Sunday, November 29, 2009

Operation Baking Gals - Cookies for my soldiers!

If you came looking for my Sweet Melissa Sunday post, sorry to disappoint. I do not do fruitcake in any way, shape or form, not even for Sweet Melissa! :P But, be sure to check out Karin's blog, Sugar and Spice and everything nice. The Golden Almond Fruitcake was her choice this week, and her pictures make me wish I did like fruitcake!  Also, be sure to check out SMS's bakers page to see which bakers did join her in making the fruit cake.

What I did do this weekend was bake cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. About 47 dozen to be exact!

Operation Baking Gals, or Baking Gals as it is now known,  is a group I have been involved with for over a year now. I joined up in Round 2. The first round was when Susan of She's becoming DoughMessTic asked some fellow bloggers to join her in baking for a cousin who was stationed overseas. The outpouring was overwhelming. The rest as they say is history. I have baked in 13 of the 15 rounds since it's beginnings. I missed the first round because I didn't know about it at the time, and I missed a round this October because I was in Germany. I know, lame excuse, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :D

This round was a bit more special than most as I was baking for the nephews of two ladies I clean house for. I have been cleaning for them for a long time now and I had told both women about the organization when they mentioned having family members that were serving overseas. I asked them for the names and addresses of the boys (though it is just as often a girl we bake for) and I passed the info onto Lyndsay, who is our fearless (and tireless) leader now. She got both boys assigned to teams for this round and I joined both teams so I could bake for these two boys.

Did I mentioned I baked a lot of cookies. Here's a breakdown on what I baked...

6 Dozen Oatmeal Raisin (would have baked more but ran out of oatmeal!)
13 Dozen Walnut Chocolate Chip
15 Dozen Peanut Butter with Peanut Butter chips
13 Dozen Molasses cookies (the same molasses cookies we baked with TWD this month!)

I started Saturday morning by making the dough for all the cookies. I made double batches of every kind except the Oatmeal Raisin and that is because I didn't realize I only had enough oatmeal on hand for one batch. Once I had all the doughs made I cleaned up the kitchen and began baking. I started baking the first batch of cookies around 11 Saturday morning and finished the last batch about 9:30 that evening. I took a break long enough to heat up leftover Thanksgiving for dinner, eat it, and then get back to baking cookies. It's a labor of love people. :) When I was done I had about 564 cookies all waiting to be packaged for their trip overseas.

I divided the cookies between the two soldiers and vacuum sealed them for travel. I also enclosed boxes and boxes of Starbucks new VIA instant coffee. It's really good for instant; I drink it and took it to Germany with me so I could have coffee whenever I wanted, no coffee pot needed! I think I had 13 boxes of the 12 packs and about 26 packs of the three packs for each soldier. So, what's that, about 234 "cups" of coffee I am sending.  Much easier than sending pounds of ground coffee and worrying about whether or not the guys or girls have a coffeepot handy to brew it in. And, my local Starbucks collects the packages of VIA from customers and gives it to me to send to "my" soldiers! They are the best!

I packed all the cookies and coffee into 4 separate boxes. Couldn't get it all to fit in just one box per soldier. Thank goodness for flat rate shipping as the boxes are heavy. I also enclosed a letter from me and a few pictures of my family, pets and the local wildlife (deer). The guys who get the boxes like knowing a little about who shipped them. 

Tomorrow I will head to the local post office and mail these boxes out. Official shipping dates are December 1-16, but I am shipping tomorrow. One of the reasons is I already have the addresses of the boys since I know the aunts and I figure one day early won't be a bad thing.

If you ever want to do something to let a soldier know that what they do is appreciated, please stop by BakingGals and join a team. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you do. :)


  1. Susan, that is an astounding amount of cookies! It makes me tired to look at it. What a great thing to do; 13 out of 15 rounds is very impressive, and I am sure your goodies are always appreciated.

  2. Wow!!! I am so impressed. You're a great person.

  3. You are wonderful in every way for doing such an extensive labor of love. Your housecleaning customers must have appreciated your generosity and kindness as well =). I know I am touched just reading your blog. Thank you for sharing!

  4. This is so wonderful! I loved reading your story, it gave me chills. I am going to check out the group and see about baking along in one of the rounds.

  5. Hi Sue,

    It's Kelly, the leader of the Aprons & Oven Mitts Team. I'm so impressed with all you bake. Thank you so much for sending me the photos. If you don't mind, I'd love to do a round up post on my blog after everyone has shipped. I would love to post your photos and send them to your blog.


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