Posted by Laura Elmore
I began baking during our years at the youth ranch, making after school snacks for the kids each day.  Whether cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or brownies, all were devoured daily over homework and the hubbub that accompanied 10 kids.  Even the most withdrawn teen could be coaxed to participate a little over cookies and milk. 
As I was baking a variety of cookies this weekend, I thought about how the base is common between most recipes: flour, sugar, salt, soda and shortening or butter; maybe eggs.  From there, other ingredients determine the taste: peanut butter or chocolate chips; oatmeal or coconut and often become the identity of the cookies we enjoy. 
In much the same way, our club members share a common base of ingredients: love of country, family, fellowship with a desire to serve.  Yet how we exhibit that service varies widely: youth, international, parades, social events, flag program and more.   
Our boys ate a lot of peanut butter cookies since we were part of the school lunch program and received free government peanut butter.  Chocolate chips, however, were out of our budget and were rarely made, causing them to become Matt and Kenny’s favorite cookies.  They burned out on peanut butter cookies and to this day will pass them by. 
What if our club had only peanut butter cookies?  What if we only had one avenue of service available? I’m guessing our appeal might be limited and our membership might dwindle.   Some of us prefer chocolate chip; others grab for the oatmeal raisin. In the same way, we each hopefully have an area of Rotary involvement that is our favorite. If you have not yet found yours, please sample our array, find one (or more) that you enjoy and dive in.  The results are filling, fulfilling and sweet to all who partake.  And, just as I enjoy trying new recipes, if you have ideas of new ingredients or recipes to share, let me know.