If I’d put together a line-up of the local Picky Eater Suspects from the Official Picky Eaters Registry, you wouldn’t finger this fellow. You’d pick someone else, like the smaller one there with the cookie breath. Or the medium-sized kid with the chips in his hand. Or that bigger one here hanging half out of the pantry.
You’d guess them, not their dad. And you’d not guess desserts.
I learned it right quick, how there were two kinds. There was chocolate (that’s one), and there was not-chocolate (that’s two). The first kind was great, and the second was – well, a waste of carbohydrates.
The Schrocks, they bled brown. Hershey brown, see, and I learned that fast, too, when we fell in love.
It’s funny. He can waltz right by a fresh strawberry pie. He can lark past a bowl of Schrock Jell-O. But give him a brownie or a big fudge kablooie, and he’s suddenly a happier fellow.
An endearing story that I heard soon after we started dating was the way he found his favorite pastry. When he was a little boy, his mother introduced a new recipe one day. “Try it,” she said to her finicky, five-year-old boy.
“No way!” he said, and he ran. All the way into the other room where he tucked himself in beneath the sewing machine to hide. And that’s where she handed him a square of bliss.
He was hooked. Now, at every birthday, he asks for Oatmeal Carmalitas .
I should have learned my lesson. I should not have allowed his children to take the first bite. For now, when I’m making Papa’s pan on his birthday, they line up, hands out, smiles wide, and so I double the recipe right up.(But seriously. If you don’t love real butter, oatmeal, caramel sauce, and chocolate chips, are you even alive? I’m not sure.)
Here’s the magic formula for happiness. I’m feeling magnanimous, and I want to share it.
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. quick-cook oats
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. salt
6 oz. chocolate chips
3/4 c. caramel ice cream topping
3 T. flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cup of flour, soda, oats, brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Press half of crumb mixture into 9×9 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir 3 T. flour into caramel topping. After bottom layer cools a bit, sprinkle chocolate chips over it and cover with caramel topping. Finally, top with remaining oatmeal mixture. You will need to crumble it into small pieces and spread them around. Bake again for at least 15 minutes or until middle seems set.
Lastly, thank God that you’re alive and eating the kind of manna for which the Israelites could only have hoped.
(P.S. – This pairs nicely with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee to balance the rich flavors.)