I worked at a local accounting firm for many years when I first moved to Oklahoma. Even after I quit full-time work, I kept a position helping with taxes from mid-January through mid-April. It was tough mental work and long hours. During all of the years I worked for the firm, I remembered the thoughtfulness of a few clients who brought in baked goods for the staff to nibble on during those long days and nights at the office during tax season. Occasionally, a couple of ladies even delivered home-cooked lunches, and a few others baked cakes, rolls and cookies. I cannot tell you how nice it was to go back to the tiny kitchen area at the accounting office and cut a slice of cake or grab a couple of cookies to have with a hot cup of coffee when working those long, evening hours. Most of the time though, it was the during the late afternoon break that these goodies gave me the sugar charge I needed to get through another few hours of sitting at my desk and staring at numbers.
So when I quit working tax season all together, I made a vow to be that person to bake some goodies each week for the folks at the office. Fortunately, there is usually one day of the week during the winter and spring months where cool temperatures or rainy weather allows me to take time out for baking. It has been more of a challenge the last three years, however, since FD and I began practicing a Paleo lifestyle and eating healthier by staying away from grains, sugars, processed foods, dairy and unclean meats. That first year we changed our diet, I tried to incorporate some Paleo desserts into the weekly baked goods I sent to the office, but I do not think they went over very well. Paleo desserts take some getting used to. Most Paleo baking is done with nut flours, coconut palm sugar, honey, cocoa, coconut oil, and coconut milk. But many people enjoy indulging in refined sugar, real butter (which is acceptable in Paleo as long as it is made from the milk of grass-fed cows) and find that wheat flour is versatile and makes for some mighty decadent desserts.
I have yet to find a Paleo dessert I would declare decadent. So I went back to keeping a few off-diet ingredients on hand during those four months of tax season in which I get back into the groove of baking the way I used to. It is during this time that I blow the dust off of the old cookbook and make goodies that my mother passed down to me from her mother. And I keep it simple. Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Sugar Smashed Oatmeal (a crispy oatmeal cookie with a chewy center), Toffee Snickerdoodle, and Rangers are my go-to recipes for cookies I make for the office. On mornings where I manage to start baking super early, I also make Orange Scones. Last year, I did manage to find one Paleo cake that everyone likes – Blueberry Chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache frosting. It is a bit of a labor of love to make, but I do not mind. And because my dear friend, Ruthie, works there part-time during tax season, I make my special Paleo Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel No-Bake cookies, especially for her to take and enjoy at home (Sometimes a girl just needs her own personal stash of chocolate).
This morning I delivered the last batch of cookies for the 2016 tax season. Smiles greeted me as I walked in the door. I know the feeling of those last days before the IRS deadline. It is hard to muster a smile and you are so ready for the whole stint to be over. But somehow, knowing someone appreciates the work you do, makes it a little easier. At least it did for me all of those years ago. And it feels good now to be on the giving end of things… because I do appreciate my friends and the service they provide. And I certainly know how hard they work!
© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…