it's that time of year ~
time again to start preparing for Thanksgiving Day & Christmas
everything that goes along with...
...including the baking ~
I usually start dreaming of my mom's peanut butter fudge, or her molasses cookies
when the weather hints of changing her summer cottons to her winter woolies...
actually, I dream about them all through the year.
|little baking table|
I've mentioned before that my mom's heritage is Pennsylvania German, or PA Dutch...
she was born in Harrisburg PA and grew up on the outskirts close to Lancaster.
she & her family moved to Bridgeport CT,
and that's where I was born.
|all the ingredients ready...|
I remember how my aunts, Mim & Dot,
...along with my mom would drive to PA to visit their relatives when I was young
and how I hated when she left because I missed her so very much.
I also knew that upon her return
she would bring me back candy.
not any candy, but PA Dutch candy!
watermelon slices, clear-candy pops, all sorts & licorice...
and of course, hands-down-thee-best,
C H O C O L A T E
|some of my early molds & cutters...|
she would also bring home fresh-baked goodies too ~
wet-bottom shoo-fly pie, peanut butter cookies, whoopie pies
and fried apple-cakes that were small & tiny and just the perfect size for my little hand....
|a dusting of freshly fallen flour...|
I love reminiscing about those days now...
although mom still makes us peanut butter fudge and molasses cookies each year...
still using the same old water-glass to cut out the circles of cookie dough.
|~ my small wooden woodsman springerle cookie mold, tin star, flower & tree cutters ~|
when I gather all of my ingredients together for a morning of baking,
I choose carefully...
I want to keep that feeling of homemade alive within me & my family.
...so I use old my egg beaters, butter paddles & wooden rolling pins.
I use our fresh chicken eggs and whole spices ~
|beautiful star anise on one of my old butter paddles|
I want to make memories for Hannah & Peter
and for the many friends we have,
I want them to have a happy memory of being here...
H O M E
|colored sugar & sprinkles for a festive touch ~|
I turn to my OLD favorite recipes...
the ones found in a yellowed book that I've had since childhood ~
one that shares secrets of my family's baking history...
recipes with intriguing names like
Moravian White Christmas Cookies
Gutmusser's Apple Cake
|my favorite little cookbook|
I have three of these little cookbooks ~
each one a little different than the next
all three dear to me ~
|~ baking memories ~|
I'm sure that each of you reading this has their own special recipes ~
some old, some new...
and here is a very simple one from me to you:
Graham Cracker Cherry Chip Blondies
1 box graham cracker crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
mix cracker crumbs and condensed milk
stir in chocolate chips & cherries
pour into a greased glass baking dish and bake at 350* for 35 min.
check with a toothpick for doneness and then dust with a little powdered sugar.
* Blessed be *