a Women Writer's' Showcase
Mud Cookies
by Patricia Giedd

       Living on a small farm in Montana in the early 50’s was a joy of warm summer days, family time and the multitude of adventures my sister and I enjoyed as we explored the outdoors. Sue and I were great copycats.  We liked to watch what our mother did as she worked at home and then we would go outside and “play house”. One summer day will be forever in my mind.

       Sue and I had been playing outside when we discovered an old hubcap by the garage. It looked like a mixing bowl, which gave us the idea we should bake cookies “just like Mom”. First we scampered around the barnyard looking for the ingredients we would need. A quick trip to the henhouse yielded a couple of fresh eggs. We found a rock we could pound on the salt block set out for the milk cows. We chipped a handful of salt and thought it should be about the right amount for a batch of cookies. Our idea of flour was some warm, powdery black dirt we found by the pigpen where the chickens always scratched around and dusted themselves. Willow sticks became our mixing spoons and we dipped an old can in the horse trough to get some water to mix everything together. We carried all our treasures back to the yard around the house and spread everything on the grass and began making our cookies.

         Being very sanitary, we carefully washed our hubcap so it would be clean for the “cookie dough”. We put in some dirt, a handful of salt, and the eggs. After much discussion, we carefully crushed up the egg shells and threw those into the mix. Since the dough looked a little dry it was time for the water from the horse trough. After we used our willow stick spoons, we added a little more dirt and a little more water until we had the PERFECT mix and our dough looked ready to bake.

          The cement stairs going to the front door proved to be the perfect oven and we carefully made little round splats of “dough” on the steps. The muddy blobs “cooking” on the steps soon turned hard in the hot summer sun but not before Sue and I found some pretty yellow dandelions to stick into the “dough” for decorations. We took them “out of the oven” and put them on the fancy dishes we had made out of leaves. Our cookies were baked and “cooling” on the dishes.  There was only one thing left to do. We were utterly dismayed to find out they just didn’t TASTE like Mom’s!

I'm a mother of 4 grown sons, grandmother of 2, and an educator with over 30 years of teaching and a master's Degree in Ed.  I've always read anything I could get my hands on (including cereal boxes) and have shared that desire with over 2 generations of family and students. My love of the printed word has inspired me to share my ideas with others through stories. I'd love to hear from you.

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