Last month we were happily surprised when our neighbor’s twelve year old boy gave our son, Jamie a.k.a. The Lego Man, a couple of giant bagfuls of Star Wars and Harry Potter Legos. True, it was also tempered by the faint unease of where we were going to put it all on my part, but it was worth the joy and excitement of Jamie. He is obsessed with Harry Potter still. His entryway into the whole Harry Potter series was via Harry Potter Lego. Jamie had practically memorized the LEGO Harry Potter Building the Magical World book before he even began reading any of the Harry Potter books! Thus, when he discovered two extremely rare mini-figures, Filch and Ginny Weasley, only found in sets #4842 and #4840, he was quite certain it was a mistake. We double checked with our neighbor, and it had in fact been unintentionally given away — our neighbor’s son had thought he had lost them!
Jamie immediately returned them without a fuss. We were extremely proud of him that it was all on his own initiative. I, for one, had no clue as to how unique and valuable those particular mini-figs are. I hesitate to think what I might have done in a similar situation at seven. Would I feign ignorance to be able to keep them? It is entirely possible! It made bringing two garbage bagfuls of yet more Lego into our tiny home worth it.
To thank his friend, Jamie thought we should bake him a batch of cookies. He has always loved the book, Mr. Cookie Baker, by Monica Wellington, who is a wonderful author and illustrator of over 40 books. This adorable book is about a cookie baker and his day in the bakery. There are several delicious cookie recipes at the end.
We used to read Monica’s All My Little Ducklings to Jamie when he was a baby, so it was a real pleasure to meet Monica when he was about two and get to know her over the years. She is also a wonderful teacher of children’s book writing and illustration at the School of Visual Arts here in Manhattan, and I took her class. I’ve learned so much from her. It was an honor to come back years later and talk to one of her classes and show my work this past summer.
The Oatmeal Cookie recipe from Mr. Cookie Baker did not disappoint! We also added in a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips because Jamie wanted to (he’s a chocoholic like his mom). These cookies are the thin kind and very crunchy yet chewy with great flavor!
Mr. Cookie Baker’s Oatmeal Cookies
(From Mr. Cookie Baker, by Monica Wellington, Dutton, 2006 — we halved the recipe and added 1/4 cup chocolate chips)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (we used old-fashioned not quick cooking)
1/2 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and brown sugar.
3. Mix in the egg and milk.
4. Then mix in the spices, salt, baking soda, and flour.
5. Stir in the oats, and then the raisins (and then we added the chips).
6. Drop rounded teaspoons of cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet (we used parchment paper).
7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golder brown.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.