Several years ago I lost a lot of books when the flat roof over my family room failed during an incredible rain- and hail-storm. The room was an add-on before I owned the house and was being re-roofed at the time. Most of my good-sized collection of cookbooks were among the books damaged beyond saving—they ranged from slim paperbacks to lovely coffee table books. Unbeknownst to me, Jordan had saved some and has had them in a cupboard in the house all this time. We got to talking about a dip she particularly liked, and I said I thought the recipe was in an old book that held several of my favorites.
To my great joy, she produced the book yesterday. It’s a much battered and worn scrapbook type thing, titled My Favorite Recipes, where I pasted in recipes that I’d collected from various places, many of them printed in the magazines and newspapers which were my favorite sources before the internet. But the greatest finds were some of my mom’s recipes—what she called Alice MacBain’s Bread, her yeast rolls that the kids still clamor for the holiday dinners, the cookies she made every Christmas. Mom signed her recipes GM for Grandmother or GW for Guess Who. In one instance, after GM, she added (not General Motors).
There are other old friends I was glad to see again—my grandmother’s banana drop cookies, which I used to make into cupcakes when my kids were little. I cannot tell you how many batches I made just to avoid throwing away two overaged bananas. Mary Helen’s Mother’s Coffeecake is aa Bundt cake I’ve made so often I need no recipe, but I’d need directions for the green goddess dressing, which I remember as excellent, or the Gore Blimey Quiche—spinach, bacon, mushrooms and Parmesan. My chili recipe is here—another I now do automatically. Things I’ll probably never make again: Russian kasha, red beet eggs, Russian black bread. (If you see a bit of a trend there, yes, these were recipes chosen to please my ex-husband, who was of Russian descent or so he thought—they tell you how old this cookbook is!)
A recipe I’m glad to have provides simple directios for Krispie Orange Cookies, a holiday tradition when I was a child and then when I had children. They require cookies cutters, and I inherited Mom’s good, old-fashioned metal ones—so much easier and cleaner to use than today’s plastic versions. Mom had a Santa, in profile with a pack on his back, a Christmas tree, a bell, a donut-shaped one we made into wreaths, and an oversized gingerbread man. We decorated with white, red, and green icing, sprinkles, and silver shot. After Colin, my oldest, married, his wife took over the cookie-making, and I passed along the cutters. Colin likes these cookies soft, but I keep telling him they need to bake just a bit longer for crispness.
Krispie Orange Cookies
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 orange, juice and rind
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3-1/2 c. four
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and beat. Add orange juice and the grated rind. Separately mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Carefully stir flour mixture into shortening mixture. Chill dough. Then roll out and use those cookie cutters.
Bake 10 minutes at 375o but watch carefully. They burn before you know it.
PS: We’re still looking for Jordan’s dip recipe—all I remember was you served it in a round pumpernickel bread bowl, and it had Beau Monde seasoning. It will show up here if we find it, but so will others from My Favorite Recipes.