I spend a lot of time by myself. I've read four books since we moved to Ligonier. We get to name our house this month and I have a list narrowed down. I make sure the dogs get fed, my work gets done. I hate folding laundry and I love when I smell the dirt and concrete in the air from a passing truck kicking up gravel.
I told Nolan we can't leave anytime soon. We can't move again. I showed off my house to my best friend, Carissa, when she was visiting last weekend. I called it ours instead of mine and that shift in a possessive pronoun echoed like a foreign chord in the dining room. I'm still not used to having it be ours, but I love the idea of it all the same.
I told him we can't leave until our dogs are ready and they may never be. They've moved too much, from California to Pennsylvania. Milo flew home with me when we thought we could start all over again. They need consistency, we owe it to them now.
And for me? Home was never a place, but has always been something to run away from. I would walk up a hill in front of my childhood home and see how far I could go before it got dark, before I got tired and scared. Before anyone would know I wasn't in my bedroom. Home has been invented over and over and over again. And each time I found myself awake in the night, I'd be anchored to the spot by the sounds from my window.
The frog in the creek bed.
The lazy moths that hit the window.
The lost cricket from the woods and the only thing separating me and the coyotes was a chain link fence.
We moved back last year and bought a house. Things have changed and I go back to the theme of creating home through food. One that I can't run away from. And so here is a skillet cookie with butter and oatmeal and a crumble topping. It smells the way comfort does and tastes just as good as normalcy can. I make oatmeal for the dogs a lot; they've come to expect it. So this recipe, in the silliest way, feels like home for us, too.
Oatmeal Skillet Cookie with Crumble Topping
Ingredients for Skillet Cookie (inspired by one from The Food Network)
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 6 TB shortening, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
Directions for Skillet Cookie
- Preheat oven to 350*F and prepare a cast iron skillet with oil and flour
- In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, soda, cinnamon and salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together fats and sugar using the paddle attachment
- Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla
- Turn mixer off and use a spatula to stir in your flour mixture
- Finally, stir in oats and cherries
- Turn out into your skillet and press down
Ingredients for Oatmeal Crumble
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
- 2 TB maple syrup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 TB candied ginger, diced
Directions for Oatmeal Crumble
- Put all ingredients in a bowl and pinch with your hands until fats are incorporated wholly into the mixture
- Pour over the top of your cookie
- Bake entire dish for 1 hour, cover with aluminum foil (to prevent burning) and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Enjoy with whipped cream for up to three days in an airtight container