OH PLEASE TAKE ME FISHING!
by Jack Prelutsky
“Oh please take me fishing, oh please, pretty please,”
insisted my sister the pest.
She drives me bananas when she’s at her worst,
she bugs me when she’s at her best.
She wouldn’t give up, so I’ve got her along,
but I’ve not decided her fate.
Maybe I’ll patiently teach her to fish –
maybe I’ll use her for bait!
~ from A Pizza the Size of the Sun (Greenwillow Books, 1996).
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Unlike the sister in Prelutsky’s poem, I was never a pest (*cough*), but the narrator sounds very familiar.
While my brother and Dad went fishing, I stayed home and played with my Ruthy doll and read Madeline’s Rescue. When it was time to take a picture of the day’s catch, I was only too happy to oblige. Even though I didn’t go fishing, this is still my favorite childhood picture. It hangs in our den and makes me very happy.
Newton and I spent a lot of time together growing up because we were latchkey kids. During the summer we rode our bicycles all over, bought fuzzy chicks at the carnival, tried to sell the macadamia nuts from my grandma’s tree, played marbles and ate hamburgers at Dairy Queen.
Even though he could be the “bossy older brother” sometimes, and once even cut the hair off my Betsy McCall doll , somewhere along the line I earned his respect with my baking.
Yes, my brother likes me for my cookies.
Not just any cookies, but my Walnut Refrigerator Cookies. He can pass on most of my other specialties: Date Bars, Brownies, Midnight Chocolate Cake, Russian Tea Cakes — but he’s totally fixated on my Refrigerator Cookies.
When I still lived in Hawai’i, I would bake them for him quite often. And once I left, he missed me a little, but missed those cookies more. A couple times I sent them to him in Christmas tins and once hand-carried a batch on a plane to Honolulu.
This week, for the first time in seven years, Newton and his family are visiting us here in Virginia. Months ago, my niece Julia told me how excited they were about their trip, and that her father was talking about Aunty Jama’s cookies. Apparently his trip wouldn’t be complete without them.
You can see I had my work cut out for me, but I hadn’t baked those cookies in seven years. It didn’t seem right, somehow, to bake them for just anyone, who probably wouldn’t appreciate them as much as Newton does. In his mind, they’ve reach some kind of iconic cookie cult status. Oh, the pressure!
So yes, dear reader, I made a batch. Perhaps Newton should write a poem called, “Oh Please Bake Me Cookies!” Butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and walnuts are my bait. I’m not a pest, but now I’ve got him hook, line and sinker. He’s under my roof and eating out of my hand. Have cookie, will travel.
WALNUT REFRIGERATOR COOKIES
makes a lot
3 blocks butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, beat well. Add vanilla, then stir in dry ingredients which have been sifted together. Add nuts and mix well.
Form 3 logs, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate overnight. Slice and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until brown.
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The lovely Violet Nesdoly is hosting today’s Roundup. Click on through and check out the full menu of tasty poems and reviews being served up in the blogosphere this week.
Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.