Memories

Oatmeal Cookies and Memories of Dad by BETAkanim

THE COOKIES

Baking is something I’ve enjoyed since I was about 13 years old. That’s when my Dad would finally let me use the oven. The first thing I baked by myself was oatmeal raisin cookies. I used the recipe on the Quaker Oats container in 1975.. The current recipe, “Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies” isn’t the same. It’s a decent recipe but it doesn’t evoke childhood memories. But that’s not the recipe I used for this batch of cookies. This lovely little recipe comes from Live Well Bake Often. Clicking on the link will take you to her recipe. The recipe is perfection and it gave me all the childhood feels I wanted with each bite. These are chewy and loaded with raisins. I’m the only one in the house that likes oatmeal raisin.

More cookies for me.

©2019 Betakanim All rights reserved.

©2019 Betakanim All rights reserved.

THE MEMORIES

My Dad loved oatmeal raisin cookies. They were his favorite even though he wasn’t a huge fan of cookies. He enjoyed pies and sticky buns the most with the occasional Bundt cake thrown in for good measure. In the later years of his life he would buy Sam’s Club oatmeal cookies with extra raisins because Dad also loved raisins. For a long time after I moved out on my own I refused to buy little boxes of raisins.

Back in my lunchbox toting days of elementary school I’d watch with envy as classmates unpacked their lunches. Up and down the long tables were little bags of potato chips, cheese doodles, Tastykakes, Ding Dongs and the oh so yummy Devil Dog accompanied a bologna or ham and cheese sandwich. My unpacking was not as hunger inducing. A sandwich spread with the thinnest coating of tuna fish, a Thermos filled with grape juice and that little red box of Raisins stared back at me.

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While we’re in a school days phase let’s do a bit of lunch Arithmetic.

Tuna + bread = soggy sammich.

It’s amazing that the sandwich was able to get soggy since the layer of tuna was so thin.

This makes me sound ungrateful. I was a kid back then. And the kid in 1970 wanted a damn Ding Dong.

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Let me take this time to say that as an adult I’m incredibly grateful for having a lunch even if it was soggy tuna. Dad made sure there was a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and clothes on our back. We never went hungry, never sat in the dark or froze during winter months. Dad was a miser. He hoarded his wealth and spent as little as possible when it came to his kids or his wife. Around the time my younger sister and I were nearly teenagers he changed. We’ll never know why he changed but he was emotionally absent from our lives and good memories are few and far between. Oatmeal cookies are one of those few memories I have of the man through my teenage years.

Dad is no longer with us. In February of 2009 doctors diagnosed the cancer and gave him six months to live. He lived 18 months and was able to put his affairs in order and spend time with the family. It was during this time I got to know my Dad better than I’d ever known him. While he waited for the Lord to take him, we had a long conversation at his home in Florida. It was during that talk that he told me how much he loved me and how much he regretted not expressing his love for his children and grandchildren. Before that day I could count on one hand how many times I’d heard my Dad tell me he loved me.

In the years since his passing I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on his life and the type of father he was to my sisters, brother and me. But that’s a story for another day. Today is about a good memory. The memory of Dad, his love for oatmeal raisin cookies and letting me bake by myself for the first time. And that was the start of my love for baking. And as a parent I swore that I’d express my love for my kiddos every chance I got. They’ve always been my shadows in the kitchen. All three of them could cook and bake by the time each of them turned 10. The kitchen in my home is central to this family. We gather together to cook, bake, BBQ and of course eat. These days we’re handing down all that knowledge to the grand kids.

Thanks Dad.

©2019 Betakanim All rights reserved.

©2019 Betakanim All rights reserved.


Preserving Memories by BETAkanim

Photographs are important to me and it’s been that way since I was a kid. There was nothing I loved more than making my way through photo albums. Each photo had a story. Sometimes I knew the story. If I didn’t know, then I’d allow my imagination to guide me as I wondered about the lives of the people in the picture. What were they thinking? Did they feel loved? Were they happy? I feel the same way when I drive through my small town gazing at Christmas lights each year. Who lives there? Are they happy? What are their dreams? Do they feel loved and wanted? I feel for people and experience their feelings.

This is why I’m no longer allowed to watch “Titanic”, or watch ASPCA commercials. Tissues boxes are on every corner if there’s a television nearby. I sob in theaters and through movies I’ve seen a hundred times.

Photographs capture moments, big and small, in our lives. Caring for those photographs helps me to preserve the memories for years to come.

Capturing the moments has been the prime focus of my photography since 2006. It’s the non-posed images that I love the most.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

©2007 Bet R. All rights reserved.

Scanning and cataloging family photos has kept me away from writing here on the blog. But it’s something I have to get done. Once it’s done the photos will then be stored in proper acid and pvc free photo albums. Scanning photos is almost done and then I’ll start on the boxes of 35mm slides that were my Dad’s.

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There are a lot of them. My younger sister and I don’t have a ton of childhood photos. There are baby pictures and a couple family portraits, but most of our photos are within these slides. They’re blurry and more times than not they’re more focused on the scenery than us. But that’s what we have and I want to hold onto them tightly. Of course there are a few gems, like the photo below. That’s me and my younger sister when we were 5 and 7. I have no idea where the photo was taken but I love it so much. We were close when we were little, then we disliked each other when we were teens and now I love her to bits. Thankfully video chatting keeps us close because we live 1200 miles apart.

©1969 Seeley Family Photos. All rights reserved.

©1969 Seeley Family Photos. All rights reserved.

Preserving the memories and all my crafty endeavors have kept me busy this past month. With each post here on the site I’m one step closer to finding a creative schedule. Not that I’m a slave to schedules but there are some things in life that are easier to accomplish with one. That made sense in my head. I swear it did.

In this day and age it’s easy to hold onto and save all your photos. Digital cameras, cameras on phones make it easy to capture moments. Sites like Shutterfly and if you’re a Prime member, Amazon Photos, allow you to store an unlimited amount of images. I currently back-up my photos using the two I mentioned plus Google Photos. as well as on an external hard drive dedicated to just photos and videos.

Never store your images in just one location. You just never know what will happen.

I have to get back to the family memories now.

Peace, love and cheesecake,

Bet