Homemade Cooking

Mom and I baked cookies this afternoon.  Along with this rare event of having both of us in the kitchen at the same time, I was instantly transported back to memories of my childhood.  I saw that little girl who watched in awe as her mom rolled the perfect little dough balls into crystals of sparkly sugar.  The little girl who snuck a bite of chocolate chip cookie dough when nobody was looking (and—I might add—who lived to tell about it.) 

It’s one of the things I love most about baking and cooking: memories.

Today’s cookie extravaganza was even more special because (a) we were baking them for my Pepere and (b) we were using an old recipe handed down from my Memere.  My Memere would always have a batch of some cookie or another sitting in the cupboard.  Molasses.  Sugar.  Ginger.  Peanut Butter. 

Thumbprint jam cookies, maybe.

Now its our turn to carry on the tradition. 

Heaven forbid that I tweak an old family recipe, but I do have plans of revisiting this recipe at some point when I’m alone and can run the risk of creating a huge flop of my Memere’s recipe.  These call for crisco, and I’m not really a fan of using it due to the hydrogenated oils.  I once had success with using a smaller amount of fat, in the form of butter with one of her peanut butter cookie recipes once, so I’m determined to try that with this one as well.  Memere experimented in the kitchen so I don’t think she would mind if I did the same. 😀

Jam Cookies

  • 1/2 c. crisco
  • 1-1/2 c. B. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. boiling water

Mix above ingredients together.

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Work together all of the ingredients with hands, and make small balls.  Roll in white sugar and put in greased cookie sheet (or sprayed with cooking spray!) and make imprint in center using thumb.  Scoop in a tsp of jam and cook at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

Sometimes I get a little over eager with excitement and load up on the strawberry jelly.  In the oven, it slowly oozes out into a gooey, sweety mess.  I’ve learned to expect this.  I kind of like to think it gives the cookies a more rustic, homespun appearance. 😉

As Julia Childs would say: in the kitchen, make “no aplogies.”

The day didn’t stop after the cookie baking. 

We carefully transported the 4 dozen thumbprint jam cookies to our car and drove off to see my Pepere.  We had a meal planned for him as well; an early way of saying “Happy Father’s (and Grandfathers) Day.”  To keep the kitchen cool, Dad became the chef of the night as he worked over the grill.

1-1/2 lbs. wild caught salmon, 2 lbs. green beans and 4 potatoes later, we all had a lovely meal to sit down to, out on the deck.  Pepere shared stories of how he used to catch salmon with spears, during the dark nights in Canada.  Using nothing but a bright lamp and a sharp tool, they were able to catch their meal for the next day.  I love hearing stories from when he was a kid. 😀

Nicole and I skipped off for the rest of the night, hitting a nearby bookstore, where I rediscovered how much I love soy steamers.

It was a grand ol’ day with lots of good food, memories, and fun.  I can’t wait to celebrate my Dad’s fathers day on Sunday as well. 😀

Question: Do you have any family recipes that you’ve been making since you were a kid?  Most of the cookie recipes in my house have some sort of memory.  Some sort of history.  Especially these jam cookies and some of the peanut butter recipes that I have.  They’re my favorite recipes to use!! 😀

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About Sarah

Hi and Welcome!!! I'm a chocolate & coffee loving Registered Dietitian with a passion for helping people reach their goals. When I'm not busy working, I enjoy photography, cooking, and spending quality time with my family (and pets!) Thanks for stopping by!

15 thoughts on “Homemade Cooking

  1. Ha, I made thumbprint cookies yesterday, too!!

    My mom never makes homemade cookies, but the most hands-on baking kinda thing she does is around Christmas time when she makes PB cookies w/ chocolate kisses. I mean, all she does is take a tube of Pillsbury PB cookie dough, roll it into balls, then roll into sugar, but I help her every year. While the cookies bake, we unwrap all the kisses and listen to Christmas music. I love it 🙂

    Sounds like you had fun – I love hanging out with family!

    • That sounds like such a perfect memory! Christmas is one of my very favorite times of the year for reasons like that. 😀

  2. I notice that you were using the Smuckers jam which has high-fructose corn syrup. Smuckers actually makes an all-natural line called Simply Fruit which is just a handful of healthy ingredients. The line also has many flavors. 🙂

    It looks like you had a lot of fun! Happy weekend!

    • Thanks for pointing that out, Kaci! You’re right, this Smuckers does have HFCS in the ingredients. I love using Simply Fruit, Polaners All-Fruit and homemade versions to avoid it like you said. We made this batch pretty traditional to how my Memere would make it, but I should have mentioned it so that readers would know. 😀

  3. Jam cookies are so good! I like making muffins with a knob of jam or berries in the middle too…kind of like a “surprise” when you bite into them. 🙂

    No family recipes. My mom’s not much of a cook. I’m hoping one day to have recipes to pass down though!

    How did your dad cook those potatoes? Were they grilled? Slices before grilling? After? I want to make some.

    • Yep, the potatoes were grilled! He simply sliced them most of the way down. Then topped them with 1 tsp olive oil, garlic powder, and cajun. Wrap up tightly in two layers of foil (in case one layer breaks on you,) and plop on the grill, rotating occasionally. I’d say it took about 20-30 minutes, but it depends on how hot the grill is.

      Once you poke it and it’s soft, you’ll know it’s ready. 😀

  4. I love my Meme’s sugar cookies! Actually, ANYthing that she makes is a childhood favourite for anyone in my family. I don’t think she has ever made something only once. Luckily, she has passed down her talents to a few other family memebers. 🙂

  5. What a great day you had 🙂 I haven’t baked with my mom in a while, either – but the biscuits the other day was probably the most we’ve done lately semi-together 😛 Your dad looks like a master at the grill, everything looks delicious and beautiful.

  6. Sounds, and looks, like an amazing day! I’m sure you’ll have great memories of this day for years to come, too!

    My mom didn’t cook much when I was young, but she did cook pasties (a Finish meat & potato pie-type thing) and I now make it (without the extra butter, more carrots and leaner meat). My grandmother would also always have cookies in the cookie jar on her kitchen counter that we would dig into for a treat whenever we visited – that is a memory I share with all my cousins, and my Dad!!

  7. Your cookies look beautiful! I would say biscuits and cobblers bring back the most memories for me. Cobblers being the one that I make the most often like we did when I was a kid. I love making things that remind me of good family times. That is a major part of food for me!

  8. I love when recipes are handed down like that. And while Crisco is not the greatest stuff, it works really well in certain cookie recipes, and it’s a classic. Those little thumbprints look so good.

  9. Aw, baking with the mama. How comforting. My mom and I used to make HUGE chocolate chip cookies when I was a kid, and I still love them with all my heart.

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