Take comfort with Oscar the Grouch Cookies

Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist

Two weeks ago, while minding my own business in my own neighborhood, finishing up errands on a Sunday, I was the victim of a nasty little scam known as “skimming.”

In case you didn’t know, a skimmer is a tiny metal chip that can be inserted into the slot in an ATM that is meant for your bank card. It captures and transmits the card’s information to a crook who can then make a card identical to yours and use it to withdraw money from your bank account.

The only part you play in this scenario is to use the ATM.

I am glad to report that the amount the criminals got from my bank account has been replaced by my bank. The overdraft fees, of which there were many, have been credited. Things are back to normal.

But the violation of my account has left me suspicious that it can happen again. I spent 10 days in limbo, with a bank account showing a balance of a considerable amount overdrawn. During those 10 days before the bank processed the credit, I couldn’t use my account.

I don’t understand people who make a life’s work out of figuring out ways to steal other people’s money. Just imagine what the thieves of this world could do — what they could become — if all that energy were spent doing good.

I am grateful that I got my money back. I think I’d be even more grateful and my level of satisfaction would be a lot higher if I had five minutes alone with the person who put my life and my finances into turmoil for 10 days. I’m a less trusting person now and I don’t like that feeling not at all. If it could happen to me in my own “safe” neighborhood, it can (and does) happen to you or anyone else.

Enough of that. What do you eat when you’re feeling grumpy, disgruntled and put-upon? Why comfort food of course. Think soups, casseroles, desserts (chocolate) — all of mom’s dishes you grew up with.

Here’s a recipe a friend shared with me for a classic comfort food with a nod to the season. Her family calls these green goodies “Oscar the Grouch” cookies. Thanks, Jen.


1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup finely shredded zucchini

12 ounce package chocolate chips (semisweet or milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine egg, butter, brown sugar and honey. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add small bowl ingredients to large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Add zucchini and chocolate chips — fold to mix.

Drop by spoonful onto a greased baking sheet and flatten with back of spoon.

Bake 10-15 minutes.


Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.