Monthly Archives: November 2012

Southwestern Virginia Reading Council

I was a guest today at the Southwestern Virginia Reading Council Fall Conference in Abingdon. My session, Taking Memories, Making Tales talked about how to use memories to help children with writing assignments, as well as the importance of teaching our children the traditions of Appalachia. I also talked about using my memories of growing up in Appalachia and writing Granny Gathers. The forty or so people who were in my session were great, with good discussions. Thanks so much for having me, SWRC!

Appalachian Favorites: Oatmeal Drop Cookies

This may not be strictly Appalachian, but it’s one of my all-time favorite candies. My mother used to make this on a regular basis and we still asked for more when I was growing up. I guess the reason I think of these as Appalachian is, when I grew up, none of my “Northern” friends knew about it.  Mom made these in the fall and winter a lot. She nearly always had the ingredients on hand. It’s easy, quick and relatively cheap to make. Warning- it’s also addictive.

The recipe is named a cookie recipe, but, for me, it’s a dreamy, chocolate candy. Here’s the way my mother made it.

Oatmeal Drop Cookies

2 cups white granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan heat sugar, evaporated milk until melted. Add cocoa, stir and heat to boiling. Boil one minute. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, oats and stir. Add vanilla and stir in at the end. Drop spoonfuls onto waxed paper. After the cookies are set, remove from waxed paper and store in a container with lid or plastic bag.