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Showing posts with label baking cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baking cookies. Show all posts

Sunday, August 21, 2016

In the Kitchen with Nora

One of the things I have enjoyed most about being a grandmother is being in the kitchen (my happy place) and welcoming my granddaughters to help. Of course, baking cookies is easy to get help with. Nora is 2 years old, but she is a good helper. This is not limited to tasting the batter, licking the spoon or testing the finished product!  Even she knows that the first step to cooking is to wash your hands. Then we fill the mixing bowl with ingredients from the recipe and 1 step at a time, get the cookie dough ready to spoon onto baking sheets. I learned a long time ago that the secret to enjoying this whole process is having most things out, measured, and ready to add. As she gets older, she can read from the recipe herself and work out the math for measuring ingredients. Working in the kitchen together is one of the best ways I know for beginners to practice not only cooking, but also reading, math, and cleanup skills!

Last week we made chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the chocolate chip bag, and she mastered mixing butter and sugar, adding egg and vanilla, then the dry ingredients and finally, the chocolate chips (minus a few that went into her mouth!)

She wore herself out, because after 2 hot cookies and a little glass of milk, she crawled on the couch and fell asleep. The main problem with baking cookies is that they disappear so fast!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Gingerbread House

Today is the day my father was born in 1909. He left us in 1982,  too soon to see any of his grandsons or great granddaughters learn to love to cook as much as he did. My sons are passing me up as gourmet cooks, Lauren (22) cooks meals for the family now, Skye (13) is a great pastry cook, Maddie  (9) tried her hand at chicken curry recently, even making the curry blend herself, and Jordann (7) loves to tie on an apron and help to bake.

I am often asked where I learned to love cooking. A great deal of that became a part of me because Mother and Daddy owned a cafe most of the time I was growing up. Mother worked there and cooked more at home, but Daddy cooked for the cafe, creating the best hamburgers and lunch plates.  He got up early and went in to make scratch pies and hot rolls. So as I watched Nora and her Mom, Kristen, make a gingerbread house, I thought how much Daddy and Mother would have loved to see this project!  At 21 months, Nora was intrigued by putting the little candy dots on the house. Perhaps it is a good thing she does not eat candy yet.They did a fantastic job.  There was not much cooking in this kitchen project, but she will be standing on a stool helping me make cookies soon! You made your great granddaddy proud, Nora! It was Kristen's first gingerbread house, too!  But she bakes beautiful cakes, so she knew how to handle that frosting.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Skye is 13!

Today is our lovely granddaughter's thirteenth birthday.  From the moment of her parents' excited news of her tiny beginning, she has been so much joy and gladness for me. In the months before her birth, I wrote a journal to her in the form of a letter, given to her parents on the day she was born, a tradition I have continued with each new grandchild.  I simply wanted to tell her she was already a part of our family story and would always be.  I wrote about happily we anticipated her arrival, of all the things we looked forward to sharing with her, and how we celebrate faith and family. From rocking and lullabies to planting flowers, building fairy gardens and baking macaroons, Skye continues to add delight to our time together. Thank you, and Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nana's Recipe for Chewy Crisps

No, I didn't mix up the posts for my blogs.  Although this might seem to have been intended for  Kitchen Keepers, my cooking and recipe blog, it is posted here intentionally.  Today, just like most other people, I print out recipes from websites, or save them to my documents file for use at a later date.  I do still prop up a cookbook (I have many more than I have shelves to store them) or lay a printed recipe nearby when I am cooking.  I like being able to use my mini Ipad to bring up a recipe I know I have already posted.  That is very convenient, and portable!  But my most cherished recipe collection is handwritten, like the one above.  Chewy Crisps were peanut butter treats my mother, Opal Terrell Teal, made in our kitchen on Sunset Street in Jacksonville, Texas when I was growing up. I could enter it in my computer and print it out (and may very well do that for other reasons) but I thrill at being able to hold it in my hand, trace Mother's lovely, even, measured handwriting, and cook from her "book."  This recipe has a checkered ribbon threaded at the top since I use it, along with a few others, every year on a small kitchen Christmas tree where it hangs along with Mother's cookie cutters, the first ones I ever used.  I cherish other recipes written down by my Grandmother, or my mother's best friend Gertrude, our neighbor Mrs. Adams, even one from Mrs. Fay Martin who was mother's friend when they lived in New Orleans over 70 years ago. Recipes on the back of my 4th grade spelling test, an  envelop, a paper napkin.   I have some in my own handwriting, a collection of family recipes made as a third grade art project, complete with a fabric cover edged in blanket stitiches.

Next time you are asked for a recipe, why not write it down with your own pen?  Someday, there may be someone else who collects more than cookbooks and cooks with a heart beyond the cooking channels on TV!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Biscuits, Butter, and Beyond

No, I didn't confuse which blog I was writing for!  I guess I could have titled this Kitchen Tools or Grandma Terrell's Keepsakes.  It was just that I started thinking about the top one when I used it the other day.  Its companion is missing a handle and wears the stains of its years, but it has a place of honor on the granite strip at my kitchen window behind the sink that holds reminders of my faith and family. 

One of the popular apps on FaceBook these days is the posting of an antique object or vintage find and asking you to check like if you remember something or if you ever used it.  So think about it!  Did (or do) you ever use either one of these objects?  Do you remember what they are?  Both were handed down to me by my mother who received them from her mother.  The rectangular wooden box is a butter mold.  Of course, the cow had to be milked and the milk had to be churned to make the butter before it was placed in the mold to harden in a cool place. 

The top round is not so different from today's cookie cutters except I don't have any with wooden handles.  This one doubled as a donut cutter due to its center, which can be twisted to remove.  I remember Grandma making biscuits - folding the soft dough and rolling it out to a sheet on which this biscuit cutter was used to deftly punch out dozens of creamy soft rounds which rose to golden,  flaky rounds in her wood stove.  Mother used it as well, eventually beginning to use the "new" biscuit mix, Bisquick,  to make her dough.  I now use it not only for biscuits (my favorite, angel biscuits have yeast as an igredient) and cookies, but tea sandwiches  and other goodies.  Recently, 6 year old Maddie and her Daddy helped me use it to cut circles from corn tortillas, which we placed in the iron skillet with an egg in the middle - a variation of the "toad in a hole" that my boys liked when they were little.  We saved the tortilla rounds to make mini tacos!

I don't churn and have never really used the butter mold.  But it reminds me daily of family heritage, hard work, and how my life is shaped and molded with love and intention.

Hit like if you know what this is.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Licking the Spoon

Licking the Spoon

Sliced red apples sweet and crisp

to dip in hot caramel

Pumpkin Bread and Gingerbread

Candy Cane Cookies, Thumbprints, red jam in the middle

Toffee with almonds spread quickly to cool

German Butter Balls rolled in powdered sugar

Peppermint Bark

Fudge cooked in an iron skillet, the old fashioned way

poured onto a buttered platter

Cranberry Crisp

Turkish Delight

Pecan pralines tasting of brown sugar

Haystacks – butterscotch and chow mein noodles!

Sweetest of all -

Licking the Spoon.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stirring Moments

Among all the wonderful together times at Christmas, some of my most favorite are those I spend in the kitchen with my family.  In this picture, Skye was only four years old.  She just celebrated her 9th  birthday.  We enjoy cooking together.  I am happy to make cookies, candy, and a gingerbread house just like I did when her Daddy and my other sons were growing up.  I love remembering happy times past, and love even more making new memories.  This afternoon, no one is in the kitchen with me, but as I turn up Andrea Bocelli's Christmas CD, turn on the oven, and pull out the baking pans, my heart is singing.  And remembering.