Wow, what a fab weekend!! I got to take an entire day off work, and spent the weekend seeing family and friends. I was sad to see it end. I missed my hubby, of course, but I just love being back home. It’s my true happy place.
The main reason for my visit was to see Alan Jackson in concert! Yee-haw! My mom got the tickets a while back, so she invited me, her friend and her friend’s daughter to come with. It really was great! Trace Adkins opened and it was just a fab night of country music. I got a little teary-eyed when Alan did Small Town Southern Man and changed the words at the very end to “small town Illinois man.” It’s just a simple song about living off the land, being happy with what you have, and loving one woman….it just totally describes Eric. He’s my small town Illinois man. Awwww!!! Happy tears!!
But the BEST part was the very end when he did Where I Come From. So the concert was actually at the Sears Center which is in Hoffman Estates. Well, that’s where I grew up! So during the song there was a big video montage and up there on the screen was our big silver water tower and some nearby sights. Plus Cubs stuff and Illini stuff and Bears stuff. I don’t know, it was just fun. That’s where I come from! Literaly! LOL! It was a great night!
So, before the concert my mom had everyone over for dinner. I was in charge of dessert. I decided to make my grandma’s famous chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. They are my dad’s favorite….and with good reason! They are so good. I hope I did them justice! I think the best part about these cookies is they are a lot of oats and chocolate and not so much cookie. There’s like nothing competing with the flavors. Just chocolatey, oaty, chewy goodness.
These cookies totally go with the “Where I Come From” theme of the weekend. I love to hear stories about where my family came from and what is was like for my dad growing up in Chicago. I think it’s important to remain connected to your roots and I’m thrilled that I get to share those things with my family. Food is one of the things that keeps us connected to the past and the spirits of loved ones alive. You can’t enjoy a loved one’s recipe without laughing, telling stories and remembering that person. My grandma was a great cook and we all miss her very much. It is an honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to make her wonderful cookies and share them with others. I know she’s looking down on us now and I hope she’s proud of me for following in her kitchen footsteps. I can’t wait to try out more of her recipes.
CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES (Recipe Source: Grandma Evelyn)
- 1/4 lb. (1 stick) margarine
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbls. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats
- 1 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Cream butter and sugars together. Add egg, water and vanilla; blend until well combined
- Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter/egg mixture. Beat until combined.
- Stir in 1 1/2 cups of quick oats and chocolate chips.
- Drop by rounded tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
Note: I chilled my dough for about 20 minutes and then kept in the fridge as batches baked. It’s optional, but I like how it keeps the cookies from spreading and getting too flat.