Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Longest Day

What does that mean, The Longest Day?  If you're of an age, it's the name of a wonderful WWII movie about D-Day.

If, like myself, you're dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer's, AND have decided to join in the cause to eradicate this disease, The Longest Day is the name of the summer fund raiser for the Alzheimer's Association.

A unique way to both honor our afflicted loved ones and raise money at the same time, this fund raiser is supposed to occur on the Summer Solstice on June 21 and give us a full day of fund raising opportunities, from sunrise or sunset.  Find out more from the horse's mouth at

I gave a lot of thought before joining in this fundraiser.  I'm not working any longer and we're living off of Dad's income, so money is tight.  The idea of selling something and giving away the proceeds was worrisome. But frankly, I'm pretty frightened that I will be developing Alzheimer's myself, so whatever I can do to help with research will be also helping my future.  So, after a few hours intense thinking, I decided to sign up.

The Longest Day is all about honoring the ones we love and doing something they would have appreciated.  Since I have both parents to consider, it wasn't really hard to come to a couple of conclusions.  For Mom, I've decided to take advantage of the baking skills that were instilled in me by her and have a bake sale.  My goal was to also have a car show in honor of my Dad's love of cars, but I'm finding that a very daunting task so I'm seeking alternatives.  So meanwhile...I'm concentrating on a bake sale.

OK, not just a bake sale.  A BAKE SALE.  My bake sale will last five months.  I'm baking Dad's favorite cookies: chocolate chips, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles and oatmeal, but I'm kicking them up a notch or two.  These are bigger, badder, more intensely flavored cookies than Mom would have turned out of the oven. So far I've eaten more than my daily intake of cookies, but it's all for such a good cause I am willing to sacrifice.  A few recipes later I have what may be the perfect Snickerdoodle (thank you to King Arthur Flour once again!).  Oversized, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these babies are the perfect cinnamon punch for a doodle craving.

The chocolate chips were a bit of a challenge.  Everyone knows and loves the traditional Toll House, but it just doesn't stand up to my bake sale criteria.  I'm looking for a big handful of chocolate goodness, chewy and yet with a nice sturdy exterior.  A couple of days of experimentation and I think I've found the ONE.  Comments so far include: "nice taste, like the larger size", "I love. It makes me feel like I really am eating a cookie and not a crunchy, thin, flat thing. LOVELY!", "Excellent. Firm, but not so firm that it’s crunchy. Firm, but not so firm that it doesn’t have softness. I would consider it perfect".  So there!

Scout sized cookies or REAL cookies?  You choose.
And now that it's the season for the little girls in green to be selling their cookies, I have some competition.  But hey, they sell puny little cookies for huge dollars.  Mine are plate sized and not expensive.  Got you there little girlies!  Ha ha!

Now I'm working on the Memory Blossoms which are a nod to the Alzheimer's Association traditional Memory Garden.  These are basic sugar cookies with a nice hard frosting.  Not soft, not hard, hopefully just right!  Oatmeal cookie experimentation set to begin this week followed by scones. 

 So I'm baking cookies and having a great time doing it.  I haven't spent this much time in the kitchen in quite some time.  I'm beginning to wish I was a baker full time...certainly something to consider if I can get these recipes out correctly.

Meanwhile, raising money for Alzheimer's is the task at hand.  If you want to order some cookies, email me at and I'll see if I can get them to you somehow.  I'm even willing to ship if you will pay the cost.

So, as we make our way through this sloppy winter season, let's all look forward to The Longest Day, smack in the middle of summer.  It's not really that far off!

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