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. 😀
- 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!! 😀