January 23, 2007

Snow means Baking Time

This past weekend was another one filled with about 5 inches of snow in Mid-MO. (I am really beginning to get “cabin fever”.)

I miss being on my parent’s farm. Even when the weather is cold, snowy and wet there are chores that need tendin’ to. I never remember being bored on the farm. Water gaps had to be fixed, ice covered ponds had to be busted up for the livestock, birthing cattle had to be brought up to the barn and newborn calves needed extra special care in the winter time.

Yes, living on the farm you seldom get a day off just because of a snow and ice storm. Oh, how I miss those days on the farm…

The other memories I have on my parent’s farm during the winter time is winter baking with my mother. After chores were done mom and I would try out new recipes for cookies, pies, cakes and breads at the house. We would thumb through old Farm Journal and the local Douglas County Fire station cookbooks for new recipes. (The Douglas County cookbooks are complied of recipes from the farm cooks all around the area and are put out each year, my mother has some that are over 30 years old. They are the “best” cookbooks for good Ozark cooking.)

It was times like these with my mother that I miss the most. We shared many laughs and happy memories in the kitchen. We still have times like that, but now that I live about 3 hours away from my parents, it’s just a little harder to get together as often as I would like to.

I was recalling the past winter memories with my mother in her kitchen this past weekend, and I decided I would do some baking. By the time Sunday came I had baked: 30 Ginger cookies, 6 dozen chocolate cookies, 2 loaves of Amish Friendship Bread and a few other goodies.

It was a great weekend in all and I was reminded of my wonderful mother the entire time. Here are the recipes from this past weekend.

Chocolate Cookies

Super Duper Chocolate Crinkles
By Lane
Makes 6 dozen cookies

½ c shortening
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, unbeaten
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
½ c. chopped nuts
Confectioners Sugar

Melt shortening and chocolate; add sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add egg, one at a time, beating well after each.

Sift together all dry ingredients; add to chocolate mixture, fold in nuts.

Chill dough for a couple of hours.

Roll dough into small balls and then roll in confectioners sugar, coating well.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-13 minutes.

Ginger Crinkles

Crackle Top Ginger Cookies
From Farm Journal, 1958
Makes 25-30 cookies

1 c. shortening
2 c. brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 c. molasses
4 c. sifted flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
Sugar for rolling

Cream shortening; add brown sugar gradually. Blend in egg and molasses – beat until light and fluffy.

Sift together all dry ingredients; add gradually to creamed mixture. (Dough should be soft, but not sticky or tops of the cookies will not crackle.)

Add vanilla and lemon extract. Chill for about 4 hours. Shape into ball and roll in sugar.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 13 minutes.

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