by Lisa Lauderdale ~ March 15th, 2012
My grandmother always did special things for me. She would make homemade birthday cakes for me and every Thanksgiving and Christmas she would make one of my favorite desserts, butterscotch pie. Her cookies, however, were a surprise “anytime” treat. I remember she kept them in a plastic container in the bottom drawer in her kitchen. I was only allowed to have two with a glass of milk when I went to her house to visit. There are no cookies in the world that taste quite like them. They were so good.
In April of 1978, my grandmother passed away at the age of 85. No more birthday cakes, no more butterscotch pie and no more pecan cookies.
One day I had an overwhelming desire to have some of her pecan cookies. When I get an idea in my head I just have to see it through or it drives me nuts until it is complete. Since I had inherited several of her cookbooks, I began searching through them looking for that pecan cookie recipe. Over several days I tried two or three different recipes I had found in her cookbooks but none of them tasted like the cookies I remember her making when I was a child. I decided that I would have to give up on ever tasting those delicious cookies again. But I sure wanted some of those cookies.
I wandered into my kitchen not really thinking about anything and started taking ingredients out of my cupboard. I began dumping them into a bowl. I wasn’t measuring the ingredients, just scooping and dumping. I put my cookie dough on baking pans and put them in the oven. I made a frosting for them while I waited for them to bake. I took them out of the oven and let them cool. I put the frosting on them and took a bite. They tasted just like the ones I remember from when I was a child.
I have not been able duplicate the experience of making those cookies again but I believe that my grandmother, through me, made those cookies for me. It was a wonderful gift from her, and at least for me, confirmation that we truly don’t lose the people we love when they pass from this world.