A couple of life-times ago, I worked in an oil refinery. A refinery in Texas… on the Gulf Coast, a stone’s throw away from Louisiana. Kinda swampy, Cajun type country. The kind of country where one might see alligator road kill on the way to work (yes, I sure did).
The kind of country where one might eat gumbo, deep-fried crabs, and bread pudding... or find themselves elbow-deep in crawfish, boiled potatoes, and corn on the cob on a Friday night. No plates required at the crawfish boil, just newspaper and paper towels.
Them’s some good eats, as Alton Brown would say.
Some of the best cooks I ran into during my five years down south were the operators at the refinery. Guys whose dads and granddads had worked there before them. Men and women who, to me, were the salt of the earth. They worked to live, not the other way around.
In the control rooms of the refinery I ate crawfish etouffee, shrimp scampi, Italian cream cake, the most decadent and piled-high carrot cake I've ever eaten… the list goes on... from guys who loved to cook and were happy to share their recipes.
One recipe I collected was from a fellow named Robert Hamm. Fitting name as he was indeed, a ham. These are similar to other oatmeal chocolate chip recipes I’ve seen, but they don’t come with the quirky title that these do. Whatever… they’re hearty and delicious and get raves whenever I make them.
Oh, and what's interesting about the first picture in this post... I was about 300 feet in the air on a tiny little platform that you get to by ladder. Wonder if my inscription is still there...
Famous Hammus Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
2-1/2 C. oatmeal
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. butter, room temperature
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 12-oz. bag chocolate chips
1 4-6 oz. Hershey bar or Kisses, chopped or grated
2 C. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Blend oatmeal to a powder in a blender or food processor. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together with oatmeal powder and pulse a few times to combine.
Cream butter, eggs, vanilla, and both sugars together. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until blended. Add chocolates and pecans and stir well.
Roll into 2-inch balls or drop by an ice cream scooper onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.