Governor makes snap delivery to local soldier in Middle East
Margaret Crowley’s Ginger Snaps:
1 ½ cups margarine
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoon ginger
Cream margarine, sugar and eggs. Incorporate molasses. In a separate bowl, mix flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Add to margarine mixture and mix until incorporated.
Chill dough for 1 hour. Form into golf-ball sized balls, roll in sugar and put on a non-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Margaret Crowley didn’t let the distance of overseas discourage her — she was determined to deliver her son his favorite holiday treat, homemade ginger snap cookies.
“It’s something we make every Christmas,” she said. “My mother got the recipe from somebody in Seattle. We teeth on them. We named one of our dogs after the cookie.”
Ryan Magera, 22, is spending the holidays in Kuwait as a specialist in the Nevada Army National Guard’s 485th Military Police Company.
And as a mother, Crowley’s ingredients go beyond ginger and cinnamon; unconditional love is one of the main components, and she wasn’t going to deliver stale cookies.
She needed to find somebody to help her deliver the box of goodies in a short amount of time. But as a local mediator and lawyer of Reno for the last 25 years, she knew an old friend she could rely on.
That’s Gov. Brian Sandoval.
“I’ve known him for years,” said Crowley, of Reno. “We both went to law school together and both our kids are students at the university. He and Ryan met for the first time at his deployment ceremony.”
But the ceremony wasn’t the last time Crowley and Sandoval connected.
Destiny fell in her hands during a family vacation in October when she bumped into Sandoval again — this time, at the happiest place on earth.
“We bumped into him at Disneyland,” she said. “He told us he would be traveling to the Middle East to visit troops for the holidays. I asked him if he could send cookies to Ryan’s whole unit. They all deserved a taste of home.”
Sandoval agreed to the mission and Crowley sent the package to the Governor’s Mansion before he left.
“I put my work on hold and started baking,” Crowley said. “Ryan also wanted chocolate chip and decorated sugar cookies — so I managed to stuff it all in a bag.”
Ryan’s unit is split into multiple countries, including Afghanistan — one of the destinations on Sandoval’s tour list. At first, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to stop in Kuwait.
“At every base, we asked if Ryan was there,” Sandoval said. “I had them in a freezer on the plane as long as I could.”
“I told him if he didn’t get to go to Kuwait, he can give the package to anybody,” Crowley said.
But fate lingered over Crowley again with a text from Ryan saying he was about to meet with the Sandoval.
“When I had the opportunity to address the 485th, he knew I was coming but didn’t know I had something for him,” Sandoval said. “I thanked them for their service, but then I said there’s one other thing I need to do.”
A few moments later, Ryan texted Crowley a picture of him with Sandoval, both smiling, as he handed him the package of goodies.
“I think he was a little embarrassed,” Sandoval said. “But I don’t think I’ve seen a bigger smile on somebody’s face.”
Other than the crumbled sugar cookies, the package stayed in great shape, Crowley said.
“It’s so thoughtful of the Governor to do this and to make all of those efforts. It’s a memory that will always be cherished.”
Before Sandoval left Kuwait, he said he saw Ryan split the cookies with his unit.
“When you’re there in Kuwait — on other side of the world — and get something from home, it’s special,” Sandoval said.