Christmas Memories with Jim Storbeck

December 18th, 2015
A season to give thanks
An Auburn victory

 

 

Me and my sister, Rhonda, discovering our musical talent. 1964

Initial Outfitters Reward trip to Tucson

 

 

Playing with toys we got for Christmas. 1968

Ribbon cutting day

 

 

Christmas with my parents, Marv and Colleen, and our dog GiGi. 1978

 

 

Alicia and I with our nieces, Ashley and Allie. 1995

 

 

My home in Iowa.

For those of us who grew up in the northern half of the country, Christmas time just doesn’t seem right without a blanket of soft snow on the ground. I grew up in a pretty white house in Cedar Falls, Iowa with my sister Rhonda, Mom, Dad, and Gigi our French poodle. Each year Dad would put out extra bird feeders and corn cobs for the snow birds and squirrels who liked to hang out on our back deck.

With it often being too cold to go outside we would play cards or sing carols. Mom was a gifted pianist, Dad played the banjo, harmonica, and guitar, and I also played the guitar. Rhonda would bring her two little girls who would dance and sing along to the music (One would grow up to be IO’s Marketing Project Manager Ashley!). Then we would pile into the car, find a radio station playing familiar carols, and drive around to see the Christmas lights…and yes we use colored lights in the north which take on a magical appearance when reflecting off the sparkling snow. Dad would drive slow as the roads would be icy. Deer and rabbits would be scurrying all around and us kids would try to be the first to notice.

When we got back inside and out of our cold jackets and boots, Mom would set up a pot of hot tea for the adults and start baking her famous peanut butter chocolate star cookies. I will always claim that these were the first soft, chewy, cookies before soft cookies became mainstream. She would lay out waxed paper on the breakfast table where I’d be sitting and carefully place the hot cookies to cool. Mmmm. To keep us kids occupied and our hands off the cookies she would let us lick the mixing blades. Next, she would quickly mix up cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Cookies and hot chocolate are the real deal folks, no wonder I’m crazy about chocolate. Later in life I won second prize in a baking competition for this recipe. It’s easy but oh so good. Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Star Cookies

1/2 cup margarine (do not melt)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg (beat well)
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda, scant (almost full)
1/2 cup salt, scant (almost full)
1 bag Brach’s chocolate stars

Beat together margarine, p.b., and sugars. Add egg. Mix together flour, backing soda, and salt. Add to mixture with milk and vanilla. Mix well.

Roll in balls (about 1 inch)

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 min. Immediately press a star into the top of each cookie. Let cool before removing from pan.

Initial Outfitters, Inc. 3325 Skyway Drive Auburn, AL 36830