You Are What I Bake For You: John, My Younger Brother

I’ll start out by saying that John is one hellava guy. I’m 5 years older than him, so I was was still pretty self-consumed throughout the first few years of his life. But, when he was just the cutest toddler you’d ever seen, all of us older siblings (he is the youngest) would ask each other, “Can you imagine John in middle school? What about in college?” We thought it was impossible for him to ever get old. Who knew he’d turn out like this?

Me and John

Or this?

Biking on Coastal Trail in Anchorage

John marches to the beat of his own drum–for the better. He studied philosophy in college, then forging a career, turned around to pursue a journalism/PR degree. He’s pretty much the only person I know who has such good persuasion skills that he actually got paid to write reviews of his campus’s public bathrooms for his college’s newspaper–he was the self-proclaimed “Latrine Dean.” (And, he did an upstanding job at it, too, even getting a female counterpart to check out the ladies room. How’s that for equality?)

He has a cat. He plays the guitar and piano. He’s even laid down a few tracks. He rides his bike to work in the summer because he can and it extends the life of his car that’s loaded with metaphors. He’ll take you up a mountain and when you fall, he’ll only laugh once he sees you’re not hurt that bad. He does things like grow his hair out for a whole year, despite the fact that at one point, from the back, he began to be mistaken for our mom.

John’s Inner Dessert is No Bake Cookies. There’s something undeniably wholesome about John (thus the oatmeal). Yet, there is a bit of undeniable quirkiness to him (thus the fact that you don’t bake these cookies). Plus, John once told me that my No Bakes were better than a particular sister’s. Ha!

No Bake Cookies

No Bake Cookies (Doesn’t everyone have this recipe? This particular one is from my brain because I committed it to memory by making these almost every single day during a summer or two as a kid.)

2 cups sugar

1 stick butter/margarine

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup (or whatever looks good) peanut butter

3 cups (or however dry/moist you want them to be) oatmeal

Put the sugar, butter, cocoa and milk into a saucepan.

First few ingredients in pan.

Stir it up a bit, then turn on the heat to medium. Stir regularly until the butter is melted and the mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Splash in the vanilla. Scoop in the peanut butter. Give it a swirl or two.

I always eyeball my peanut butter. Why dirty up a measuring cup?

Pour in the oatmeal and stir it up. Cover a counter with plastic wrap. Spoon the “dough” onto the plastic wrap and let set. Or, if you’re like me and my siblings, “even out” the cookies by eating some of the hot gooey concoction.

It’s no fun waiting for them to cool.

Happy Birthday, Johnny!

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