Friday, May 3, 2013

Sugar Cookies, my first recipe recollections...... Recipe one.

I will start with the first recipe I ever thought about as more than just food.  I am not in chronological order with this one, as I will try to be with the rest of the posts I write about recipes, or food, or maybe just a recipe of love, but this one I want to be my first, so I will start here then back track.  I must point out that when I became an adult I had to learn to use a measuring cup as my mom was the original Rachel Ray and used her coffee cups, her soup spoons and her cereal spoons for measuring (the secret is that she could not cook when she got married and made her way as she went along) but all the recipes I write will be in orthodox measurements so no need to worry.  We begin......

We lived in Grangeville Idaho, in a little house on B street, when I was in the first grade.  Our neighbors were a little old lady to the right of our house called Mrs. Zanner and on the left of our house was a big old house that reminded you of a giant haunted house, I don't recall the owners.  Across the street was a family that had a little boy that had bitten a Christmas tree light and badly burned his mouth (he had to go to the hospital in a big van with flashing lights), down the block was a family that had a dog that our dog, a Pekingese named Gidget, made have puppies and behind our house was Jimbo's house.  He was adopted just like my brother, Little Brother, but his mom and dad were much older.  Jimbo was Silver's ages so he was a little younger than me.  On Halloween we had gotten to go trick or treating all by ourselves, I was the oldest, I was in the first grade, so I got to be the leader.  Jimbo, Silver, Red, Sister and I got to walk all the way around the block trick or treating, no going across any streets.  We had gotten mostly around the block when some big boys, probably junior high kids, came and stole all our trick or treat bags.  They ran away with our bags and we ran home crying to our moms.  The moms decided to take us in the car around town and over to one of our friends house.   We all got in the car, back then no one had to wear a seat belt, well it was 1966 so most cars didn't have them because they weren't the law until 1967.  So all of us kids, all five of us, Little brother hadn't gotten to go with us around the neighborhood earlier but did get to go in the car.  We went over to our friends house, they had a haunted house, it was scary.  There were witches, ghost and loud scary noises coming out of the darkened house on a loud speaker.  It really did scare us but we got candy and it soothed our fears of the house, and the theft by the bigger boys earlier, and we got to stay up late.  Shortly after Halloween Little brother got into the car and pulled it out of gear, the car was going down the driveway and was rolling toward Mrs. Zanner's yard, and her beloved tree, that was adjacent to our drive.  There she was, this little bitty woman trying to stop the car as it rolled down the drive, pushing with all of her might crying out in her tiny little voice "help, help."  My mom soon came to the recue and stopped the car. I remember the tree having bandages on its bark and being tied up to three stakes, compliments of my Dad.  We really did live an idyllic life on B street.  A nice little house, in a nice little neighborhood and nice friends. 

I am not sure that I ever really thought about recipes until I got to help my mom make sugar cookies for the first time that Christmas.  I don't recall her ever making them before I was in first grade, and I am not sure where she got the recipe but she made "Christmas Sugar Cookies" for the first time, that I can remember, for me to take to class when it was my turn to take treats.  I think that it was the first time I took any interest in a recipe, from a card where she had written it all out, she mostly cooked out of her head so it was new for me.  I was to get to take cookies to all my school mates.  We used the recipe and measured out the sugar, the flour, the eggs, vanilla, milk and baking powder (in the afore mentioned coffee cup, cereal spoon and soup spoon).  There was the creaming and then the rolling and the cutting. We all got to use the cookie cutters.  Momma decorated the cookies with frosting, sprinkles and then we put on the M&M's, I got to help with that part some, mom did like them all to be only one of each color and I wasn't all that good at it, but she did let me help, they were to be my cookies after all.  The other kids got to help too, she made extra's for us and for Santa Claus, for under the tree.  It was nice to make the memory or us all baking together for Christmas.... It is nice to still have it.  I don't remember a single Christmas in all these years since when mom, me or Sister didn't make Christmas Sugar Cookies,  I think all of my sibling make them ever year.  I don't really ever make them except for holidays, Halloween, Valentines or Christmas, and I usually only make them as treats for the kids to take to school other than at Christmas.  What a tradition they are in our Family.

Christmas Sugar Cookies---- Recipe.

2 cups of butter or margarine
1/3 cup of shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel
4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp. milk

Mix the butter, shortening, eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.  Grate in the orange peel.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt, then add 1/3 at time alternating with the milk.  It should make a soft dough, roll into a ball and roll out on a flour surface, you may need to knead in a little flour to form a nice soft dough but be careful to much flour makes them tough.  roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter of your choice.  It you don't want to roll them once you make the soft ball you can roll them up in plastic and form a tube, to freeze or chill to make slice cookie much like the ones you would buy down town, you can freeze for several months.  Dip the cookies in sugar and place on a cookie sheet.  Cook at 350 degree's for exactly   8 minutes don't over cook,  they will not have any brown on the edges when done if they do they are burned (my mom says so), they will set and be just perfect.  My momma hates hard sugar cookies don't you know.  Frost with Icing and decorate.

Icing-- Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
Powder sugar- enough to make it the consistence you like.
1 tsp vanilla
A couple drops of your desired food coloring, or leave it white.

Spread on cookies, sprinkle with candy sprinkles and put M&M's on where ever you desire and in the color you want.  My mom likes one of each on each cookie.

Happy eating, I hope they bring you as much joy as they have our family over the years.

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