Polka Dots, New Neighbors, and a Thankful Heart

Jesus’ directive is clear:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Mark 12:31 (NLT)

And truth be told, we can add “love your neighbor as Jesus’ loves your neighbor.” Jesus loves all people without consideration of any of the marks we often put on another’s worthiness. My family moved frequently. Many ‘new neighbors’ doled out their judgment of our worthiness (or better said – lack of it) in almost as many ways. But others reached out in kindness. Looking back, I remember the small ways others touched our lives. Those new friends left the biggest imprint on my heart. Mrs. Marge was one of them . . .

9-year-old (at the time) Baker/Chef Emmy (complete with pink chef coat) and the Polka Dot Macaroons.

. . . and the imprint was polka dots!

At the age of five, the first of my family’s sixteen traumatic moves in twelve years took us away from my grandparents who lived next door. Many new next door neighbors would occupy that spot in our lives with each successive move. While none replaced the treasured place at my grandparents’ side, our family gathered other blessings from new friendships.

Our first relocation landed us in a very old home in a very tiny town. It also landed us next-door to Mrs. Marge. Her recipe for Polka-Dot Macaroons became a new family favorite.

During our daughter’s toddler years, these cookies ascended to Godsend status. When red polka-dot patches popped up on her skin with no apparent reason, an elimination diet helped us determine her allergy to wheat. What little child doesn’t love cookies! No flour required, this favorite recipe from my childhood gifted us the perfect solution – at least to the cookie portion of the challenge.

She outgrew the allergy, but Polka-Dot Macaroons remain one of her favorites to this day. Her own daughters love them, too. Our eleven-year-old granddaughter, an aspiring baker/chef, asks to make them often and excitedly shares with her mom. With each batch we bake, I remember that first move and Mrs. Marge with a thankful heart.

 

Polka Dot Macaroon Recipe

1/2 tsp salt 3 cups corn flakes
3 egg whites 1 6-oz package chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla

Add salt to egg whites.
Beat until soft peaks form.
Gradually add sugar.
Beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold in remaining ingredients.
Drop from teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet about 2″ apart.
Bake at 350 degrees 15-18 minutes. (Peaks of the egg white will be gently golden)
Let cool slightly before removing from pan.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

NOTE: Do NOT make these cookies on a rainy day. It simply doesn’t work!

Copyright 2017, 2019, Lynn U. Watson

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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