Yesterday was the final morning for our Early Birds bowling league—to celebrate I took three kinds of cookies for the bowlers to enjoy—I knew we would be eating a large lunch at Black Angus after we completed our final three games.
I’ve had months of despairing I would ever get my average back to normal and toyed with not going to the final games. My sister and girlfriend Iona said oh, no, you can’t do that – we’ll be having a good time.
Our league had collected enough money selling 50-50 tickets to pay for our lunches in a restaurant and not the usual in one of the bowling alley’s spare rooms. (you bought tickets in strips of three—tearing off the copies of the numbers to put into a tin; $2.00 got you three strips). We must have sold a lot of 50-50 tickets!
I gave the few remaining cookies to Iona and my sister Susie.
By the time WE reached the restaurant, almost everyone else was already there—our league secretary and another person were compiling the results for the season and the last three games. We entered a special room for parties and I promptly fell over ONE step—Susie and another bowler helped me get back on my feet and sit down on one remaining seat on one side – and Iona and Susie had the two seats opposite.
To get things going, a bowler named Toni had baked giant tall cupcakes with themes, such as red velvet cake. Mine was German chocolate cake topped off with the traditional German chocolate frosting and some walnuts.
We also received something like a shot glass (but larger) with the date and 235 etched on the side; well Susie’s last game was a 235 so that seemed appropriate!
We had filled out menus providing choices of meals a few weeks ago. Wait Staff competently brought out our choices, starting first with salads and non-alcoholic beverages.
Our lunches came out and were distributed.
At some point in time (I honestly don’t remember when) my sister, sitting across from me, pointed out a big basket that was next to me. It was a very large basket with yellow ribbon and a sunflower , and filled – I kid you not –with the largest assortment of butter, eggs, chocolate chips, granulated sugar, brown sugar, walnuts, pecans, even a couple cans of Carnation Evaporated milk and some other things to fill this large basket. I had not paid the slightest attention to that basket next to me. (shades of a surprise party held for me by coworkers at SAG when I turned 60—all these little give-aways that I did not GET then and I didn’t pick up on the basket next to me—maybe spoiling it for a little speech one of the bowlers was going to say. You know what? It didn’t cross my mind that the bowlers at the Early Birds would do something like that; the women who put it together were pointed out to me. Susie & Iona helped me get everything into the car after the party, and I sped as fast as I dared to go, to get home before the butter and chocolate chips could melt.
I spent a couple of hours taking the basket apart and writing down every item inside.
8 or 10 pounds of granulated sugar
2 pounds of good brand name butter
1 pound of walnuts
1 pound of pecan halves
One pound of Hershey’s unsweeted cocoa (always a welcome pantry item!)
3 or 4 bags of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate chips—they are in different sizes and I put them into the garage frig, so I am not sure of the total weight.
Two one lb boxes of dark brown sugar
2 one lb boxes of golden brown sugar
2 cans of Carnation evaporated milk
one can of baking powder (I guess I will let my old can retire now)
One dozen large brown eggs from one bowler who has a farm! (I didn’t know!)
I may be forgetting an item or two; I tried to get items that needed refrigeration into the frig right away; I transferred granulated sugar (almost 10 lbs) and the different brown sugars into Tupperware or glass jars. While I was at it, I transferred a box of Bisquick into a Tupperware container and added a bay leaf to the contents; whenever I buy flour (or any other kind of grain) I put bay leaves inside—you will NOT get any beetles or any other kind of little creepy crawlers if you put bay leaves into the containers. This was a trick we all learned from my mother and I have passed it along to my daughters-In-law and any girlfriends at work who would listen.
Well, that was the surprise of a lifetime – I never in a million years would have guessed these women would do something so kind and thoughtful—you know, I wasn’t baking cookies all year long to get any atta girls out of it; I bake cookies because it’s something I love to do. Ask my family – I am always baking cookies. I also start mixing cookie dough when I am stressed about something.
Everyone who knows me knows this is just something that I do. So, to all of the Early Birds from 2015-2016 at SANDS bowling alley—thank you VERY much. I think my pantry is stocked well for about a year!
–Sandra Lee Smith