A three year, ten month old mind develops blurry memories.  My memories of 1982 BS are nothing by sunshine and rainbows. My memories of 1982 AS are a bit different.

On October 21, 1982, I listened to my mom tell me the plans we had to make cookies that afternoon were off.  The next thing I remember is going to the hospital to visit Mom and her new daughter my sister.

1982 Before Sister: sunshine and rainbows.  1982 After Sister: not so much. (Shame on all of you who thought BS stood for something naughty.  Let this be a lesson that I’m not above resorting to gimmicks to get you to read.)

The first time I met her, I brought my sister a stuffed frog that Mom helped me pick out.  It had a squeaker inside it, and I squeezed that frog with all my might, but it refused to squeak!  That mute frog frustrated me enough to create a memory I can still readily recall.

I think it’s safe to say not all days were sunshine and rainbows for my sister when I was around. As we grew, our parents bought us matching toy chests.  My sister and I would play store by placing the items we wanted to “sell” across the tops of our toy chests.  If she didn’t want to buy anything from my “store”, I would make her sit in a toy chest. With the lid closed. And then I would sit on the lid.

Poor Laura. It couldn’t have been easy being a younger sister with only a nut like me to play store with.

The summer she was 10 and I was 14, I had knee surgery.  We were both home from school, and she took care of me while Mom and Dad were at work.  Since I couldn’t move about all that well, she gave me a bell to ring in case I needed something. When she left the room, I would listen to her climb to the top of the stairs, and then I would ring the bell “to make sure it worked.”

It got to the point where our parents made me live above the garage to keep from picking on her.

I’m kidding.  My bedroom was located above the garage, but the garage was attached to the rest of the house, and the room finished like any other. The lack of a heated room below and the wind blowing from the west into the outer wall created a very cool room in the winter.  The temperature required I keep more blankets than average on my bed.

As I crawled into bed one night, my sister jumped out from within the pile of blankets. I don’t know that I ever fully recovered from the shock.

She paid me back in similar fashion, i.e.) scaring me half to death, many times. I startle easily, but she can surprise me to the point I scream. I’m not a dramatic person, but a scream comes out of me like a reflex when she startles me.

I had to be reminded of the specific type of cookie, pumpkin cut-outs, Mom and I were supposed to make on the day my sister joined us. Though I have a pumpkin cookie cutter, I opted to make the best pumpkin cookies in the world for a post in honor of the best sister in the world.  (If you like the pumpkin seen in the photos, my sister Laura sells them here.)

My sister gave me the recipe for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies a few years ago after her mother-in-law shared the recipe with her. They are incredibly easy to make and taste delicious with or without the frosting pictured here.  If you want to make a pumpkin cookie, please make these.  I make them a few times each fall, and I am always so pleased when I do.

Have a great weekend everyone, and Happy Birthday Laura!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 - 12 ounce bag chocolate chips
  • Frosting
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed.
  3. Mix in the pumpkin and egg.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and continue to mix until well combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto greased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes.
  8. Frost when cool if desired. To make the frosting, cream the butter and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Add the milk and vanilla and beat at high speed two to three minutes until the frosting is light and smooth.
Optional spices to add to the batter include ½ teaspoon ginger or ¼ teaspoon clove and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. I have also baked the cookies with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon and achieved equally delicious results.

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