What is a young mother to do with the long hours waiting for her husband to come home?
Dear Beka Joy,
I’m young, 19, and married, with an 8-month-old son. I stay at home in our apartment with my son Clay, which he and I both enjoy. I don’t have a telephone, a car, or much money (all three of those things go to work with my husband everyday). But I’m glad just to be at home where I should be. I see all of this as a blessing, as I am able to have so much free time; although most of the time I struggle with how to fill most of it. After chores and devotions are done, I pretty much have 8 hours to fill. I take walks with Clay, but there’s nowhere to go.
I thought that maybe you would have some ideas for me as to some ways I could spend my days with my son. This is something I’ve really prayed about, and I know God will answer me somehow. It would even be encouraging to hear that sometimes life with the little ones does get slow and boring!
I know exactly how you feel. When I first married, I moved to a town where I knew absolutely no one, and lived in a tiny apartment downtown. A couple months of boredom passed before I took the few dollars I had and carefully spent them on the ingredients in this recipe. With the fresh, hot cookies on a plate (the first time) I walked to the nearest businesses and told the employees that I was going to bake cookies once a week and sell them for 50 cents each.
Most of my faithful clients bought their first cookie that day. One bite of a hot chocolate-chip cookie sent even the grouchiest old sales person back to memories of childhood, and they were ready to make orders for cookies by the dozens.
After Joe Courage was born, I put him in a carrier on my back and continued to carry fresh cookies around downtown. My favorite places to sell were businesses with a lot of employees; in this way I could sell 200 cookies in the course of 1 hour. Businesses such as laundromats, non-profit organizations, work crews, towing companies, and pawn shops grew familiar with “The Cookie Mama.” I soon had more business than I could manage, and limited my sales to orders and pick-ups only. My clients would come right to my door to pick up their orders once a week.
If I had wanted to grow, I could have obtained a business license, hired a helper, added fresh bread, pies, cheesecake, oatmeal cookies, homemade deli sandwiches, etc. . .
My little cookie business lasted for three years, until I began to write for various magazines for additional income. My son always helped me sell the cookies, and he became a popular little fellow with the diverse group of people we sold to. We often had the opportunity to pray for a buyer’s health, tell a dry-cleaner lady about Jesus, and give away a cookie here and there to a child on a street corner.
It has been two years since I sold any cookies, but I still see people occasionally who call out across a street “Hey - there’s the cookie mama! How come you don’t sell cookies anymore? I want to make an order...”
Beka’s Chocolate-chip Cookies
(makes 48-52 large cookies)
1 ½ cup softened butter
½ cup oil
1 ½ cup white sugar
1 ½ cup brown sugar
Add one at a time:
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
2 level Tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups wheat flour
2 cups white flour (You can use all white if you prefer; I found that people preferred the chewiness and flavor the wheat flour gave.)
12 -16 oz. package Semi-sweet Chocolate chips (depending on how many chips you like)
1c chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts (if you like, but I don’t usually add them because my son has a nut allergy.)
Add more white flour, kneading it in until the dough is stiff like bread dough, and the chips just begin to fall out as you knead.
Shape into golf-ball size balls, flatten slightly between palms, and lay the thick disks on a cookie sheet to bake about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven before they begin to brown. Cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely on flat surface before storing them in an airtight container (zip-lock type bags by the dozen or 2 dozen) and sell within 48 hours.