Cookies and Angels

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My favorite view in Colorado can be seen through our North-facing upstairs bathroom window. In the morning, when it has snowed overnight, I sit on the counter and press my left cheek against the cold pane to watch the colors change to the East as the sun rises over white roofs and lawns. Snow, I have discovered recently, has the same sort of reverent, sweeping effect on my spirit that the ocean once had. It is snowing now as I write this from the bathroom and if I’m lucky it will stick through the morning. Shaun is on a work trip  for a few days and seeing that I have the day off tomorrow, and to myself, I will make a pilgrammage to the park and make snow angels again along the running path for the walkers and runners and lovers. They are strangers whose lives I will never know yet somehow always know. For the beautiful, radiant young souls who were taken from this earthplane too soon, I will lay my head back in the snow, next to my angels, your sweet too young angels, and look to the sky to say thank-you a million times for my full and undeserving life. I will blow out my candles for each of you next week with tears in my eyes for every painful, awkward, surprising, perfect moment I have been given and you have been robbed.

“I closed the box and put it in a closet.
There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.”
― Joan Didion, Where I Was From

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Persimmon Oatmeal Cookies

From Margie, the mother of my childhood friend, Kelly, who grew persimmons and made the most marvelous and memorable cookies. Thank you, Margie, for graciously sharing this recipe with me and the world. Adapted from “Use and Enjoy the California Persimmon” University of California Cooperative Extension, El Dorado County.

1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar
½ Teaspoon Baking soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
¾ Teaspoon Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Cloves
¾ cup butter
1 Egg
1 Cup Hachiya Persimmon chunks
1 ¾ cup Rolled Oats
½ cup chopped pecans

Sift together flour, sugar, soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon into mixing bowl.  Cut in butter.  Add egg, persimmon pulp, rolled oats, and nuts.  Beat until thoroughly blended.Drop by teaspoonfuls, about 1 ½ inches apart on ungreased cookie pans.  Bake in a moderately hot oven (350F) about 15 minutes.

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  1. Sue/Theviewfromgreatisland

    I love your step by step photos, I feel like I almost don’t need the written recipe! The persimmons look so brilliantly colored and juicy.


  2. Marit

    I will think of your snow angels tomorrow as I light a candle. Beautiful post, thank you.


  3. Kathryn

    Beautiful words Kelsey, thank you.


  4. ana cooks

    i absolutely love love love these shots!


  5. Jennifer

    I walked to my closet, opened the door, and stared at a small stack of boxes, thinking, “Joan is right.”

    Lovely post.


  6. patti

    Leaving angels in the snow for others to know we are not alone in this world is a comforting gift. The sweet innocent lives taken too soon are reminders of the significance and appreciation for the life we have been given. Adding a tribute to Margie is very touching, another gift to the spirit of anther. Thank you Kelsey Hayes for being such a beautiful angel in my life! ~ mom


  7. Juliana Britto

    As usual, this is so beautiful. Thanks for giving me a moment of peace and contemplation this morning.


  8. Nicola Galloway

    Thank-you Kelsey for the beautiful words. And the cookie recipe I will try with cherries instead as persimmons are on the other side of the world for us. Enjoy the snow :)


  9. Kiele Gregoire

    beautiful words, inspiring recipe. really lovely post.


  10. Sarah

    Your photos are truly uplifting to me. There is no snow here is Australia, but reading this post has brought the same joy to my heart. Gorgeous.


  11. Laurie

    I love the picture you painted of snow like water and the effect on your soul. Beautiful reminder sometimes the appropriate action is gratitude, snow angels and remembrance. Thanks for the touching words.


  12. Elise @ Buttercream & Roses

    I’ve never tried a cookie recipe with Persimmon. Looking forward to trying this recipe!


  13. sara

    beautiful words. beautiful heart. always. i love that joan didion quote.


  14. Heather

    Beautiful. Thank for bringing by anxious, stressed mind back to Earth. The possibility of having snow (and of course seeing family) while traveling this holiday season is keeping me going. Perhaps I’ll splurge on a persimmon to bake these as an extra treat.



  15. sandra

    what a great idea. two things I absolutely love – oatmeal and persimmons.


  16. Courtney

    lovely and kind words, as always. hoping to make these beautiful cookies as soon I can find some persimmons.


  17. Heather

    My friend just had an interview in Denver. She spent a few weeks there, and explained to me that it is pretty much sunny all year round. For a second, I thought about moving to Boulder, because I love the mountains, and it can get so depressing here in Seattle with all the overcast days. This brilliant Colorado sun explains why your pictures are always so bright and warm – even in the winter months (so jealous). Also, beautiful post and recipe.


  18. Kait @ yogabeautylife

    Your wisdom, prose, and photos never cease to amaze me. Of all the posts honoring the victims of Friday, this one touched me the most deeply. Thank you.


  19. Ashley

    Gosh. These photos. This recipe. I don’t even know where to start! I just can’t get over some of the photos in this post. And, I had no idea you were in Colorado! We’re in Ft. Collins. :)


  20. buckwheattobutter

    Beautiful photos and lovely sentiment. Thank you.


  21. elenore

    I will be there making snow angels with you. The most important thing we can do at this point.


  22. Catherine

    These look fabulous. Love persimmons!


  23. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    My heart aches every time I think about what those children are going to miss out on. How very very sad. To honor them, I believe the least we can do is enjoy every moment we can… to have as many happy moments as possible.


  24. la domestique

    Beautiful, Kelsey.


  25. Jacqui

    Snow angels + cookies are two of my many favorite things. Another beautiful post, lovely lady.


  26. kelly

    I love you!


  27. sarah

    This is just gorgeous. Also, there is something so comforting in all your photos – so much movement, your hands weaving other stories. They speak life and beauty. There is so much light here.


  28. Laura

    I am glad that you have the snow to give you life and keep you in stillness. I feel like I can see you out in its loveliness, and it makes me smile. xo


  29. Alicia @ Treble Tart

    What a beautifully sad post, Kelsey. I have been wandering lately, in search of the right words for how I’ve been feeling, but I feel like you’ve brought me home. You have inspired me to let your powerful words and my corresponding emotions out into a creative space. So thank you for that, and for being so raw. You are beautiful.


  30. Kathryne

    This is lovely, Kelsey.


  31. Sharmila

    The photos and your words are poignant and haunting. Wishing you warmth this season. You are a very beautiful, deserving soul.


  32. Sarah B.

    every. single. photo. is taking my breath away. most thoughtful words and prettiest photos, always. you guys are awesome, wishing you both a beautiful new year. xo.


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  34. Christine

    Your writing is the most beautiful I have read thus far about the tragedy. I love your photos and the recipe looks awesome.


  35. lyn

    There is a new magazine here in the UK called The Simple Things – all about the simple food, friends and things to do that, usually, don’t cost a lot. It’s about spending your time simply and wisely and appreciating what you have. You have just summed up all that in your post. Well done you! Appreciate every minute that you have – not always easy to do but good to be reminded.


  36. Meg

    Gosh these look so good.


  37. Rachel

    These look amazing and they are so unique. I would have never imagined putting persimmons in cookies!


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  39. Heide M

    Wish I had one of these cookies. Thanks for posting this recipe.


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