Civil War Oatmeal Cookies and Tour
The Civil War was by far the most traumatic historical event in our nation’s history. Four hundred and thirty-four men and young boys died every day for four years, totaling more than 624,511 soldiers who ultimately lost their lives. But in the end, we miraculously became a nation united. I’ve been a Civil War buff ever since I produced an eight-part series for television about 20 years ago.
This May, I’m so excited to tell you that I’ll be hosting a once-in-a-lifetime Washington, D.C., Civil War experience from Tauck Tours with special guest filmmaker Ken Burns, whose award-winning PBS Civil War series brought to life this tragic war between the states. It’s five days of sightseeing, galas and private access to museums like the National Archives, where we’ll meet Burns. I would love it if you could join me May 20 to 24. There’s more info at www.terratravelaz.com or by calling (480) 820-0701.
In the meantime, here is one of my favorite Civil War recipes, a soft and perfectly sweetened oatmeal raisin cookie, courtesy of Anita Chapman of Scottsdale.
“I have a little story about my grandmother and her oatmeal cookies. My dad’s mother was born during the Civil War. As a little girl, I would enter Grandma Freeman’s small house through the back porch into a kitchen that smelled wonderful, and there would stand a tiny white-haired woman preparing food for her family. She had a wood-burning stove and oven, a high boy with the flour sifter built in, granite bowls and a solid oak table.
“She always made oatmeal cookies for her grandkids. She never used measuring cups or spoons. But my mother watched her carefully and wrote down the measurements for the cookies before my Grandma died. My family has loved these cookies for many years, and I’ve passed the recipe on to anyone and everyone who has loved my cookies, too.”
Grandma Freeman’s Oatmeal Cookies
• 2 1/2 cups sugar (half brown,
• 1 1/2 cups solid shortening
• 4 eggs
• 4 cups whole oats
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 1/2 cups raisins (soaked in hot water and drained)
• 1/2 cup milk
(*Grandma Freeman’s original oatmeal cookie recipe calls for solid shortening.
I also tried a batch substituting real butter for the shortening. They were fabulous, too!)
Cream together sugars and shortening. Add eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients and milk. Add drained raisins. Makes a lot of very heavy batter. Spoon cookies onto cookie sheet a heaping teaspoon at a time. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. (Makes about 70-80 cookies.)
Tip: Unless the recipe specifically calls for use of instant oats, don’t substitute them for the old-fashioned or whole oats because instant oats contain additional flavorings.