Rewind 15 years… I’m in high school. It’s harvest time in Alberta.
Scanning the edge of a hill within the quarter-section of land under hasted machines, I spot my father. Rather, I spot his tractor. Surely he has also caught the pickup truck waiting with a snack at the other end of the field. Dust from the dry earth and fine pieces of barley stalks swirl around my father as he makes his way from the parked machine to his delivery girl.
“Hi Dad! I made some cookies for you!” Along with a thermos of coffee, I had escaped the house once more with a bag of freshly made oatmeal cookies. “Those look great!” Dad always smiled. With thunder lurking on the horizon, he left again to finish his work.
January, 2011 on the eve of Dad’s flight home from Austin to Edmonton, I had an urge to bake cookies for the voyage home. As if some piece of me would travel along with him, keeping him safe. I made oatmeal cookies, the same recipe as I did in highschool, only with my new flare. Cranberries and orange zest were abundant so they became the highlight to these bundles of sweet delight.
Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- zest of 1 orange
Beat the butter, margarine and sugar. Then add the vanilla, salt, orange zest, cranberries and half the flour. Mix until well combined. Dissolve the baking soda into the boiling water and add to the mixing bowl, followed promptly by the remaining flour and oats. Mix until blended.
Drop by tablespoonful on to your cookie sheet of choice. Bake at 350ºF (175ºC) for 10-14 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes before removing to a rack to finish cooling. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days (if they last that long!)