Posted by: marthabernie | June 24, 2019

MY GRANDMOTHER’s MOLASSES COOKIES

UPDATE 6-24-19:  I am adding here a scanned copy of the written recipe in my grandmother’s handwriting because it seems to have become damaged over the years since I first posted it.  It’s been kept in a dry place, but for whatever reason, some of the ink has become smudged and hard to read, and at least by posting it here, it will be preserved.  We know she wrote this recipe out in 1965 because she used the back of a receipt from  Winsell-Gibbs Seed and Nursery Company in Los Angeles.  All the details of a purchase of a half a dozen gladiola bulbs are detailed there, and the price, a whopping 78 cents!  By 1965 she was living in a little apartment near where we lived, and she had been making the molasses cookies for my father for decades prior to that time.  So I am thinking she must have written the recipe out for my mother as I found it among my mother’s recipe books and things.  However, impossible to know for sure.

The photo above is of my grandmother, Dulcena (Dulcie) Ferrier Marlin before she was married in 1912.  That’s quite a hat, isn’t it?  She cooked and baked all her life, and she was not necessarily the best cook/baker in the family, but she was well known for three things:  her sour dough bread, her pie crusts and her molasses cookies.

I can still remember watching in amazement when I was a small child as her bread dough magically rose in the bowl under the tea towel.  I did not understand why she kept punching it down when it was only going to rise up again, and this went on for several hours before she put it in the oven.

She lived with us for a few years starting when I was seven, and it didn’t take long to figure out a couple of things when it came to her baking:  her pie crusts were light and flakey, but she never put enough filling in her pies.  My mother on the other hand, was not the best when it came to making pie crusts, but her fillings were to die for.  So for the few years they lived under the same roof, one made the crust and the other the filling, and we had heavenly pies!

Molasses cookies are not my favorite.  I much prefer peanut butter, oatmeal raisin or Snickerdoodles.  But my grandmother made molasses cookies that were moist and wonderful.  They were my father’s favorites.   The recipe is below.

I have been toying with the idea of putting a cookbook together one day, using the old photographs of the people whose recipes are listed.  It certainly would make a wonderful family history as well as a great collection of recipes.

SOFT OLD FASHIONED MOLASSES COOKIES

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon and cloves

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup molasses

2 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

Sift together flour, salt, soda, baking powder and spices.  Melt shortening in a sauce pan big enough to mix in other ingredients.  Stir in molasses, sugar and cool.  Beat in eggs gradually, add flour mixture.  Beat at least 30 strokes, shape into balls and bake at 350 degrees F until brown.  Dust with granulated sugar while they are still hot.

Here is another photo of her right after she was married in 1912.

Posted by: marthabernie | June 11, 2019

Vinegar Chicken with Crisp Roasted Mushrooms

thebrookcook

It’s all about the sauce for me, and it’s all about the sauce in this dish. I try to adapt most skin-on chicken recipes to use my go-to protein, boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, but the skin is essential in this preparation.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Alison Roman. I used red wine vinegar and stock in the sauce and also added garlic. We ate it with a giant green salad instead of the lemon-dressed lettuce in the original recipe but I included the gem lettuce option below.

I served this tangy chicken and roasted mushrooms with crusty sourdough baguette (to soak up the sauce), roasted potatoes, and a dollop of Greek yogurt. Amazing!

Yield: 6 servings

For the Chicken:
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken (use any combination of legs, thighs or drumsticks, or breasts halved crosswise)(I used 8 bone-in chicken…

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