Family Recipe

Gemma Koontz

Jan Koontz

Mendon, UT

January 28, 2014



Chocolate Chip Cookies






Jan Koontz is a forty-nine year old woman. She grew up in Sunset, Utah and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is the mother of three daughters and the proud wife of an Air Force Colonel. She lives in Mendon, Utah where she enjoys quilting, crafting in general, and playing with her young grandson. Jan is my mother.



The recipe is kept in the front of Mom’s go-to recipe book as it is used frequently. Previously it was left out, put as it is a single sheet of paper it was very easy to lose, making for sad children. Mom pulled it out recently to make cookies and I asked her about it. She said that she just pulled it from the cookbook and it was easy and delicious, making it a keeper.


The recipe is on thick, waxy paper pulled from a Betty Crocker cookbook. The holes punched on the side to keep it in the three ring binder of the cookbook have long since disintegrated and the edges are folded and ragged. A tight crease runs horizontally across the middle. Small bits of crystalized sugar dot the page. Some of the recipe’s text has been torn off. Pink ink is written on the right-hand side of the typed text. 


The cookies are made by creaming the first six ingredients together creating a moist base, followed by stirring in the “dry ingredients to form the dough. More flour can be added to make the cookies more cakey, and less to make them crunchy.The chips, preferable mini as they distribute evenly throughout, are then added then added. Tasting a spoonful of the dough is required by Mom to ensure its quality. Using a scoop, the dough balls are placed symmetrically on the sheet four per column, three across. They are then cooked for about eleven minutes and removed when the cookies still appear doughy, as they will continue to cook when removed. If they are left in they will be harder than a rock by the time one wants to eat them, that is no Bueno. Removal to a cooling rack enables the pan to be freed up for the next batch. Eating one, especially when warm, is a delicious experience as the cookie is ooey-gooey, just cakey enough, and the chocolate is melty.


Quite simply this recipe means love. Growing up if we were sad or it was raining Mom would make these cookies to cheer us up. Helping Mom make the cookies made us feel big and important as we took turns adding the ingredients we were responsible for. Even though we are now grown up, the meaning is still the same although the roles have somewhat reversed. Now I or my sister are usually the ones to make the cookies as Mom says that we make them better. It is a small favor we can do in return for all that she has, and continues to do for me and my sisters.




















Definitions of Family

Definition #1:             “A family is a group of people who consider themselves related through kinship. In North American English, the term may include both “close” and “distant “relatives. All members of a family do not necessarily live together or have strong bonds with one another. But they are still a “family.”

Miller, Barbara D. “Households and Domestic Life.” Cultural Anthropology in a Globalizing        World. Third ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011. 130. Print.

Definition #2:             “I define family as someone that loves you and someone who is there for you no matter what. Sometimes you may not get along with them but hey families fight and disagree on many things. But they are your family and you would be nothing without them. And I love my family. They are the best.”

Belkin, Lisa. “Defining a Family.” Motherlode Defining a Family Comments. N.p., 25 Feb. 2011. Web. 11 Jan. 2014.


I chose these definitions because I wanted two definitions from divergent sources. The first one is an academic definition from a textbook. The second one is from a blog post, providing a general more encompassing definition as to what family means to others. I feel that family is such an everyday term, yet it encompasses so much and means so many different things to each person making it one of the hardest terms to define.