American Agriculturist Logo

From the Farmhouse Window: Being at home during the pandemic leaves a lot of time to clean up the old fruit cellar.

Carol Ann Gregg

August 7, 2020

3 Min Read
Close up of freshly baked cookies on a cooling rack
FARM COOKIES: Cookies from the farm kitchen are always a hit with grandchildren in the military. Songbird839/Getty Images

When we built our house over 50 years ago, we included a wonderful place called the “fruit cellar.” This room, off to the side of our basement, is under our front porch. It has shelves along two walls made of rough lumber cut from trees on the farm.

For many years the cellar was filled with assorted home-canned fruits and vegetables from our garden or local produce stands. My canning days are long gone, except for some jams for the family to enjoy and display at local fairs.

What was once a larder of food for the winter has deteriorated into a place to put whatever needs a new home. Oh my, what a mess. Freezer containers, some ancient quarts of outdated home-canned goods, picnic and potluck supplies, large trays, foil pans and containers for sharing food with others, the list goes on.

I have been procrastinating for too long. The mess has become overwhelming, but I am determined to tackle it.

In an article I read recently on conquering procrastination, it recommended that instead of putting major items on your to-do list, consider them projects. Look at the project and divide it into 25-minute things that can be added to your to-do list. I plan to give this a try. I will report how it works.

For years I have been a procrastinator. Many stories I have written have ruminated in my head for days, sometimes weeks, before they were put on paper. The fun part of my job is visiting farms and businesses and talking to people. But to share those stories, I need to sit in my desk chair and make that keyboard click. As much as I hate deadlines, I would get nothing done without them.

Shelves of the fruit cellar become a holding place for canned fruit and other items
ORGANIZATION NEEDED: The fruit cellar needs a good cleaning. What was once a place for just canned fruits and vegetables has become a home for just about anything.

With this in mind, I think I will put together a plan to conquer the fruit cellar.

In the fruit cellar is a bag of Pringles cans. They’re used to send cookies to people in the service.

Right now we have a granddaughter in the Navy who is on a ship in the Middle East. We have learned that cookies travel well in these cylinders. When I make a batch of cookies, I fill one of these cans, label it, secure the lid with packing tape and put it in the freezer.

When I have four or five containers in the freezer, I package them up and ship them off. They are a great treat to share with shipmates.

Here is the recipe for the most recent batch:

Oatmeal zucchini chocolate chip cookies (adapted from a Nestle’s online recipe).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • 1 ½ cups flour

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • ¾ cup of white sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1 cup thawed grated zucchini (frozen last summer)

  • 2 cups quick oats

  • ½ a bag of chocolate chips

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. (I use a whisk for this.)

In a large bowl with stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to ensure the butter and sugar are completely incorporated. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the zucchini. Slowly add flour mixture.

Stir in oats and chips.

Using a midsized cookie scoop or a teaspoon, put cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies rest for 2 minutes before removing them from the pan.

These cookies have a chewy texture with chocolate in nearly every bite.

Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women

About the Author(s)

Carol Ann Gregg

Carol Ann Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like