Monday, December 14, 2009

Pardon the Cookie Interruption!

Rum Cake
Originally uploaded by lasassone

I had to take a break from cookie making yesterday because tonight we are going to our Garden Club Holiday pot luck dinner.

I have always made a rum cake to have for our family's Christmas dinner's dessert, but for this years club pot luck I'm taking potato salad and I made this rum cake instead of the stuffed eggs I usually take to share.

This recipe is flexible depending upon the kind of cake mix you have on hand. I usually search out a cake mix with NO pudding in it, but all I had this time was one that said it contained pudding. I'm not sure how much it had because this cake didn't bake up as high as normal. In the future I think I would add the pudding regardless.

With this recipe you can use a large bundt cake pan, an angel food cake pan or it will make 4 to 6 mini loaves as well. The number depends upon the size of your mini-loaf pans.

I will list this with the changes for a mix with pudding in parenthesis.


1 Yellow cake mix (1 yellow cake mix w/pudding)
1 sm. pkg vanilla instant pudding (omit)
4 eggs (3 eggs)
1/2 C. cooking oil (1/3 C. oil) - I used Crisco oil....
1/2 C. very Cold water (same)
1/2 C. Rum (same)
finely chopped nuts of choice (same)-Optional

1) Grease and Flour your pans, tapping out any extra flour. Preheat oven to 350 F
2) Sprinkle Nuts in the bottom of pan (optional).
3) Combine all ingredients in large bowl; beat till very smooth.
4) Pour into pan(s).
5) Bake at 350 F for 40 to 60 min. for large pans, less for small loaf pans.
6) Cool 25 min. in pan(s).
7) Turn out and poke holes in bottom (nut side) with a toothpick or skewer.
8) While cake(s) are warm, spoon over a glaze made with:

1/8 pound of butter melted in pan
1/8 C. water and 1/2 C. sugar stir into melted butter & boiled for 4-5 min, stirring constantly.
1/4 C. Rum added after removing from heat.

If desired you can drizzle with a glaze made by melting 4 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate and 1 t. butter, melted over low heat.


1) As I said, I think next time I will put the pkg of pudding in regardless of what the cake mix box says.

2) I didn't put the nuts in before baking. I sprinkled a little ground pecans before spooning the warm glaze over the cake.

3) For glaze I used a little canned dark chocolate frosting and drizzled it over the cake to make it a little prettier. A disadvantage to doing that is that my drizzles didn't harden like I thought they would.

Now back to searching Lulu's recipe book for cookie recipes!

Friday, December 11, 2009


The cookies shown above that I just made this morning may not be the prettiest cookies, but G says they are the best tasting ones out of all the cookies Lulu ever made. For as long as I remember this was always the first Christmas cookie Lulu made when she began Holiday baking. These cookies do not HAVE to be Christmas cookies but they can be decorated up for Christmas and are always a hit. G says they melt in your mouth and it wouldn't be Christmas without them!

Lulu always called these "Canadian Cookies" and I recall once when I was a girl that I asked her why she called them that. She told me that she had tasted them once while visiting my dad's family in Canada and someone shared the recipe with her. She named them Canadian Cookies herself.

In our family now we call them "Nana's Cookies" because it was the last treat that she requested me to make for her when she was in the hospital shortly before she passed away. I'm not sure how many she ate because everytime I was there, she was sharing them with the doctors and nurses.

Decorated or not, they are one fine cookie and good for any holiday treat OR just for any day of the week! Lulu used to sometimes put half of a candied cherry on them before baking, but I've seldom done that because G doesn't like cherries. However, if you use red and green cherry halves they DO make an attractive tray of cookies.

  • 1+1/4 Cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 Cup shortening (I use 1/2 Crisco and 1/2 softened Imperial Margarine)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 t. Vanilla
  • 2+1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 t. Baking soda
  • 1 t. Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 t. salt

****Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

****Prepare cookie sheets by lightly spraying with a Pam-type product

1) In large bowl blend Crisco together w/softened margarine.

2) Cream in the sifted powdered sugar. (I sift it by pushing it through a strainer)

3) Add egg and vanilla and beat well.

4) Sift together dry ingredients and add to wet mixture one half at a time.

5) Stir well until all the flour is blended in. The mixture will seem a little wet once it's done.

6) Drop by spoonsful onto cookie sheet and then, with a fork dipped in water, press to uniform thickness. At this point you can add colored sugar or other decorations, if desired.

7) Bake for 5 to 10 min until the edges are JUST browned. (Mine took 7 min) Remove to wire rack to cool

NOTE: This recipe can be doubled easily and makes enough cookies to fill a fairly large tin plus also enough to fill a tray which is what I had to do for tomorrow's party for our local CrazyQuilt Stitching group.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lulu's Christmas Cookies - Coming Soon

The above Sunbonnet Sue block was found in the bottom of Lulu's 3 legged sewing and mending basket after she passed away in 1992. I recall her making these blocks for baby quilts that she made with the ladies group at church in Duluth, MN back in the 1940's when I was a little girl.
By the time we moved to California in the early 1950's she had given up doing any quilting, but still was an avid embroiderer. I was really surprised that she had kept this all those years.
I intend at some point to make a Sunbonnet Sue quilt and use this block for the center. I might keep it to her style of using black running stitching around all the pieces, but I also like the look of buttonhole stitching around the "Sues." I'm thinking that my 1930's feed sack collection and maybe a few 30's repros might be good for this project. What do you thing?
So, I don't mean to confuse anyone and I KNOW that this isn't my stitching blog, but in trying to find a picture of Mum to post, I found this one and had to show it.
On December 11th or 12th I will begin posting Lulu's Christmas recipes here. I chose that date because I have to take some cookies to share with my stitching group at our Holiday party on the 12th. I'm being forced to start baking a bit earlier than I would otherwise. I usually sew gifts until the 17th, mail them on the 18th and then begin baking!
This year I will have 2 of Lulu's great-granddaughters here for Christmas and I need to bake more than I usually do for friendship gifts and for G and I to eat. There are so many cookies and treats she used to make - at least 2 dozen! We always had a card table in the front room stacked high with cookie tins to share with visitors. I just may have a problem deciding which recipes to share with you.
Stay Tuned for a real Sugar Fest!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to All from Lulu's Girl

May you and your families by happy and well today.
Enjoy a day of sharing family & food.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lulu's Gingerbread

Originally uploaded by lasassone

It's pomegranate season! A friend gave me some and so I stuck them in my pot for color! We lack any Fall color here yet on our property because even the leaves on our Chinese Pistache tree have not started to turn. But, strangely, our paperwhite narcissus are up and blooming! Go Figure!

Around the corner in front of the home of my friend and fellow crazy quilter, Sandy, are two gorgeous maple trees that have turned every color of the Fall rainbow I think. They vary from a deep dark burgundy to a bright yellow. There will still be some leaves on those 2 trees at Thanksgiving. I know because when our girls were younger and we had Turkey Day here, they would go around the corner and pick leaves from those trees to decorate our table on Thanksgiving morning.

Fall is the time of the year that I love to bake Mum's Gingerbread. For as long as I can recall, she made this recipe of gingerbread, so it must have come from somewhere back in the 1940's or very early 1950's. I think also that this might be the 2nd thing I learned to make - the first being Brownies I think.

Mum would serve this to company warmed and topped with whipped cream and it's also good with a lemon sauce over the top. I would eat it as an after school snack split horizontally and spread with butter. It's also suitable to put plain in kids lunches. It's low in sugar and all 3 of my girls loved it.

So, let's get on with the gingerbread, a perfect Fall snack or dessert!


2 C. Flour

1-1/2 t. Baking Soda

1 t. ground Cinnamon

1 t. ground Ginger

1/2 t. ground Cloves

1/2 t. Salt

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. Crisco or other shortening

1 Egg

1/2 C. light or milk Molasses

1 C. very hot Water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare an 8 inch square pan by spraying it with cooking spray or greasing.
  • Sift the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt onto wax paper.
  • In a medium size bowl, cream the sugar and shortening
  • Add the egg and then the molasses.
  • Add in the sifted dry ingredients and beat until smooth-it will be rather thick.
  • Add in the hot water and carefully blend in. The batter will be thin!
  • Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35 min. or less. Use toothpick inserted in center to determine doneness. Be careful about not letting the edges burn!


-This recipe can be doubled for a 9" x 13" pan.

-When preparing baking pan, I usually shake a bit of sugar on sides and bottom after spraying.

-Next time I make this I am thinking of adding some blueberries in before baking. If I do that and we like it, I will add a note here to let you know. I really like the flavour combo of ginger and blueberries.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I have SUCH good memories of Halloween attached to my memories of my Mum, Lulu. I think she really liked the holiday as I recall how days before she began preparing for it. In the late 1940's what folks gave out to the trick or treaters were little packets of mostly homemade goodies.

Mum first made round cookies and decorated them with carved pumpkin faces by icing them with orange frosting and then piping on the details. Sometimes she used raisens or chocolate chips to make the faces.

Then she made fudge - the old fashioned cooked kind that was SO good. Using unfolded paper napkins she put a cookie in the center and then put a couple pieces of fudge on top the cookie. On top of that I remember some scattered candy corn and perhaps some wrapped caramels. Whatever else was in the packages I don't recall. When done she brought up the corners of the napkins and gathered up the excess and tied them with a ribbon.

Almost all the mothers did this back then. Some of the mum's used to make popcorn balls and I always looked forward to those. There were some neighborhoods in Duluth where the houses gave out full sized candy bars, but I never got to trick or treat very often in those areas....LOL!

So.....All this was because there were no packages of miniature candy bars or mini packages of small candies available in the stores. I prefer to remember those Halloweens and the happy times we had. Our costumes were simple - I was a hobo almost every year. My older brother and Dad's clothing were handy for it and I don't recall anyone having a commercially made costume. Some did have masks which were sold at the dime store. I always just had one of the little black masks that just covered your eyes.

Have a safe and happy Halloween my friends!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Birthday Cake
Originally uploaded by lasassone
Yes, today, October 9th was Lulu's birthday. She was born in 1906 and passed her love of cake onto both my brother and me.

The above will maybe make my embroidery followers happy, but it's a pretty bad rendition of a birthday cake and I'm to blame. I found a similar image in my files and from my copy-job it is obviously I'm no artist.

This is the only cake I'll be making today because if I made a real one, I would just have to eat it all or freeze it. G doesn't care for cake (pie is HIS downfall) and when we have one in the house, I always have to put slices in little ziplocks and fill a gallon bag with them for the freezer. Yes, I HAVE been known to eat frozen cake......

Funny family story about Lulu's birthday - I forget which one, but was one we ALL remember - maybe her 63rd? Her brother, my wonderful Uncle Roy and his wife, Nellie, who would pass away a few short months later, were visiting for Mum's birthday. We lived nearby and were invited to a family dinner. I had baked her a cake and brought it with us. When Aunt Nellie saw the cake her face brightened with a funny grin and she told me to follow her after I put the cake down because she had something to show me.

She had brought a box of the joke candles that do not go out when you blow on them and gave them to me to put on the cake. Since Mum wasn't keen on calling attention to her age, I had decorated the cake but hadn't put any candles on it.

Well, when it was time for cake, Uncle Roy lit the candles and we all sang Happy Birthday to Mum. When we were done she started blowing out the candles. None of them would go out and stay out. I remember how we all laughed at her frustration and she eventually laughed along with us. Thinking back now it makes me feel sort of sad. Mum wasn't a practical joker but Aunt Nellie sure was! I'm not sure what I'd feel like if someone did that to me - and I'm WAY older than 63!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


This salad was a mainstay in Lulu's summer kitchen and it sure has been also in ours. Last week I made it for perhaps the last time this year. The hot weather seems to have left us and we are now experiencing very Fall-like temperatures. G never says no on a hot day in the summer when I ask if he would like Tuna Salad. It's kind of an adlib sort of salad depending upon what you have in the house besides tuna!

-One 12 oz bag of mixed salad greens, chopped a bit more
the equivalent other salad greens (maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a head of iceberg chopped)
-1 or 2 cans of tuna, drained & chunked up (I usually use 2 cans)
-1/2 a basket of cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
1 C. seeded regular tomatoes, cut in chunks
-1/2 C. green stuffed olives, sliced (See #3 below)
-1/4 C. to 1/3 C. diced purple onion (I use the 1/4 C.)(See #4 below)
-3 or 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled & cut up. (see #5 below)
-3 or 4 shakes of McCormick's California Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1) In a fairly large bowl, dump the lettuce in after having cut it up a bit more in smaller bite-size pieces than it comes in the package. I've also been known to use a bag of shredded lettuce, but I don't like that as much. Lulu always used a head of iceberg lettuce.
2) Add in the tomatoes
3) On a paper towel blot the olives and slice the olives in thirds. My kids used to call these the eyeballs in the salad. If you don't like green olives, I don't see any reason you couldn't substitute a little can of black olives.
4) Add in the onion. If you would prefer yellow or white onion, you can substitute it.
5) Add in the eggs. I cut up the peeled hardboiled eggs with my handy slicer by first slicing them one way and then turning them and inserting them to slice them the opposite way. Hmmm, this is hard to explain, but hope you get my drift. If you don't have an egg slicer, just cut up the eggs.
6) Now toss all the ingredients together and sprinkle on the seasoning.

7) Add mayonnaise to desired consistency. Spoonfuls should mound. G likes this salad a bit sloppier than I do.

NOTE: Amazingly good even the 2nd and 3rd day. We always "fight" over the leftovers! Living in a very hot summer area of California when I was a kid, Mum used to make this a lot. For a fancy luncheon for her friends Lulu she would serve this in or on a lettuce leaf/cup along with other things. Back then I got all the leftovers since I was the only one left at home!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Banana Milk Courtesy of one of Lulu's GRAND Girls!

Last week when our youngest daughter was visiting with her husband and 2 children, the children asked for something I had never heard of. They wanted their mum to make "Banana Milk". When they found out I didn't know what it was, they kept asking until we finally made it one evening. Since tasting this wonderful version of what turns out to be something that may have originated in Korea, I have been meaning to post it here.

This concoction would have made Lulu SO happy. She never knew what to do when bananas got too ripe. Frugal woman that she was, she would therefore be forced to make banana bread or banana cake. I tell you, I ate so much banana bread when I was a kid in sack lunches and at home, that I gag now if I smell it. In later life, she and I found a chocolate banana bread that I'll have to share that is pretty awesome.

When my 3 girls were young and I was caught with too many fast ripening bananas, I would peel them, cut them in half crosswise, stick a popsicle stick from the cut edge up about half way. Then I would coat them with melted chocolate and freeze them. Not only did this save the bananas, but it saved us money when the ice cream man came round!

But today I want to tell you to save those overripe bananas, peel them, cut them up in about 4 pieces and put them in the freezer in a ziplock baggie! If you do this everytime you have a banana slip into retirement before you eat it, you can have the makings for Banana Milk in your freezer and always be only 5 minutes from numminess!

When you are ready for a treat:
> Remove them from the freezer, open the ziplock and dump the frozen chunks into the container of a blender or smoothie maker. One medium size banana will make enough for one really big glass or 2 fair size (maybe 8 oz) ones.

> Add milk just to the top of your frozen chunks. Don't completely cover them.

> Add a dash of vanilla or cinnamon. (or...see Note #2 below)

> Put the lid on and blend till smooth.

Note: I was out of the room when my daughter made this, but she says this is all she did. She brought me a small glass of Banana Milk and ...Oh My! It tasted just like a milk shake made with ice cream. What a great use for something that often gets tossed in the garbage.

Lulu would be proud!

Note #2 - I couldn't just post this blind - so.....I just made some with a banana I froze earlier today. G says it's a winner and so I must have done it right! I used vanilla, but next time I think I'll try cinnamon.

But who says you couldn't drizzle in some chocolate syrup! Not me!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lulu's Grands & Great Grands

Well, it's been some time since I posted here, but that doesn't mean I haven't been cooking. And I've been cooking a lot of Lulu's recipes too because I've had a parade of her grandgirls and great grandkids through here since mid-July. Yes, my 2 youngest daughters married brothers! Gramma Lulu, aka Nana to them, would have been happy as a clam with all the excitement in this house since Mid-July. It won't be over until this coming Monday when the our youngest and her family in the bottom picture above starts off towards the Grand Canyon and then home to hot, Hot, HOT Texas.

We DO have a new recipe for you and I think Lulu would approve. My youngest made these great cookies that are SO simple. So we offer them up knowing Lulu would approve!


1 box of any flavor cake mix
1/2 C. Oil
2 eggs
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
-Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
-Drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet that you've sprayed with Pam-like spray
-Bake for 8 minutes - no longer
*When you use chocolate cake mix, as we did, they taste like Brownies!
*You can add things like mini or regular chocolate chips, nuts or coconut!
*Can be dressed up if the tops are iced and sprinkles added.
*Best eaten in a few days, but I'm also going to try to freeze these.
*One of my daughter's friends won a prize at a holiday cookie exchange by making these and she added broken peppermint candies to the chocolate dough. Then she frosted them with white icing and sprinkled the top with green and red sprinkles.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lulu's Gingerbread

Lulu's Gingerbread
Originally uploaded by lasassone

Well, it's been way too long,hasn't it? Sorry about my disappearance there for awhile, but sometimes life just plain gets in the way of what I want to be doing.

So, you see Lulu's Gingerbread is so good that one piece is all that's left! I baked this for my local weekly stitching group meeting this past Tuesday and it was SO well received that they all asked for the recipe! So, I figure it's only fair that I put it up on this blog as well!

Mum used to make this quite often when I was a kid. In my recipe file the card says it's from "Gramma Lulu". I looked in her recipe book she never wrote where she got the recipe from; she just wrote "very good"! I'll vouch for that as I've been eating it for well over 60 years now.


  • 2 C. Flour
  • 1-1/2 t. Baking Soda
  • 1 t. ground Cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground Ginger
  • 1/2 t. ground Cloves
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C. Crisco shortening (I use 1/2 C. Crisco Oil instead)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 C. Mild Molasses
  • 1 C. very hot or boiling Water

1) Sift flour, soda, spices & salt onto wax paper and set aside.

2) In a bowl cream the sugar and oil (or shortening). Add egg and molasses & beat well.

3) Add the dry ingredients to bowl along with the water.

Pour into a prepared 8" square baking pan. I use the pan spray with flour in it. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


*This is very moist so if you remove it from the oven before the center is done, the center will fall. It won't be so pretty, but it still will taste AWESOME!

*I find the oil instead of the solid shortening seems to make it even more moist.

* Serve with whipped cream as shown or plain. Should serve 9 but how you cut it is up to YOU!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Blueberry Muffins - THE BEST!

This recipe came from an issue of Yankee Magazine back in 1990 that I got while traveling with a friend in Vermont. The recipe was a reader's contribution and I do not recall or have the magazine that said who sent it in. Mum (aka Lulu) had helped me financially to travel to the Boston area in order to attend the Towne Family Association's annual meeting in Salem, Massachusetts. That year's meeting was the Tri-Centennial of the Salem Witch Trials which involved some of our ancestors. It was a very interesting trip, to say the least, and a tremendous meeting which involved a lot of sight seeing and education about my maternal family's past. Upon leaving Salem, my friend and I traveled to Vermont to search for some ancestor's graves and visit the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. The Yankee magazine was given to me at a B & B that we stayed at in Vermont.

Again today I have been asked to share this recipe. I served these muffins this morning at a meeting at our home and they were a big hit as usual.


- 2 C. Bisquick baking mix
- 1/4 C. Granulated sugar
- 1/2 t. Ground cinnamon
- 1 C. sour cream (zero-fat is okay)
- 1 egg
- 1 to 2 C. frozen blueberries, rinsed
- 2 T. additional sugar

> Prepare a muffin pan by spraying with a pan spray.
> Blend Bisquick, sugar and cinnamon in medium sized bowl. Make hole in center.
> Into hole put the sour cream and break in the egg.
> Blend together with a fork.
> Fold in the blueberries.
> Sprinkle a little of the extra sugar in the bottom of each "cup" of the muffin pan.
> Carefully spoon about 1/4 C. of the batter into each "cup".
> Sprinkle rest of the sugar over the tops of each muffin "cup".
> Bake for 15 to 20 min. at 425 degrees or until tops become a bit golden.

1. You can use paper or foil muffin liners, but I do not. If you use the foil, watch your baking time carefully.
2. Remove from pan quickly so as to prevent over baking.
3. Serve hot or cooled. My guests didn't mind them cooled. I offered to split and warm them and provide butter, but after their first bite, they said it wasn't necessary and they raved about how moist and wonderful they were.


Monday, March 16, 2009


This is just a note to let regular readers know that I will be away from my computer until the end of the month. Easter is in April this year so when I get back, I'll be searching Mum's handwritten cookbook for some Easter specialties for you all.

You all keep on cookin' while I'm away!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Best Oatmeal Cookies

Best Oatmeal Cookies
Originally uploaded by lasassone

Are you expecting a grandchildren invasion or having a party soon? If you are expecting any kind of crowd this is a great recipe for cookies. It makes a really large batch. Last night I made 3/4's of the recipe (only because I didn't have the full amount of required oatmeal) and it filled our cookie jar and a gallon ziplock bag AND a sandwich sized ziplock. And plus....I must confess that I think I ate at least a half dozen myself as I was baking them.

This isn't one of Lulu's recipes, but she would REALLY like them for a couple reasons: One because it makes a lot of cookies at one time-enough to put a bag in the freezer so you don't have to bake as often! AND....two because it's a recipe with OPTIONS!

So, let's get on with it.....AFTER I tell you that the plate I put these on is one of Lulu's old dishes from the 1930's depression that she got on "dish night" at the local theaters. It was cheap to go to the movies and Dish Night evidently was very popular. So we call this the "theater china". Suffice it to say these dishes are not anything you would want to put in the dishwasher, so it do not get used much.

Best Oatmeal Cookies (with Options!)

4 C. Flour
2 t. Salt
2 t. Baking soda
1 t. (or more) Ground cinnamon
2 C. White Sugar
2 C. Brown Sugar
1 C. (2 sticks) Butter-softened
1 C. Crisco (I used butter flavored)
4 Eggs
1 t. Vanilla
4 C. Quick Oats
2 C. Chopped Nuts (optional-none in mine)
2 C. Chocolate Chips OR Raisens (I used 1 C. of mini-chips)

>Preheat your oven to 375 F
>Sift flour, salt, soda & cinnamon and set aside.
>In a large bowl, cream the sugars, butter and Crisco.
>Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each.
>Add in vanilla
>Carefull stir in the drys you sifted and set aside. Combine well.
>Fold in the oats, nuts & chips or raisens.
>Drop by large teaspoonsful onto spray (or not) cookie sheets.
>Bake for 9 or 10 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet for a minute and then remove to cooling rack.

I dropped the dough from spoons, but if you want to get your hands involved, you can make balls and the cookies will probably be prettier.

However, they will taste the same - Scrumptious!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lulu's Gingersnaps

I am so sorry, that due to my absence from the blog world over the holidays, I was unable to share some of Lulu's Christmas specialties with you. However, that gives you something to look forward to later this year, right?

I'm fairly certain that this recipe for gingersnaps came from the back of a Brer Rabbit Molasses bottle back in the 1940's or 1950's. The cookies are very good and have been one of my favorite cookies since I was a little girl.

Lately G and I have been craving ginger and the store bought or boxes of gingersnaps just don't make the grade. All the brands we tried are hard and only good for dunking in milk. These cookies are chewy when still warm and can remain chewy depending upon how you store them.

3/4 C. Crisco Shortening
1 C. Granulated Sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 Egg
2 C. Flour
2 t. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Ground Cloves
1/2 t. Ground Ginger
1 t. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 t. Salt
optional: small amount of sugar in a ziplock bag
Candied Ginger
1) Melt the Crisco shortening in the microwave and set aside to cool.
2) Sift flour, soda and spices onto piece of wax paper and set aside
3) In bowl, beat egg and then add sugar, molasses and cooled Crisco.
4) Blend above well and add the dry ingredients.
5) Turn out onto large piece of wax paper or plastic wrap, form a large ball, wrap and chill dough in fridge for at least 1 hour.
6) When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking sheet with pan spray.
#1 - Lulu made these cookies by rolling the dough into little balls and rolling them in granulated sugar in a little bowl or shaking them in a ziplock bag. Most of the time I no longer roll or shake them in sugar as they taste fine without the added calories. However, at Christmas I do coat them with red or green decorative sugar.
#2 - When making the little balls I cut small pieces of candied ginger from the health food store and include 1 or 2 in the center of each ball. You could also add them to the dough and then make the balls.
7) Place the rolled cookie balls on the cookie sheet at least 2 or 3 inches apart. I bake only 12 at a time on my cookie sheets because the cookie balls melt and flatten as they bake. You don't want them to run together. If you keep the dough chilled, roll the cookie balls nicely and place them far enough apart, the cookies will be perfectly round.
***Friends used to tell Mum that these cookies looked too perfect to be homemade!***
8) Bake cookies 8 min. Remove pan from oven and let sit 5 min. Remove to cooling rack.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'll bet most everyone has given up on me, but in case there's still a few readers of "Lulu's Girl" who have hung in there, today I'm back sort of trying to get back to my normal routine.

I've actually been back in California since Christmas, but the Holiday, including New Year's sort of slid by me.

My only brother, Lulu's Boy aka Stewart Lisle Sterling, Jr, who was an voracious reader, went to read with the angels on December 21, 2008. In his last days he was surrounded by family (wife, 3 sons, a daughter, her husband and G and I. He, along with all of us, were given tremendous support by the amazing angels of Hospice. Although not an easy experience for any of us, we managed to have some valuable family time of sharing and love. A few days ago on January 25th it would have been Stew's 79th birthday. Our 2 parents both lived to be older (84 and 91). That fact and his being gone so fast after the cancer diagnosis in October was a shock to all. He was "my rock" and not a day goes by still that I don't think of something to ask him or tell him. There's a huge hole in my heart and life. But in the past week I've been feeling him nudging me to get on with my life.

The pictures here to the left are of Stew, my only sibling, at age 2 (1932) and age 18 at graduation in 1948

The picture above was taken in mid October 2008 by G when we visited my brother and his wife in Arizona. We only learned of the cancer after we had been back home about 2 weeks.

When Stew first learned about me starting this blog and the purpose for it, I think it made him chuckle a lot. He is the one who provided the picture for the header. I'd never seen that picture; he found it in his baby book! He never thought our Mum was much of a cook; at least he said she didn't have much imagination. Mum's next oldest sister, Aunt Helen, was a professional cook, but I don't think Mum learned much about cooking except the basics from our grandmother who was, at one time, a cook in a hotel restaurant. There are some funny family stories about cooking disasters in our house like the time dinner ended up on the ceiling when Mum first tried to use her new pressure cooker. It scared her away from those for life and when I got one for a wedding present and used it one time when she was visiting, she wouldn't even come in the kitchen!

So, we all assume that Mum got most of her recipes from friends and maybe family too. True there are a lot of recipes in her handwritten book that have names next to them. And, a lot of her recipes I'm sure came from cooking under extreme conditions during the Great Depression and WW2 when my brother was small and I was as yet unborn. The simple things for her were never written down. I found that out recently when I wanted to make Roast Beef Hash. I'd never made it before, but it was something she made all the time. I muddled through and G said it was pretty good.

I will soon continue blogging Mum's recipes and any stories about them here as I have been since I began.

Stay tuned!