Simple Shoestring Pleasures



I just read a post by Christina at Northern Cheapskate entitled Why a Recession is Good For Us. She has a wonderful glass-half-full attitude. There is so much to learn about ourselves, our families, neighbors and communities when we have to think before we spend. When my husband and I first got married, like many newlywed couples, we were so very broke. My grandmother used to say that we didn't have two pennies to rub together. We always tried to keep the basics in our cupboards - flour, milk, eggs, baking soda, butter, ect. - because when all else fails you can always make pancakes.
When we were really feeling broke and needed something to boost our morale we would play Find the Change. You know the game - how much change is in the bottom of your purse, under the couch cushions or spilled out on the dresser? The goal was to collect enough coins (yes,pennies count) to buy a bag of chocolate chips. Then off to the store to purchase our prize and home again to bake our scrumptious indulgence. What fun we would have making the treat together and, of course, eating as many cookies in dough as we actually baked. No matter how empty the bank account, eating fresh hot chocolate chip cookies with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee always made me feel rich. Still does!
Today, as everyone is feeling the economic crunch, it's important to remember the simple things that make life fun. So, just for practice, even if you have a million dollars in the bank, play the game. See if you can find enough change to treat the family to a Simple Shoestring Pleasure.

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup flour mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 package chocolate chips

Cream butter and shortening together. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, flour mixed with cinnamon, baking soda and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Taste dough. Beat in remaining flour. Taste dough. Stir in chocolate chips. Taste dough.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 - 10 min. until cookies are lightly brown around the edges. Remove cookies from oven, eat a cookie, then cool the rest on a rack.

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