Food blogs are more than a collection of recipes. In their unique, individual style, each blogger allows us a little peek into their lives, homes and thoughts. They share with us the excitement of the special days and the mundaneness of every day. They tell us about the joy of their happy times and their anguish during the hard times. They take us along with them on their travels, from a journey back to their roots to some of the most beautiful places in the world. They reveal what is occupying their thoughts from the philosophical and sublime to the humdrum and banal. As a reader, you smile, discover, empathise, identify and move on.
And then you come across someone whose story stays with you. Their life is about channelling their toughest adversity for a greater cause. Of a personal loss that has inspired a lifelong mission. Today's post is about one such couple.
Sometime last year, Dorie Greenspan wrote about the launch of a book on bake-sale recipes by Gretchen Witt. It led me to their website and to the inspirational work they do. In 2007, Gretchen and Larry Witt's two-year old son, Liam was diagnosed with Stage-4 Cancer. As they grappled with their son's illness, they discovered that one of the main reasons why children with cancer do not survive is because of lack of funding for research into effective therapies for them. So, during the holiday season in 2007, Gretchen along with 250 volunteers organised a larger-than-life bake sale with the goal of baking 96,000 cookies. That event raised US$ 400,000 for paediatric cancer research.
Inspired by the success of that bake sale, the Witts founded 'Cookies for Kids' Cancer' in 2008. Sadly, Liam lost his battle to cancer in 2011. However, his parents remain committed to continue their work, to raise funds for research and support through bake sales. Drop by the website to learn more about them and their work. It is also full of information on how to organise a bake sale.
While browsing through their website, I came upon the recipe section that has a little collection of cookie recipes that one could use for a bake sale. That was when I decided I would try one of their recipes as a way to introduce you to the Witts and their work.
I zeroed in on the white chocolate and dried cranberries cookies. For the past month, this 'trendy' combination of white chocolate and cranberries has caught my attention from almost every second blog I've visited.
The recipe is as straightforward as any cookie recipe. Being a bake sale recipe ensures that it is easy to follow and the results will be a crowd-pleaser. The tart, dried cranberries provide a beautiful counter-balance to the sweetness of the white chocolate, something my palate really appreciated.
What I enjoyed most about these buttery, slightly crumbly cookies is the abundance of the white chocolate and cranberries in each cookie. This is not one of those cookies where you have to go searching for the chocolate chips or the cranberries. Much to your delight, you will encounter them generously with each bite. If anything, I should have made them smaller. Mine turned out slightly on the jumbo side. Not that anyone complained!!
These cookies are a welcome change to the regular chocolate-chip cookies and warrant that you give them a shot. But more than that, drop by the website of 'Cookies for Kids' Cancer' and be inspired. As for me, a bake sale just got on my list of things 'to do'!!