Vintage Hat Show Delight

Janet, a book club reader from the state of New York, happened to be in Sarasota, so she stopped by Tortoise & Pearl to see the hat show. Enjoy the photos (below) from the show and when you scroll down, you’ll find the recipe for Monster Cookies.

Thanks for reading with me. It’s so good to read with friends.

Suzanne Beecher


The two hats on the right were designed by Mr. John, who was part of the team who designed hats for Gone with the Wind. The hat with the silver band is on its way to England. The bride came into the shop and fell in love with it. She’ll be wearing it at her wedding.



There was a story behind every hat. What year it was from, who made it, how to wear it, and I named each hat. Meet Regatta Henley (above) from the 1940s. This hat sold quickly and went to a loving new owner.


Twenty-two original vintage hats were on display and for sale. The show lasted three days and we were busy every minute. Folks who came to the store were delightful and had a lot of fun trying on the hats. I just might do another hat show in the spring.

I filled pots out in front of the store with flowers. It’s only a five minute bike ride from my house to the shop.

Monster Cookies

Yield: 36 regular sized or 22 giant cookies
Prep Time: 15 min  Cook Time: 10 min


1 1/2 cups creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's plain chocolate candies


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray, or line with  parchment paper or a silpat mats.

2. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter with the sugars and butter. Use an electric mixer to mix until well combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the oats and baking soda. Then stir in the chips and M&M's.

3. Drop the cookies by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. If you'd like your cookies to look pretty, dot a few extra M&M's and chocolate chips on each mound of dough before baking.

4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets until cookies are set. Transfer to wire racks, cool completely before storing in an airtight container.