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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies....

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This oatmeal version makes chocolate chip cookies that are large and chewy; nothing like the ones in packages at the store. Only a small amount of expertise is needed and the results are well worth the effort.

Find the recipe. Oatmeal companies have conveniently printed it right on their box, so you wonít have to dig through all the yellow, disintegrating recipes that have accumulated through the years. Plan to make a double batch as they go quickly.

Mix 3/4 cup shortening with 1-cup brown sugar and Ĺ cup of sugar. Use a mixer to make this process easier. Did you make sure the brown sugar was soft so that the mixer would not sling it all over the wall? Stop and clean the wall. If that stuff gets hard, it is like concrete, and you will really have a mess.

Now add 1 egg and ľ cup of water. You did use margarine, didnít you, instead of the stuff that comes in a can? If not, the cookies are going to taste greasy and stick to the roof of your mouth. If you did not use margarine, return to Step 1. While you are at the store, buy real margarine - but not the soft kind; it has water in it. Thank God, I warned you! Thatís what you were going to get, isnít it?

Okay, did you add the eggs? Pick out any eggshell. I know it is a source of calcium, but we are talking cookies here, not health food. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Do not nip any on the side, regardless of the temptation. It has high alcohol content, and we donít want to make any more stupid mistakes.

Add 1 cup of sifted flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. You can use the mixer again, but remember what happened last time. Wait! Blend it in before you turn on the mixer. Oh, no! Wow, look at that dust cloud! I never knew flour could create a mushroom cloud.

After the flour is blended, you are ready for the oatmeal. Measure 3 cups. If there is a little bit left over, just throw that in too. Forget the spoon and dig in with your hands and squish. Also get the box with the recipe out of the trash. Forgot, didnít you?

When blended, throw in a bag of chocolate chips. Use a lot, regardless of what the recipe says about adding one cup.

Oven should be heated to 350 degrees. Donít tell me - let me guess. You forgot to turn on the oven, didnít you? Argh! What ever made you try to bake cookies? Do you even have a cookie sheet? That figures! Well, forget going to the store at this point. Go borrow a couple from the neighbors. They wonít mind since they figure youíll bring some cookies when you return them.

Grease the cookie sheets. I know the recipe says not to. Just listen to me; I know! Drop batter in small spoonfuls on the cookie sheet and place in oven for 12-15 minutes. While cookies bake, clean kitchen. Set timer on oven.

Whatís that smell? I told you to set the timer! Okay, okay, I hope you doubled the recipe just in case. Just throw those burned ones out for the birds. "Here birdie, birdie, birdie."

Letís try again. Turn the oven down and watch it carefully. Remember, I said SMALL spoonfuls! Good. We do not want them turn into one large cookie, do we? 

Do not leave the room; do not clean the kitchen; do not go to the bathroom. When timer goes off, remove the first batch. Donít they smell good? Wait! Let them cool a bit before you try to remove them. Fix the second batch on the other cookie sheet and place in oven while you wait.

Okay, with a metal spatula, carefully remove baked cookies. Careful! Well, just eat your mistakes. Broken cookies have no calories. Be sure to watch that second batch in the oven. Whadda ya mean, "Uh, Oh!?"

FIRE! FIRE! Dial 911!

After the fire department leaves and the smoke clears, clean oven, mop kitchen floor, clean walls, wash curtains. Go to store and buy a couple packages of chocolate chips cookies. Youíd better just leave the cookie baking to the elves from now on. Throw a bit of flour in your hair; at least youíll look like a cook. 

Copyright 2000 Sheila Moss

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