When I was a kid, my mom would get a babysitter for me when she was substitute teaching at the high school. She didn't really enjoy substituting, but my dad was the principal, and in those days, he did the calling for subs early every morning. Many days he couldn't find anyone, so my mom had to go in. She would much rather stay home, but she never said no when dad needed her to help out. If you have ever done subbing, you can probably relate! Some days you can never pay a sub enough for what they go through!
I, on the other hand, LOVED substitute days!
That was because mom would ask a neighbor who we all called, "Grandma S." to babysit. She and her husband lived down the street from us, and they were some of the nicest people I have ever known.
She was a big help to my parents at many difficult times in their lives. The time I remember most was when she came to stay with us when my mom had surgery. My mom almost died on the operating table, and was in the hospital for a long time recovering.( Back then, they were also very strict about visitors, and I was too young to see her. But don't worry..my Dad snuck me in! ) On top of Grandma S. taking care the house,meals, and laundry, I got sick with the flu. I was pretty little and running a fever. I remember sneaking in each of the 5 beds just to feel the cool sheets on my hot skin! She just shook her head, and made up the beds again! I never got a scolding.
Sometimes, I would be dropped off at their home, which was another treat for me. Grandpa S loved to tease, AND play cards. I can remember some fun days eating meals with them in their cozy kitchen and learning how to play Rummy.
There are so many things I loved about Grandma S. it's hard to list them all. I guess first of all, she was always happy, and gave the best hugs. She was rather plump, with glasses and gray hair, kind of the typically portrayed grandma figure. She and her husband had come over from Germany, and she had a VERY thick accent. She was always fun, and on the go! When she came to babysit, the house would be clean as a whistle, soup or German potato pancakes on the stove, and BEST of all, the cookie jar would be full.
She was the best cook, often baking bread, rolls, cake, cookies....you name it. I wish now that I had some of her recipes!
But the other day, I found an old cookie recipe in one of my moms cookbooks that I remember she often made. It's different. The first cookie you eat, you think," what's in this?" Then you eat another, and another. I think it's the unusual combo of cinnamon, ginger and Spanish peanuts that is just so old fashioned good.
They are called Cookie Jar Cookies I suppose, because they keep so well in the jar, and actually taste even better a day or two after you make them.
I had fun watching Brent taste the first one, then grab a second and third. They are just a good old time cookie, like their name implies!
Combine in a bowl:
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. oil
2 Tbsp. milk
3/4 c. Spanish peanuts
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, just until soft.