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Archive for the ‘Holiday Memories’ Category

Sour Cream Cutout Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 c sour cream
2 cups Crisco – the solid, NOT the oil
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
6 ½ – 7 cups flour
1 t. vanilla

Directions:
Cream sugar and Crisco.
Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder to flour, stir lightly to mix together.
Add dry mixture a cup or so at a time to creamed together mixture.
Refrigerate for several hours.
Roll about ½” thick. Cut with cookie cutters.
Put approximately same size cookies on to ungreased cookie sheets. Do NOT put very large and very small cookies on to the same sheet, in order for the cookies to evenly bake.
Decorate with toppings or leave plain to frost and decorate later.
Bake at 375° for 8 to 10 minutes.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
This is a fairly large amount of batter. The recipe can be divided in half to make approximately 2 dozen cookies.

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Sour Cream Drop Cookies

Ingredients:
¼ c soft butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
2 c sifted all purpose flour
½ t salt
½ t baking soda
1 c dairy sour cream – I use Light, or sometimes Fat Free
Colored sugars, cinnamon sugar, or sprinkles for topping

Directions:
Cream Butter and sugar until light.
Beat in egg.
Add in sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour cream and beat until smooth.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets.
Sprinkle with toppings. Almost any type of sprinkles and colored sugars can be used…easy and fun for whatever age the “bakers” are.
Try not to get too many toppings on the cookie sheet to avoid burnt sugar for harder cleanup.

Bake in moderate oven (350°) about 15 minutes.
Makes approximately 5 dozen 2” cookies.
Don’t be put off by the “sour cream”. The cookies do not taste “sour”. It makes them light and puffy. 

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Butter: If the recipe calls for butter, and it does not say “sweet” or “unsalted” you can use either salted or unsalted butter. If the recipe also calls for salt, be aware and don’t over salt your cookies.

I will usually note if it can be butter or margarine, but use your own judgment, taste, and budget. Also, brand name v. store brand.

Also some recipes call for Crisco – it can be either scooped from a can or cut from a Crisco stick. To measure Crisco from the can, use a larger than called for glass or plastic measuring cup. Fill a portion with water, and then scoop the Crisco in to the measuring cup, until the level of the water reaches the amount of the water + Crisco. Then, pour off the water, and go ahead with the Crisco in the recipe.

Now, Crisco comes in baking sticks, in either unflavored or “butter” flavored.

The use of butter, margarine, and Crisco, can or stick, all might make a difference in the texture of the cookies. Unless one is specifically referenced, they can be alternated to try on your own. Look on the box, tub, etc to see if the ingredient can be used for baking. Some types are not recommended for baking.

And, of course, there is “organic”.

Use the best ingredients that you can, but be aware that sometimes it does matter, and sometimes it doesn’t.

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It is Holiday Baking time, and we have had requests for some tried and true cookie recipes and helpful hints.

Stay tuned…there will be a flurry of recipes from our 45 years of marriage and ancestors’ recipe collections.

Photos as we bake some of the recipes, or from years past.

I remember “watching to learn” and “helping” my paternal grandmother, Dorothy Grace Wiederhold Oschman, in her small “Cape Cod” style cottage kitchen in Connecticut. Cooking and baking with her formed some of my earliest memories.

We would also visit my maternal grandmother, Margaret Dixon Moss, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and she would come to visit us in Connecticut.  She was an excellent cook and baker too and taught my mother, her sisters and brother to cook some nourishing family recipes.

More memories along the way…

Here come several posts of cookie recipes and helpful hints.

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John and I have serving pieces and place settings accumulated over the years of our marriage.  We have the first dishes that we purchased together (a white pottery with a scalloped edging) and various pieces from different sets that we purchased or were given to us over the years.  I treasure them all, mostly for the memories associated with them, and what stage of our lives we were in at the time that we acquired them.

We do have ‘sets’ of dishes. But we also have single pieces, pairs, or a few pieces.  The same can be said for in the Shop.  There are sets, single pieces, pairs, or a few pieces for sale.  Some are Antiques, some are Vintage, and some are newer.  Some are floral, a single color, a whimsical pattern, or a specialty piece.

Two well-loved marked Floral Soup or Serving Bowls

The two bowls pictured above are technically soup bowls.  We often use this size though for serving vegetables or fruit at meals.  They are not too big for a single bag of frozen veggies or too small for when family is over to visit and we need to put a heaping bowl of something on the table.  These are marked and old.  The inside finish is crackled with age. The gold edging on the border is worn down. And there may be a small nick on the back.  But they are pretty, useful, give instant age to a serving table – it was someone’s family piece, and now it is yours; and subscribe to our Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose. philosophy. 

We also have glass bowls, serving platters, serving tureens, dessert dishes and full sets of dishes. Whether you are adding a new piece or looking for a starter set or additions to a family pattern, think about utilizing previously well-loved finds.  There is a place and time for fancy “formal” place settings and full sets of dishes.  But there is also a place and time for that extra bowl to remind you of a delightful day out shopping, or of a similar piece to one that your Gramma had when you were little.  My father remembered a special sugar bowl that was his Grandmother’s. We often have people pick up a piece and say to their sister, or husband:  ‘remember this pattern?’

Whether it is your first place or you have lots of dishes for entertaining, don’t forget those conversation pieces that add a warm family feeling to your home.

Elizabeth or I will add a direct link to photos of some of the items available in the Shop.  We are working on labeling the photos with the Item number, description, and price information.  In the meantime, you can go to her site: www.ImagesnMemories.com >> choose “Galleries” >> choose  “Morgan Lane Enterprises” and there are a few different Galleries of pieces in the Shop.  We will be adding lots of never before seen pieces in December.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose.        Shop Local.      

Gift certificates always available, for Hostess gifts, birthday, shower, wedding, holiday, or any occassion presents.  Never expire. Never reduce in value.

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm.  Closed major holidays.

Take a family photo with our giant Quilt block.    Happy Thanksgiving.

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Wooden nut bowl, with candy canes, waiting for unshelled nuts

How do you decorate for Thanksgiving?  Please email me and let me know your favorite multi-generation family traditions, or new ones that you are starting with your family.  Email at: Denmanfam@aol.com  Our email address: Denman fam, short for “family” not “farm” mis-spelled.

We have lots of family traditions for the holidays.   John and I are grandparents now, but we remember when we were the grandchildren.

My parents (Gramma Bette and Pop-Pop Buddie) and my father’s parents (Grammy and Pop-Pop George) always had a bowl of fresh unshelled mixed nuts out on the table starting from pre-Thanksgiving through New Year’s. They used wooden bowls that still had the bark on the outside.  The bowls often would have a spot in the center to hold the cracker and some picks.  The best ones had felt on the bottom to protect table surfaces from scratching.

 My father would patiently sit cracking nuts and putting them in to little piles, or in small dishes, which I would ‘steal from’ almost as fast as he cracked them.  Being an only child, I rarely had to wait long for any particular kind. 

Now, while packages of unshelled nuts are still available at the grocery store, there are lots of packages of pre-shelled nuts.

I recently read that the unshelled ones are fresher and healthier…but the shelled ones are sooooo convenient for baking.  Even my mother and Grammy would use the pre-shelled walnut ones for Christmas baking when they started to appear in the grocery stores.  Quite a time-saver!

It is still fun to decorate with the unshelled mixed nuts and walnuts in whatever style bowl you have.  Rustic wooden bowls are the best though and unbreakable.  The nuts are readily available, not very expensive, and they remind us that we are celebrating the harvest and preparing for food storage for Winter. The founding families did not have the luxury of grocery stores.  What they gathered, harvested and prepared is what they had to sustain them through the Winters.

As a farmer, and a parent and grandparent, I am grateful for the memories and also the foods that remind us of nature’s provisions.

Over the next few days, I’ll share some more Thanksgiving memories and people and things that I am grateful for in my life.  As Pop-Pop George used to say: “It’s all memories.”  

Whether you have a “nut bowl” or not: Sit at the table with those you love, or alone…crack some unshelled nuts and be Thankful.    

God Bless, Georgia, aka Grandmom, or just Gram.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose.

The unshelled nuts are edible decorating.  The wooden bowls can hold other seasonal decor too.

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