Some of My Favorite Words

by David Burman, a resident of St. Columba House


Here are some of my favorite words:


“3 cups quick rolled oats

3 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cup shortening

2/3 – 3/4 cup cold water

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.  Cut in shortening. Add enough water to form a rather stiff, pastry-like dough.  Roll 3/8 ” thick and cut into circles.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a greased baking sheet.”


These words make up the recipe for Nova Scotia Oatcakes, my favorite kind of cookie and in fact the only thing I have managed to bake (so far). I have made them a couple times for my housemates here in Denver.

It is a straightforward recipe – no eggs for example, and no raisins or chocolate chips to put into the cookies – and it makes for a simple cookie.

But for a simple cookie it has many different uses. I like to eat them on their own (I tend to like plain food, and the basic taste of the sweet, oat-filled cookies is delectable to me), but I know of others who like to put stuff on top of them – jam for instance, or chocolate.

It is a reminder that the same thing – the same experience – can be enjoyed in different ways by different people – but they can still be enjoyed at the same time. I dislike the taste of jam (controversial I know), but I can have a blast eating plain Nova Scotia Oatcakes while enjoying the company of those who eat oatcakes with jam.

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