t be there to celebrate with my mom, I wanted to send something that would really make her smile. Something homemade and thoughtful. Something you couldn’t buy at Amazon.com. That’s when I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade Oreos on the smitten kitchen blog.
My mom has always had a thing for Oreos. She grew up in a 1950’s household with two parents who were astonished and amazed by the conveniences of “modern” food. Jell-O, Cool Whip, Velveeta–anything that came in a package and never ever lost its color or “flavor” held a special place in my grandmother Phyllis’ heart and kitchen. (Let’s just say that neither my mother nor I got our love of cooking from Phyl.)
When my mom got older and started her own household in the 70’s, the pendulum swung in the other direction. We were a home-grown, home-cooked, health food kinda family before the word “organic” was even invented (or discovered by marketers). Even our peanut butter required laborious stirring before it could be slathered on whole grain bread and dutifully gummed down.
Junk food was strictly verboden. Except of course, when we visited my grandparents. Their house was always stocked, and my grandmother made sure the cookie jar was filled to the brim with Jaynie’s favorite: Oreo cookies. My mom would go on a three-day bender of Oreos and Hershey’s kisses, only to repent with kale smoothies when we got home.
Now that my grandparents are no longer around, it’s probably been years since my mom’s even had an Oreo. So I hope that today, on her birthday, she pours herself a tall glass of ice-cold milk and enjoys a few of these–hell, maybe even the whole box. And I hope the sugar rush kicks in and makes her feel like she’s 6 years old again. Not that she’s ever had any problem looking or acting like a kid. If my mom is any indicator, 60 is the new hip.
Happy birthday, Mom. Thanks for teaching me that home cooking always trumps junk food. But today, you can have your cookies and eat them too.
For the Oreo cookie recipe, go to smitten kitchen, since I definitely can’t say it any better than she did. And you should see her mouth-watering photos. It’s a great recipe, and she is right: you’ve been warned.