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The cookie jar

Rick Ryckeley's picture

The rewards were too great to worry about a couple of broken bones. The prize: Mom’s red and white cookie jar filled with the greatest chocolate chips cookies on the entire planet, still warm from Saturday morning baking.
Every kid who lived on our street knew the best chocolate chip cookies came from 110 Flamingo Street.
Unfortunately, high atop the kitchen cabinet the cookie jar, and its delectable contents, remained just out of reach from any one of us.

That’s how I found myself in the kitchen that Saturday morning standing atop Older Brother Richard’s shoulders.
Now, some would say it was a recipe for disaster. Others would say it was just irresponsible. If asked, any one of us would say it was to fulfill a noble quest to attain those chocolate chips cookies.

Cookies weren’t a complete meal. Even at 6 years old, I knew that. You needed a tall glass of milk to wash it all down. Lucky for us the milkman delivered every Saturday morning.
Yep, way back in the day, milk was delivered straight to our door and left on the front porch. It came in glass bottles, no less, and had thick cardboard peel-off lids. A quart of milk, along with a fist-full of cookies, could replace any meal.

Mom always told us all eating cookies could ruin our dinner. It being morning, Richard and Older Brother James were certain we could eat the entire jar and still be hungry come dinnertime. Twin Brother Mark thought so too.
Me? I thought having Richard jump up and down while I still stood on his shoulders really wasn’t the smartest way to reach the cookie jar. I did reach it; it just wasn’t the smartest way.

And I was right because Richard, the red and white cookie jar, and me all went tumbling to the kitchen floor.
Gone are the days of home delivery of milk by the milkman. Gone are the days of fresh cookies baked at 110 Flamingo Street. Around our house now both have been replaced.
Milk comes from the grocery store. The best chocolate chips cookies come from The Wife due to having writer’s block. Yep, seems she’s working on her doctoral dissertation and fortunately got stuck.

To motivate her creative writing ability, she started baking. After baking all morning, she then started writing, leaving said cookies in a clear plastic cookie jar on the kitchen counter.
Enter one hungry husband. The question: can the same person eat two dozen chocolate chip chip cookies in less than two days?
The answer: yes, as long as said person doesn’t run out of milk. That’s how one cookie remained behind in the jar.

The Wife finished writing for the weekend just as I finished the next to last cookie. She walked into the kitchen just as I grabbed my keys and was walking towards the garage. She asked where I was going.
I replied over my shoulder, “Just going for some milk. Seems there’s some unfinished business with a cookie.”
When the jar fell, so did I. With a loud crash, broken pieces were scattered all over the floor. Not me.
I was fine landing on top of Richard, but to our surprise the cookie jar was completely empty. Except for a hand-written note from Dad, “Got here first. All y’all go outside and rake leaves.”

Things learned: First, a see-through cookie jar full of chocolate chip cookies is even harder to resist than a red and white one placed high atop kitchen cabinets.
Second, Mom was wrong so many years ago. She told us eating cookies would ruin our dinner. As an adult I’ve found eating cookies will indeed not ruin your dinner.

So long as cookies ARE dinner, everything will be fine. And, of course, you don’t run out of milk.
[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, served as a firefighter for more than two decades and has been a weekly columnist since 2001. His email is His books are available at]

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