Monday, September 1, 2008

Back to School

After a beautiful Labor Day weekend, tomorrow will be the first day of school. It's always a bittersweet time...the end of another Maine summer coupled with the start of a brand new school year. Although we teachers have been back for a week or so, the official "first day" is always exciting. I love to watch the kids come off the bus in their carefully chosen new clothes, shiny new shoes, and LL Bean backpacks stuffed with more school supplies than they'll ever use. It brings back memories of our first days of school...that's my old red plaid lunchbox in the photo...circa 1954 or so. Every year, when we returned from our first day of school, Mom made "Back to School" cookies and we loved them! In honor of the first day tomorrow, I thought I'd share Mom's recipe. You'll find it at the end of this post.
Hank and I went camping this weekend at Winslow Park in Freeport, Maine. We had a beautiful site overlooking South Freeport Harbor. Yesterday afternoon, Nancy and Aaron came up to camp and surprised us with a steak dinner and all the fixins'...garlic bread, green beans, and amazing steak tips from The Meat House in Scarborough. Nancy said she wanted to surprise us with the same dinner that she and I had made when we camped together at Searsport Shores on our Road Trip last year...happy memories.
Even better than the amazing dinner was seeing Nancy out of the house! She is feeling pretty good this weekend after almost a two week break from chemo. She will see the oncologist tomorrow morning to discuss when she will begin chemo again...probably next Tuesday, the 9th. In the meantime, I hope she can enjoy the next week without the nasty side effects that have plagued her the past two weeks. I know she will miss her own "first day of school" tomorrow - a lot - but I'm sure that all of her students and friends at Wells Elementary School will be thinking of her as the new school year begins.
Happy last days of summer to all!

Back to School Cookies
from Alice Smith
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup shortening
2 squares melted baking chocolate
1 egg
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup chopped walnuts

for vanilla icing:
¼ cup shortening
2 cups confectioners sugar
4 teaspoons hot water
½ teaspoon vanilla
dash salt

for chocolate icing (in addition to above):
1 square baking chocolate
1 Tablespoon hot water

Cream sugar and shortening. Add chocolate, egg and milk.
Stir in dry ingredients. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased baking sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes in 350 degree oven.

To ¼ cup shortening, add 2 cups confectionery sugar, alternate with 4 tsp. hot water, dash salt and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
Put half of icing in a separate bowl. Add 1 square melted chocolate and 1 T. hot water.
Spread cooled cookies with vanilla icing. Dot with chocolate icing.


  1. Dear Cheryl and Nancy,

    I am so pleased that someone passed along this website! As soon as I got it I memorized the URL. What a tribute to all the hard work Nancy is doing to be healthy. We are so in awe of Nancy's great attitude.
    I am glad to have this blog bookmarked, and I will surely be back making comments.
    And Nancy, I am so impressed that you have this communication tool. Your work is helping others as well!!! I'll be back. Cheryl Oakes

  2. i'm in there somewhere girls

    aunt marion