Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I don’t think I took a single breath at work on Friday morning, between 9 AM and 3 PM.

It wasn’t the first time that happened at my new job, but it was literally a rush until we had things wrapped up.  So naturally, I left the office and stuffed my face at We the Pizza on Capitol Hill.  And then I remembered how much I want to move to that neighborhood (sorry roomies, it’s true).  I like rustic neighborhoods — there’s a certain pretentiousness about neighborhoods in Northwest.  I know it’s more about the people than the hoods, but I’m ready for a change anyway.  I also realized that exactly a year ago on Friday, I moved to Washington and never looked back.

Since my blog is almost a year old, I took some time to look back upon what I’ve written.  More sweet food than savory (after all, this is Sweetsonian), lots of writing on California, even more about Washington, and pages upon pages of commentary on the weather, which has decidedly cooled down.

I’ve learned that DC weather is not at all what I had expected.  I left sunny, breezy, not-humid Los Angeles, while everyone in Washington reassured me that the weather is mild, that the snow rarely sticks to the ground, and that the summer humidity doesn’t really hit until July.  What I ultimately experienced was a record breaking blizzard-filled winter, followed by a record-breaking hot summer, during which, my Dad called me to tell me that Los Angeles was having an unusually mild summer.  I must have upset some version of weather gods at some point in my life, because the winter and summer made me feel like I had a metaphysical storm cloud following me around the country.

But the transitions between summer and winter are what I ultimately spend all of February and August looking forward to.  The perfect running weather, picnics on the National Mall, and environmental shift away from months of the extremes.  The tulips (my favorites) pop up in spring and everything becomes unseemingly green, while the fall leaves make my heart race with excitement — partially because the colors and the aromas of this coast in the fall bring back the excitement I felt a year ago, when I moved here.

Speaking of change, I spent the last holiday weekend at a friend’s beautiful house in Virginia; what part, I’m unsure.  But it was stunning.  And the family owned eight dachshunds and one golden retriever.  Needless to say, I was in heaven.  I exchanged these cookies for tanning, volleyball games,  night swimming with watermelons, and a great group of my DC friends.  And these cookies will always remind me of that much-needed break from the city.  It’s such a simple recipe too — I got it off the Quaker Oats container.  Sometimes the best recipes are left unaltered, to bask in their commercial utility.  Like the tollhouse recipe: not my favorite, but still reliably good.


(recipe taken from Quaker Oats)

1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2  cup granulated sugar
2  eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon baking soda
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
3  cups oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1  cup raisins
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.