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Adopt a Marine

October 2, 2008

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I have a vested interest in the Armed Services of America (you know, since I’m a very proud Air Force wife.)  A few months ago, Susan founded an incredible mission: Operation Baking GALS (Give A Little Support).  Operation Baking GALS has about 10 hosts each month, each with their own deployed service-member.  Bakers across the country sign up to support one of the hosts (goal is to have 25 bakers per host), then each baker sends a box of homebaked goodies to the soldier serving over seas each month (that’s 250 boxes going to our troops!).  Of course, there are several soldiers to choose from.  If someone would like to participate but can’t make a decision… Susan would be more than happy to assign a soldier. 

The idea is to shower a single soldier with homebaked love and remind them that they are supported and thought of back home.  I was thrilled when I read about this effort to support our troops because it’s such a wonderful thing that everyone can participate in. 

I adopted a Marine because The Dad and The Brother (who I will be hosting on OBG in the next months) are Marines, so I hold a special soft spot in my heart for the barking men.  The Air Force just doesn’t hold a candle to the Marine Corps in terms of motivational bark… or, if I’m being honest, the uniforms.  Seriously Air Force… GET A CLUE!  Our men look like bus drivers! 

Growing up a Marine daughter, I learned to spot a Marine faster than anything else.  Surround me with men from every branch of the military and I’ll point out the Marine in .02 seconds.  There’s just something about them that makes me feel comfortable.

Our Marine this month is LCpl. Nicholas Harris currently serving at Forward Base Bala Baluk in western Afghanistan.  He’s an infantryman, which means he’s probably a very tired Marine.  Thank you for your service Nick!  I’m so proud of our troops.  

Coming to Forward Base Bala Baluk in the Cat Box (haha) is the following:
Gatorade packets to pour into water bottles
Lays Stacks
Beef Jerky
Hot Cocoa packets
Microwave popcorn
and of course, Homemade Cookies

I had to dismantle the boxes of popcorn, cocoa and beef jerky because I couldn’t cram it all in the box, but it’ll get there.  I’m confident of that. A few months ago, I wrote an editorial of sorts on how to package cookies to be shipped overseas.  Finally I’m showing how it’s done!

Cat’s Peanut Butter and More Peanut Butter Cookies
A Cat’s Original Concoction

1 c butter, at room temperature
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla 
3 c flour
2 packages Reeces peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until smooth, about 1 minute. Add soda, powder, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla.  Mix ingredients until smooth and well blended.  Scrape down sides of the bowl and beaters, at low speed, gradually add flour until well combined.  Stir in peanut butter chips.

Drop dough on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes (my various ovens don’t let me give you a really good time on this… but in the new house it’s 10 minutes on the dot.)  Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

To package cookies for your man serving our great nation:
I use “Large Ziplock Rectangle” storage containers.

Line the bottom of the storage container with a couple of folded paper towels.  Under the nearest fold, place a couple apple peels.  

Line the container with a single layer of cookies.  

Add another folded paper towel, repeat with the cookies until  you get to the top.  

Once you get to the top, take another couple paper towels and add apple peel in the fold closest to the cookies.  Seal with tape and you’re ready to go!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2008 20:28

    Just out of curiosity, if it takes 6-8 weeks for them to get the cookies, will the apple peel mold by then? Has anyone tried that long? I ask because all my husband’s unit’s mail is being held in Fallujah as they are embedded with the Iraqi army. They are not sure when they will be able to get it next. I’d like to send him something, but worried about it drying out or molding. Any thoughts? Feel free to email me if anyone has any suggestions.

  2. Ted and Kristin permalink
    October 3, 2008 06:46

    cookies tend to last a very long time when being mailed … i’m not sure about the apple peel actually… that’s a cool idea cat! i do know cookies hold up well. i’ve mailed them time and time to a-stan myself.

  3. October 3, 2008 14:01

    This is my third month to participate and I’ve taken your advice to heart. I’ve felt a little foolish with my one apple each month, but my hope is that it will keep those cookies fresh. Your cookies look yummy.

  4. October 3, 2008 21:06

    Hopefully I did everything right when I sent my box out. I did the apple peel but wondered if I used enough. Your cookies look delicious and I am sure everyone will love the lay stacks. The problem with them is you can’t just eat one of them!

  5. October 3, 2008 21:35

    Thanks for the tip on packing up the cookies. I’m sure they will be a hit. I’m looking forward to my chance to mail to your bro!

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