That’s the way the cookie crumbles

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks formulating today’s column in my mind. My intention, you see, was to talk about Progress and how much I had learned about the businesses, organizations and people that make up our county during the process. And how, despite the sheer man-hours and effort involved with the annual endeavor, it was all so well worth it in the end.

Now, to some of you, that might be starting to sound familiar. Since Tyler beat me to the punch and wrote about it on Tuesday.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m hardly broken up about it. In fact, it’s a bit of a relief. Because now I can write about something far more entertaining: Cookies!

Tonight is the Children’s Center’s second annual Night of Cookies and Cream Fundraiser. The event, which will be held at 7 p.m. this evening at the Norwich Fire Station, will raise money for the child care center’s scholarship program.

Martha Brower-Ryan, the mastermind behind this novel fundraiser, has organized a whole slew of family-friendly activities, not to mention copious amounts of milk and cookies for everyone to enjoy. She has also rounded up a host of local celebs to participate in the Celebrity Cookie Auction, which is the centerpiece of the event.

Last year, nearly 50 local celebrities “battered up” for the challenge. When the cookie crumbs had settled, it was Norwich Police Chief Joe Angelino who took top honors for both having the tastiest cookies and raising the most money in the silent auction - thereby winning the coveted Golden Cookie award.

Chief Angelino has bowed out of the competition this year in order to give some of the other local celebs a chance. But there are plenty of others who are stepping up to the challenge - and their cookie sheets - in an effort to help raise money for The Children’s Center’s scholarship fund.

And, as it happens, this Evening Sun reporter is one of them.

I’m hardly up to snuff in terms of celebrity in a field of competitors which includes Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo, Mayor Joe Maiurano, Senator Tom Libous and even Congressman Mike Arcuri. In fact, Martha had to issue the invitation three times before I realized she was genuinely asking me to participate and not just write about the event.

Hmmm. Here I am writing about it. She really is a mastermind. Thankfully, she only uses those powers for good.

I couldn’t say no to her, of course. We all know I’m a sucker for a good cause. Not to mention baked goods. Particularly cookies.

And thanks to my dad, I’m also incredibly competitive. And, having seen and sampled my fair share of last year’s cookies, I knew not just any recipe would do.

I knew right where to turn: Evening Sun Advertising Sales Consultant extroardinaire – and the newsroom’s primary source for delectable baked goods – Pam Jones.

Right before the holidays, Pam treated us to an entire tray of assorted homemade cookies and treats. But I only had eyes for one – the Raspberry Pecan Thumbprints.

The first time I tasted these tasty treats, I swear I heard angels singing on high and a resonance which I believe was the sound of the universe aligning.

I know that might sound like a bit much, but honestly, they are that good. If you are lucky enough to try them, you’ll know instantly why Pam had my vote for Employee of the Year.

It took nearly a month of pleading, badgering, cajoling and, yes, begging to get the recipe. But I get it I did, and those cookies now fill my jar for the cookie showdown.

(I made the jar itself easily recognizable by using a bit of limited edition Evening Sun ribbon manufactured by Chenango County’s very own L.A. Najarian Ribbon Mill in Greene. Which I helped design, thank you very much, during a “Punching the Clock” I did there a little over a year ago. See, Mitch, I told you I’d find the perfect use for it!)

My Raspberry Pecan Thumbprints will be up on the silent auction block tonight at the celeb cookie showdown tonight starting at 7 p.m. at the Norwich Fire Station. I hope you’ll come out and support your favorite Evening Sun reporter and, of course, the Children’s Center.

You bring your checkbook, and we’ll supply the cookies and the milk.

See you tonight!

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