Peanut Butter Cookies for Grandma Ramona

Experimenting in the kitchen began around nine for me. One summer day I was craving peanut butter cookies, and after rifling through the pantry, there wasn’t a single, delectable morsel to be found. So, I flipped through the pages my mother’s orange Betty Crocker cookbook and spied a doable recipe. After a carefully reading, I threw all the ingredients in a bowl, mashed them around, and glopped spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and popped the whole mess into the oven. I then picked up Little House On the Prairie and whipped through the pages, pausing at the pictures. A short while later I glanced up at the oven. Eek, the oven timer still read 8:00 minutes. I hadn’t quite got it set, and I noticed a “funny” smell emanating from the oven.

Meanwhile, Grandma Ramona walked up the drive and was chatting with my dad. I peeked out the window and saw them, and skipped up to them.

“You want to taste my first batch of cookies, Grandma?” I asked with all the innocence I could muster.

“Why, yes,” Grandma smiled.

I had tasted the little lumps of charcoal just minutes before and it seemed I put in a quarter cup of baking soda, rather than a quarter teaspoon. I was giggling as I made my way back to where my Dad and Grandma were still chatting. Standing in the gravel drive, I presented the treasure to my grandma; a little black soda ball perched on a napkin. My face beamed with mock pride.

She confidently bit into the black cookie, then promptly turned and spat in the driveway. I laughed until tears were streaming down my face.

“I think I put in too much baking soda.” Wiping her mouth with the napkin and patting the corners of her eyes, she nodded in agreement.

Immediately, I went back into the kitchen, fashioned a palatable batch and ran down the driveway to Grandma’s house. I sprinted through her garage, skipped up the back stairs and rapped on the wooden door. When it swung open, I extended to her my crumbly cookie offering. She surveyed the golden brown peanut butter morsel on the oil spotted napkin. Her blue eyes met my brown eyes. I nodded my reassurance. She sighed and nibbled at the side of the cookie and a slow smile formed on her lips. She hugged me.

“You’ll be a good little baker some day, Kathy.”

That day, I knew I was a cook. I made food, because I couldn’t not cook. If a dish turned out poorly, which of course it often did, I would fix it or toss it. I would start again. Food became my medium of choice: my art.

Wishing you soulful, happy moments in the kitchen.



  1. What a delightful read this is, Kathryn…. and what a sweet memory of the beginning of your culinary journey. So right that grandma Ramona would be the first to taste your first efforts. Along with the experiments, trials and errors of learning over the years, you have become my most trusted cook and lover of food. I know that only the best and most delicious foods come from your kitchen. Your lemon bars are by far the very best I have had anywhere and you are the one person I know who can dive into their kitchen and whip up something delicious and healthy for anyone in a mere matter of minutes. Every day I have realized how blessed I am with you as a daughter and how this makes me smile to see your blog on the first day of it’s existence at the beginning of my day. I look forward with happy anticipation for your next installment.

  2. What fun this is going to be … and I really like your early baking story. Your Grandma surely saw your potential! … I had an elderly, sight-challenged aunt take a bite out of a scalloped, cork coaster one time. … Family stories are fun!

  3. Hello Katryn,

    Do you do some gluten free sweets?
    My girl friend cannot have it… And I would love to find good recipes for her!
    Very nice post by the way… Thanks!

    1. Isabelle,

      Absolutely: I do gluten free sweets. My recipes are somewhat healthy, with personalized options and are absolutely delicious. Some are baked. Some are raw. Most have dates and nut cream or nut butter. I will start posting some recipes in the next couple of weeks. You’ve caught me on my second day.:)

      Be Well,

  4. Kathy…your creativity is in your DNA! As a grandma and great grandma I have experienced the same things as your grandma and what a wonderful blessing those times to my heart!

    1. Janie, Yes: Creativity! Grandmas! Two of life’s beautiful things. My grandma’s unconditional love and desire to pass on knowledge enriched my life. She always had a story. She taught me to make pie crust. Ooh, another story…

  5. Sounds like you are off to a delicious start! I have forwarded your mother’s e-mail to my son Bill now living in Connecticut. He loves cooking and was my “in-house chef” when he stayed with me a year ago. I hope you two can connect with ideas and recipes!

    1. Geri,

      It is a delicious start, matter of fact I’m going to start my next blog, starting with the pictures: Kombucha is next. Fermented foods are so life giving. I’m excited to share!

      Be Well,

  6. Kathryn,
    I enjoyed your story of the first batch of peanut butter cookies. I remember you as a young girl and how you liked to cook. Hope you enjoy your blogging experience.

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