The story of my birth in 1978 actually starts around 1976, when Dena was 11 or so. She decided that she wanted a baby sister. She hounded Mama constantly and Mama responded with a resounding NO. So Dena went to some church revival where the preacher said if you really wanted something, you had to pray for it. Dena started praying and praying and praying. She started saving Mama’s S&H green stamps and trading them for baby blankets, bottles, and diapers. She made like a little altar of sorts (bizarre I know) of baby stuff and prayed every day that Mama would produce a baby sister. This went on for a couple of years, and I wasn’t there of course but I can only guess how thrilled Mama was with Dena’s new found zealotry.
Then in the fall of ‘77, Mama had knee surgery. I have no idea what it’s like but I know it’s hard to recover from even these days, and I am sure knee surgery was less than fun to deal with way back then. Several months into her recovery, her doctor decided he needed to X-ray her and see how she was progressing, but in order to do that, he needed to make sure she wasn’t carrying a bun in the oven. One thwarted X-ray later, Mama was told that she was in fact, having a 4th baby. Needless to say this took EVERYBODY in our family by surprise. My parents had kids that were 9, 11, and 13 by the time I came along, and they totally thought they were done with kids until I popped up.
Mama was actually about half way through being pregnant when she found out I was hiding in there, so clearly they were fairly unprepared for my arrival. The day I was born, Dena was waiting anxiously in the waiting area and our brothers, Scott and Chad were running amok on the hospital elevators. Finally, I was wheeled into the waiting area in my little bassinet for the world to see. Being unready for me get there, Mama and Daddy had apparently forgotten one slightly major detail………………….a name. Upon trying to take me from the hospital, one of the nurses told Daddy that I had to stay there until I had a name on the birth certificate. Daddy instructed her to “hide and watch me take her out of her.” And with that I was taken home, with the legal name Baby Girl Langdon. (They fixed it a year later)
And now here I am 32 years later, telling your this story and sharing one of my favorite recipes with you. My favorite cake for my birthday is yellow cake. NOT yellow cake from a bakery, but cake right out of the box. I have no idea why, but I love it. The only way I could love it more, is by making it into a delicious cookie! All you need is a box of yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, and a half a cup of oil. I use canola but vegetable oil would work just fine. Go through the dry cake mix and fork out any lumps, then hand mix the oil and eggs in. If you use a mixer, the cookies will be way tough. Then, mix in about half a package of chocolate chips. I personally prefer Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips (I never did understand the point of a semi-sweet chip), but you can use whatever brand you prefer. Once it’s mixed, stick it in the fridge for about 20 minutes, because the cookies will bake better from chilled dough. Spoon them out about a tablespoon at a time, roll them into balls and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, more or less depending on your oven. It usually makes about 2 dozen cookies. As a side note, you can do this with any flavor of cake mix, and you can add anything you want into the dough, or frost them once they’re baked. It’s pretty much the easiest cookies ever.
the finished product
Enjoy a batch, and feel free to do as I do and tell people the recipe to these is so complicated you can’t possibly remember it off the top of your head