“I didn’t go to high school. I think that after you learn to read and write and do your numbers and flush the toilet behind yourself, you don’t need no more schoolin’. You need to get out in the water and swim.” ~ Wilford Brimley
Around this time last year, I was coerced into attending what is known as the ‘Cat Fanciers’ show. Look, I’m not really into felines and I’m allergic. However, I have quite a few pussycat-lovin’ friends who wanted my valuable input and photo documentation for this event and thus, I had to hit the Zyrtec pretty hard and go. I was certain these ‘Fanciers’ were going to provide me with hours of comedy gold. So we pre-gamed by spiking Dunkin’ Donuts brew with some fancy orange-coffee flavored liqueur (a tasty souvenir from here) and made our way over. One of my friends had mentioned something about Wilford Brimley cats prior to the event. I had never heard of this comparison and had to look it up online. I mean, I could see Wilford as a walrus or as Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, but as cat? Crazy talk!
My first memory of Wilford Brimley was actually playing Gus Witherspoon in a television show called Our House. It also starred some old-school tabloid and soap-rag favorites: Deidre Hall, Shannen Doherty and Chad Allen. But who are we kidding? Wilford Brimley’s most famous role was as an advertising spokesperson for Quaker Oats and contrary to popular belief, this was not the ad where he mispronounced the condition, diabetes, as “Diabeeeetusss.” That famous tidbit was actually on an ad for Liberty Medical. I’m willing to bet that if Wilford had gone to high school, that little gem would never have escaped his lips. The Quaker Oats ads usually finished with something along the lines of, “It’s the right thing to do.”
I hadn’t bought real Quaker Oats in a couple of years so I’m sure you can imagine my surprise today when I discovered that they have changed the cookie recipe on the underside of the lid by reducing the butter and sugar content. Thankfully, I’m a bit of a recipe-hoarder. Come on, Quaker Oats! This is my go-to staple for “bring-a-dish-to-pass” events where the standard go-to bottle of wine may not be acceptable. This recipe is the basis for all things delightful – you can throw just about anything into these cookies. I don’t think that Wilford Brimley would think this change was, “the right thing to do” at all. In fact, I think he would say something along the lines of, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Lady Sensory’s Don’t You Go Blamin’ Your Diabeeeetusss On Me Oatmeal Cookie Bars:
(adapted from the Original Quaker Oats Cookie Recipe and made into bars)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups quick or old-fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
Recipe calls for 1 cup of raisins but here are some optional add-ins (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups, total) that I have used:
white chocolate chips
nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts)
This list could really go on and on.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy, then add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt), then add into the mixture. Follow with rolled oats, then add the optional add-in of your choice (I did chocolate chips and dried cherries). Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment and bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown OR press the mixture into an ungreased 13″ x 9″ baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean). You can divide the recipe in half and put it in an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan as well. These freeze nicely and you can warm them up in the microwave and enjoy them at a later date. I recommend using the above recipe and not skimping on the butter and sugar. I think the Wilford Brimley cat from the Fanciers’ show sums it up beautifully below.