Gramps part-owns a bunch of property up there with all these cabins, a tame deer, a pianola, demonic swans, etc. etc. It's much fun.
The best part about going up to "The Ranch" is Mom's family. Gramps and Beanie had 8 kids (including Mom, obviously), and from them have sprouted about 30ish grandkids.
My policy is that you can't have too big of a family any more than you can have too many pairs of undies. If you have a lot then you'll always have at least one there for you when you are in dire need.
One of the best things about a big family is the amount of cookies you can make. If you make fifty cookies, people are less likely to notice if ten are missing. Know what I mean?
Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter flavored crisco
1 cup butter (two sticks), softened
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
3 t vanilla
5 cups quick cooking oats
3 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Cream the butter, crisco, and sugars for about 5-10 minutes until fluffy.
Meanwhile mix together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until combined.
Mix together the flour, oats, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the egg and butter mixture and mix until well combined.
Stir in the chips, fruit, nuts, and coconut.
Make into about 50 heaping tablespoon sized balls. Bake about a dozen at a time on a cookie sheet. Flatten slightly before baking. Bake at 375º for 9-11 minutes depending on if you like them chewy or crunchy.
Add one of these combos instead of cranberries, semi-sweet chips, and walnuts.
- Dried cherries, dark chocolate chunks, and walnuts
- Dried apricots, white chocolate chips, and almonds
- Raisins, milk chocolate chips, and pecans
- Dried pineapple, white chocolate chips, and macadamia nuts