Friday, June 24, 2016

Cookies in a Jar

My cottage in Ireland!

In case anybody missed all the blather, I’m just back from two weeks in Ireland, fitting out my very own cottage. No, it wasn’t ready to stay in yet (no running water—the well pump had pumped its last, and I’ve found someone to replace it), so I stayed in a nice rental unit on a dairy farm. I am now well informed about managing dairy cattle—even watched a newborn calf take its first steps.

The "business end" of milking
What I love about staying in rentals rather than B&Bs is that I have a kitchen, and I love to cook with the local products. There’s a terrific supermarket in nearby Skibbereen, and then there’s the Skibbereen farmers’ market every Saturday. I swear I plan whole trips around being there in time for the market.

I’ve probably written about the market before, but it’s worth talking about again. It’s a mix of the best of local foods (who knew West Cork was a foodie paradise?) and people selling both crafts and stuff—“stuff” being typical flea market treasures. I scored well, buying six stainless steel copper bottomed pots and pans for about $30 total. Okay, check that off my to-do list for the cottage.




But, oh, the food! Fresh fish, breads and cakes, cheese, meats, smoked fish. Live birds for sale, and fresh chicken and duck eggs. It breaks my heart when I want to buy everything and cook with it, but there’s only me and sometimes my husband to consume it. I hope somebody enjoys the cheese I had to leave behind. I ate just about everything else.

Ducklings!

If I have to comment on one change that I’ve seen in the years I’ve been visiting the Saturday market, it’s the growth of products that advertise that they’re gluten-free. And there are a lot of breads made from spelt now. The place and its vendors move with the times.

My cottage is in Drinagh, home to the region’s largest dairy co-op. Since I was staying on a dairy farm up the hill from Skibbereen, I watched the Co-op tanker trucks arrive every two to three days to collect the milk (stored in temperature-controlled conditions, I assure you!). That’s a lot of milk. 


It shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve been a bit too busy to put together a recipe for MLK, but! I found a wonderful thing in the supermarket: cookies in a jar, made by a company called Bake It Easy. Apparently it’s a relatively new product that has gone on sale recently (I ended up talking with a sales rep for the brand when I went back to stock up). Everything you need is in the jar, in lovely tidy layers. You open it, empty it into a bowl, add butter and an eggs, spoon it out onto a baking sheet and bake! A child can do it. 



I know, it sounds a bit like the first instant cake mixes that appeared on the market a long time ago. I’m told the manufacturers like Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines instructed the home baker to add milk and egg just to make them feel they had something to do—they could just as easily have added powdered milk and egg to the mix.

But I’m glad I went back the second time, because I got to sample three of the flavors—Oately Dotely, Choca Bloc, and Smart Cookie--and they’re good (would I tell you about them if they weren’t?). Really. (And, believe it or not, I talked up MLK to the sales rep.)

So, rather than provide you with a recipe and all the pictures, I’m offering a giveaway to three winners, one for each cookie flavor. Just leave a comment and tell me which one you like, and I’ll draw one winner for each and send you the jar of instant cookies! (BTW, the chocolate one looks pale in the jar, but it bakes up into nice dark cookies.)

There's no one book attached to this post--I learn a lot any time I visit Ireland, and it all goes into the books.


But! Stay tuned for some exciting news about the fifth book in the series, coming next spring.

38 comments:

  1. Great recap/post! I would most like to try the Choca Bloc cookie flavor. EMS591@aol.com

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  2. They all look good but since I am one, I will line up for Smart Cookie.

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  3. I use to make these in quart mason jars and sell them at craft fairs. Everybody loved them at Christmas time!

    kkdaley (at) comcast dot net

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  4. Sheila, I mentioned this on Facebook, but I hope you're thinking of compiling all the "blather" into a memoir! You could talk MLK up in that too:)

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    1. Happy to do it! And I'm so happy that people were following the story and sharing it all with me.

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  5. I'm always envious of people that have homes in other countries!!! I would like to try either the Smart Cookie or the Oately Dotely....they sound like a fun find.
    sharonquiltsatyahoodotcom

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  6. I loved following your experiences while in Ireland , it was awesome to see all the pics ! I would happily take any of the cookie mixes if I'm lucky enough to win 😁 kathambre@yahoo.com

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  7. Your own cottage? How utterly marvelous!
    Your adventures in Ireland are so wonderful sounding. And that farmer's market is very impressive.

    Being such a smarty, I'd love to try the Smart Cookies.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  8. These all sound interesting, but I think I'll choose Smart Cookie. I so hope I can go to Ireland some day. Thank you for the chance to win. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  9. I love making my own baking mixes to give as gifts. I would love to see how mine compare to these. I would love to try any flavor though I think I would like the Choca bloc best. I love the packaging on these as well, so cute. utaker555@gmail.com

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    1. They do use good ingredients, and they're like instant gratification in a jar. I think kids would love them. I think the packaging and the names are brilliant!

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  10. I love all the photos & am happy to see you are getting your second home all together. I would love to try the Oately Dotely cookies. doward1952@yahoo.com

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  11. Oakley Doatly sounds interesting.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  12. Those are my kind of cookies! I would love to try the Oatley Dotely (I like the slogan "Bake me, I'm yours!") -- I wonder if they taste anything like my favorite British cookies, Hob Nobs! Thanks for such a cool giveaway, and I've enjoyed reading about your cottage ~ bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  13. Oatley Dotely sounds yummy to me. And, so much better than those slice and bake cookies. I'm in. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  14. Love the idea and the names! I'll enter for the Smart Cookie. Thanks!

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  15. Pat (patdupuy@yahoo.com)June 24, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Oatley Dotely sounds good!
    I am envious of your cottage.

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  16. I love your cottage!! I would like to try Choca Bloc if I'm a winner.

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  17. I'll have to start saving my pennies so I can one day take a trip to Ireland and see your cottage in person. LOL That's a promise Sheila, not a threat.

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  18. Oatley Dotley would be great. Thanks for this lovely giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. I love hearing about your cottage, and all of your adventures! I think the Oatmeal cookies would be the ones I want to try. Thanks for the chance.

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  20. Your cottage is a dream. I would like to try Smart Cookie. Wonderful post. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. I believe the Smart Cookie suits me best! Would love to see more of your darling cottage!

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  22. my email address is marthajane1@hotmail.com

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  23. How cool to have your own cottage in Ireland. I would like to try the Oately Dotely. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. How cool to have your own cottage in Ireland. I would like to try the Oately Dotely. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. What a brilliant idea for cookies! I'd love Smart Cookie. (I'm enjoying reading about your Irish adventures on Facebook!) pattie.tierney@gmail.com

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  26. I'd be happy with any, but I am most happy with your posts. Loved following you on Facebook.

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  27. Would love to try Oatley Dotely. What fun!
    jademoss17@gmail.com

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  28. I love that cottage in Ireland! And I would love the Oately Dotelys.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

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  29. Welcome home! What a wonderful post! The description of the foodie paradise in West Corn and all the goings on at the market are things that I hope will make it into a book. And interesting about the spelt. I think the cookies look great and I had heard that same thing about when cake mixes were new and too easy! Would love to try Smart Cookie. Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. They all look delicious! But I think the Choca Bloc would go over best in our house. Thanks for the chance to win. zukeeper.geo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  31. I sure did enjoy your posts while you were there. What fun you must have had. I would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity. kayt18(@)comcast(dot)net

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  32. I would like to win Oately Dotely! Maybe my husband would leave those alone. I am loving your Ireland adventures! And I still wonder if that suitcase in your new house has that oil sketch by Van Dyck in it.

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  33. The choca blok sounds great. I love to read you posts and see your pictures from Ireland.
    moonbay7399@gmail.com

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  34. Oately sounds good...the whole prize package is wonderful. Thank you for the chance. Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  35. Love reading your stories about Ireland. Would like to try the Oately Dotely cookies.

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