Sunday marks one year since Mother Lovett passed away.

Some days it feels like it has been years, other days it feels like minutes.

A year ago at this time, we were holding vigil in her hospital room. There were consistently about 7-8 of us there at all times. And while she only regained consciousness every few hours, she knew we were there.

She died just like she did everything else in life – stubbornly.

It began on a Tuesday. We all knew it was the end, and so did she – she had the mind of a 30 year old. We figured it would be over by Wednesday. So did the nurses. As the friends poured in to the hospital room, we all waited patiently – just like we always did for her. If anyone taught me patience, it was her. (Ok, her and Mr. How Sweet – he drives me batty).

Just a few hours later, we knew that she wouldn’t let go easily. Or quickly.

So, that’s when the party started.

We were lucky enough to have a large hospice room with an adjoining private lounge, refrigerator, and table. The next logical step was to bring in the booze.

After all, Mother Lovett would have wanted it that way.

For the next few days, six-packs were carried in plastic bags, and handles of whiskey were smuggled inside dufflebags. But, really, do you think we could be quiet?

Most mourn in sorrow and grieve over a loved one’s last few days. We didn’t.

We were celebrating one of heck of a life.

Soon, nurses started bringing us buckets of ice in bedpans and our secret was out. We spent 5 full days reliving her life: laughing about the tissues stuck up her shirt sleeves, giggling about the parmesan cheese in her fridge that expired in 1996, howling over her rolling down the grassy bank while she was picking weeds, and wondering why she was so obsessed with spying on her neighbors.

We reminisced about the time she wrote ‘Merry Christopher’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ on one of our Christmas cards, and how her 4-foot frame would teeter-totter in 2-inch heels every Sunday to church.

We didn’t realize the tiny things we’d miss – like the times she’d claim she wasn’t hungry, then eat 2 pieces of our pizza or swipe a cheeseburger from our Happy Meal. Or how she’d talk about the Young and the Restless like she truly knew each character. Or how she’d send us to the store for the 2 most uncomfortable items any grandchild could ever buy – maxi pads ‘without wings!’ and stool softener.

Never did we think that we would miss grocery shopping with her – slowly walking behind her as she pushed the the cart, which she was only as tall as. Blushing wildly and pretending like we didn’t know her as she passed gas with each step down the cereal aisle. Becoming more furious as she argued with us over and over that oatmeal cream pies couldn’t possibly cost that much these days.

And we certainly couldn’t forget the time she passed out from drinking one too many mudslides, only to later mention that she ‘really loved that mudslinger drink.’

We are pretty darn sure that her death took so long because my grandpa was pushing back from the other side. He just wasn’t ready to be nagged again. He was enjoying his peace.

We spent a solid 5 days with her – eating, drinking, and laughing around her as she slowly left this world. It may sound odd, or even disrespectful to some, but that is just how we are. She wasn’t conscious, but I know she felt us around her. There is no better way I can describe my incredible family than to explain those last few days of Mother Lovett’s life. Living, loving, laughing, and crying together to celebrate this sassy, stubborn, sweet and vibrant woman. No wonder she took she long to die – would you want to leave a party like that?

I have to admit – there weren’t many tears shed at Mother Lovett’s funeral. As I said before, she lived an incredible, fulfilled life equally full of joy and struggle. We all knew it was her time to go. There was no better way to honor her than to celebrate a life that was truly lived.

Growing up, Mother Lovett made some fabulous chocolate chip cookies. As we all grew, her chocolate chip cookies reflected her age and physical struggle. Each year, they’d become more brown and burnt because she couldn’t hear the oven timer buzz, and she was too blind to see if they were golden brown.

I specifically remember one beach trip when the cookies were so badly burnt that we stuffed a loaf of bread inside the container. Have you ever tried that?! They cookies pull all the moisture out of the bread and get super soft!

I wish I could share Mother Lovett’s cookie recipe with you. I really do. The truth is, I have no idea what it is. In fact, I don’t even think she knew what it was.

It was just one of those recipes that magically came together with a grandmother’s hand. Mostly because, you know, she couldn’t see the ingredients she was adding to the mixing bowl. And truthfully, I am afraid of some of the ingredients that made their way in there.

I have no recipe to share, yet I don’t really think it matters. Cookies like hers can’t be duplicated.

Some of Mother Lovett’s last words were ‘every time you have a party and are together, think of me.’

If you couldn’t already guess, we do party.

And we always raise our glass to her.

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212 Responses to “Mother Lovett’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.”

  1. #
    Blond Duck — April 23, 2010 @ 11:12 am

    She sounds like an amazing woman. No wonder she inspired you.


  2. #
    Your Dad — April 23, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    Angel Cake: your writing never ceases to amaze! Recounting the last days of Mother Lovett brought her right back as if she is waiting for us to bring the Pizza over this evening. She lives on in her daughters and grandchildren. You know what I mean – especially your Mom starting in with the special language: like referring to your Aunt’s white SUV as as a ….”Taco” I mean Tahoe ? Of course, while we miss Mother Lovett’s physical presence, especially on this one year anniversary of her passing, we know in Faith that her life has not ended; it has only “changed” as she now enjoys eternity and perhaps even nags Grandpa Lovett again – but in a nice and loving way !

    Love You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. #
    megan — April 23, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    beautiful post. You really are a gifted writer. I love reading your blog and come here for the writing style just as much as for the recipes!


  4. #
    Holly — April 23, 2010 @ 11:54 am

    I loved this post! It made me laugh, think about my own silly love-able family, and just reminded me to really cherish EVERYTHING about life :) Thanks for such a great post :)


  5. #
    Maggie @ Vittles and Bits — April 23, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    Oh my goodness!! This post made me laugh and cry all at the same time. Your grandmother must be so proud! I love that you all chose to celebrate her full & wonderful life, rather than spend her last days grieving. I am so lucky to have both of my grandmothers still with me, but I lost my mom 6 months ago to cancer… I was actually on your site now looking for dessert recipes for a brunch I’m hosting in her honor next month!! Same as you, I am looking forward to family and friends getting together for a fun time to remember an amazing life. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your stories!


  6. #
    Natalie (The Sweets Life) — April 23, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this, thank you!!


  7. #
    Julie — April 23, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    beautiful. :)


  8. #
    Katherine — April 23, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

    I love sweets with a story! thank you for sharing this post


  9. #
    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) — April 23, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    That was the nicest thing I ever read….brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing!!


  10. #
    Jil — April 23, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

    That reminds me of how my family was after my grandmother’s wake – we all went back to my dad’s house and broke open many bottles of wine and celebrated. We celebrated having each other and how great my grandmother was…that’s the way she would have wanted it.


  11. #
    Janice — April 23, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

    Fabulous – I hope I can pass like that, party on!


  12. #
    homecookedem — April 23, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    Your love for your grandmother is so touching. The way you describe her sounds so similar to my grandmother who was born and raised in pittsburgh. The mudslinger comment made me giggle, because that’s TOTALLY something my grandma would do!! And she also has some famous chocolate chip cookies.


  13. #
    emily — April 23, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

    This post was beautiful! It’s wonderful that you guys celebrated her life.


  14. #
    Autumn @ Good Eats Girl — April 23, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Absolutely beautiful post….she sounds like a very special lady.


  15. #
    Kris | — April 23, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

    What a beautiful post doll! I love the fact that you guys celebrated her life with her! We did the same with my g’pa in sept!

    Celebration is key!

    These cookies look divine!


  16. #
    Jenna — April 23, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

    You Grandma Lovett sounds like a truly amazing and special lady. While it is one of the most awful periods in life when a loved one passes away, there is nothing better than to celebrate the life they lived. Amen! :)


  17. #
    Cheryl Cormier — April 23, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

    what a wonderful story of her life and your family:)


  18. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — April 23, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    Best post ever. As I am bawling my eyes out.
    And I just had a serendipitous moment with you. Was reading this off my reader and was bout to click off to comment, when your entry came into my contest. Commenting on each other’s blogs at the EXACT same time. And we both read just a few blogs each day :)

    My grandma died and all her recipes died with her. An old Russian and Polish grandma who never wrote anything down and towards the end, was literally blind and was cooking by “feel”. Could hardly see what she was making, laughed at M. Lovett’s cookies getting more burnt with each passing year…same w/ my grandma!

    Oh what i wouldnt give for a day with my grandma, her sweetness and her cookies, too :)

    Best post ever and please take care of yourself this weekend, 1 yr is a very big time. Lots of emotions can come up so just take it easy. Love you honey!


  19. #
    Caitlin — April 23, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    What is there to say here that hasn’t been said already?

    This has your heart in it and it truly is another reason why your book will be so damn good.

    Mother Lovett was a badass. I can only hope to bow out with the same grace.


  20. #
    janetha b — April 23, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

    such a touching post!


  21. #
    Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) — April 23, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

    Disrespectful!?! Puh, no way- what a fabulous way to go- with a booze-fueled love-fest going on around you- perfect. She was a lucky and spunky woman. Hugs to you on her anniversary.


  22. #
    One Healthy Apple — April 23, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

    Amazing Jessica, A-mazing! I loved the heart and memories. Your writing style is so enjoyable to read.

    Mother Lovett sounded like quite the little lady!
    I had 3 grandmothers and I haven’t had any of them for several years now. My maternal grandmother was 4’10” and cooked by feel and touch. I once saw the glasses she was supposed to be wearing and they were thicker than I ever imagined!


  23. #
    Lorin — April 23, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    That was a cute post. But is that a picture of her cookie or is it just a random picture of chocoalte chip cookies?


  24. #
    Andy Wong — April 23, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

    Oh wow!
    Thank you very much for sharing your grandmother’s recipe with the rest of the food community online!
    It’s certainly very riveting and inspiring at the same time to find amazing discoveries of your maternal parent’s sweet treasures at such uncommon places, and then spread the good word to the people who thoroughly reading your post.
    Thanks, Jessica! I’m going to try this out myself! :)


  25. #
    Jessie — April 24, 2010 @ 4:08 am

    What a wonderful tribute, Jessica. I really feel like I knew Mother Lovett – and she was one hell of a lady :)


  26. #
    Ken Topham — April 24, 2010 @ 4:33 am

    What a beautiful way to start the day. I decided to read your post before I went to the office today instead of later. I’m glad I was by myself as I found myself blubbering, crying and screaming with laughter all seconds apart and intertwining. Undoubtedly I would have been pronounced as “losing it.” My mind went back to my own grandmother who passed away July 4, 1976 but remains fresh in my memories every day. She didn’t bake much but did put up a mean Banana Pudding. Those grocery store walks while passing gas… looking around as if to see WHO did that (miss innocent)…. I’ll never forget as a little kid watching TV when she would just sit there trying to hold back her laughter… shaking all over as she let slip little “toots”…. OMG…. Jessica you made my day with a beautiful stroll down memory lane sharing love and good times.

    Love you!



  27. #
    Betsy — April 24, 2010 @ 6:51 am

    Jess, that was beautiful. I lost the only grandmother I had in my life (my mother’s parents passed away before I was born) at 7 years-old. She died too young from cancer and while I was very sad at the time, I find myself missing her more and more as I get older. Every time I bake her Irish soda bread on St. Patrick’s day I wish she was with me. Every time my poppa (her husband) tries to replicate her apple pie and never quite figures it out, I wish she was here. I wish I had more time with her. It’s so heartbreaking to me that I never got to listen to stories about her childhood, or introduce her to my future husband and get her approval. It’s strange how the feelings of loss and grief can resurface years and years later. Thank you for writing this post. While it made me miss my gran very much, I am grateful for the memories I have of her and love taking the time to look back on them.


  28. #
    Kelly — April 24, 2010 @ 7:57 am

    What a beautiful post! Those cookies look amazing and I felt like I was living those memories with you!


  29. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 24, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    This is quite possibly the best post I’ve ever read! I don’t know whether to laugh hysterically or bawl my eyes out – or both!! It sounds like your grandmother was an amazing person – and thank you so much for sharing this! I lost my grandmother earlier this year, and like you mentioned, everyone just knew it was time for it to happen. Even though it’s sad, I like to think about the positive, fun times we spent together. This post was great, especially the bit about your grandfather pushing back! Thanks again! :)


  30. #
    molly — April 24, 2010 @ 11:01 am

    what an awesome tribute! and inspiration … i’m thinking i’ll order up a similar going away party. i can hardly imagine anything better.


  31. #
    jennifurla — April 24, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    I just got teary eyed, what a perfectly sweet post. Thanks for sharing.


  32. #
    Barbara — April 24, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

    Dear Jessica:

    I wanted to say something nice but your Mom and I are crying and we are afraid the key board might rust. So let’s just say we share your Father’s sentiments and we plan to toast Mother Lovett this evening, in your company, during the Pens game.

    Love, your Aunt Barbara


  33. #
    Pure2Raw Twins — April 24, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    What a beautiful and touching post Jessica. I remember when my grandma diet and the people at Hospice were great!

    Chocolate chip cookies make everything better : )


  34. #
    Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover — April 24, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    That was just beautiful, Jessica.
    You made me remember my great grandmother Maria… I loved the way she handled things, and I´m sure Mother Lovett´s was as awesome as she :)
    Have a great Sunday, love!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,


  35. #
    The Candid RD — April 24, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    Such a great post Jessica. I am crying and laughing at the same time. Maxi pads without wings, hilairious, and expired parmesan cheese? I’m in that same boat, although 1996 is WAY expired! I always thought it just didn’t go bad…..

    These cookies look fabulous. That picture above is making me salivate. It’s 10:30 pm and I am sitting by my self in our new house. I think….I am going to go downstairs and make cookies!!


  36. #
    Gina — April 24, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    What a lovely and beautiful post! The cookies are drool-inducing as well…


  37. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — April 25, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    Such a great post and a great way to remember your Mother Lovett… The cookies look amazing!


  38. #
    That Kind Of Girl — April 26, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    What a moving tribute. I’m sitting here, weeping like an idiot at my desk at work. She sounds like a wonderful women; you are definitely a wonderful granddaughter.

    I look forward to being able to buy the Mother Lovett cookbook one day (soon!) so I can read more stories about her!


  39. #
    Jaclyn — April 26, 2010 @ 11:43 pm

    These look really amazing. I can practically smell them through the screen, ha! Wish one would magically pop out of the screen and into my lap lol. Yum!


  40. #
    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) — April 28, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    This is a truly beautiful post. I’ve said it before, but I’m saying it again, you have a knack for writing!!!


    • Jessica — April 28th, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

      Thank you!!!


  41. #
    Miz — April 30, 2010 @ 3:27 am

    this is such a beautiful beautiful tribute.



  42. #
    Terri Ab — May 14, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Great story! Reminds me of my mom, who we lost about the same time last year. She was young (only 77), diagnosed with lymphoma and gone about 2 months later. The last month with her was spent much the same way as yours – a lot of us together celebrating her life. When the funeral home told us how much it would be to transport her ashes from the funeral home to the church for the funeral, we told her that for that same price, we were going to rent a party bus and bring her along in her urn. She loved it! We ended up not doing that, but we still raise our glasses a lot to my mom. Sorry for the rambling. Glad to see others have humor about celebrating life!


  43. #
    Jayne — July 14, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    I miss my own late grandma now. Sob..


  44. #
    Jennifer — August 11, 2010 @ 4:44 am

    I laughed and cried! A well written account of a wonderful woman who touched many hearts. Thanks for sharing!


  45. #
    barefootgirl27 — September 22, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    I just stumbled across this…… WOW! you are so talented!! what a wonderful tribute to an obviously amazing woman…..

    I want to be first in line when you publish your first novel :)


    • Jessica — September 22nd, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

      Thank you so much! You have no idea what that means to me – really!!


      • barefootgirl27 — September 22nd, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

        I’m serious.. I want to be first ;)

  46. #
    Melissa — December 12, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

    Oh I’m so glad my family wasn’t the only one drinking in the hospice! Grandma asked for wine with her pain pills and the doctor’s reply was “Drink up!”

    I just started reading your blog and I’m hooked! As someone who calls Paula Deen her idol, I think you and I are on the same page when it comes to the appropriate butter amount.


  47. #
    Molly — February 4, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    What a lovely tribute. I was simultaneously laughing/crying/thinking about my own beloved grandmother. Thank you for sharing this!


  48. #
    HAYLEY — March 30, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    Omg that was the greatest story i was laughing and tearing up at the same time!


  49. #
    Brooks — April 20, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    With tears in my eyes, I couldn’t help but smile the whole way through this! Makes me think of my grammy and all the recipes of hers we wish we had but honestly know wouldn’t even come close to tasting like hers even if we did. great post!


  50. #
    Amber — April 22, 2011 @ 12:37 am

    What a sweet post. I was reading the post earlier about her pie crust recipe and how you just knew it wasn’t ‘hers’ and giggled. My great Aunt was an amazing baker and just to make sure that nobody made anything as good as her, when she gave out recipes, she’d always change something a little, or leave something out altogether. Now when I look back through her recipe box (and bags, truthfully), I have to figure out which recipes are the ‘real’ ones!



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