Saturday, October 16, 2010

"I'll have what she's having..."

"What's your favorite food?" What a dumb question. And impossible to answer - I hate it when asked if I was stuck on a desert island and could only eat one food, what would it be - that never happens, and I refuse to answer on the grounds that it will make me hungry, sad and angry that anyone would even SUGGEST that a person could be limited to one choice. That and the fact that it's silly because how would you keep Ben & Jerry's pistachio ice cream from melting on a desert island? It would be like choosing between your children....unless, of course one was hot fudge and the other oatmeal, then it would be easy.

So what IS your favorite food? Haha, just kidding. Some people are easy - they have identified with a particular food and never sway from that - for instance with my Dad it's always been blackberry pie. Always. My grampa loved nuts. Well, at least we thought he would be funny if he secretly hated them, especially after that Christmas when EVERY single present he opened contained nuts. I live in his house now, and wonder if in some future excavation we discover an archeological dig rife with Planters cans as far back as any of us can remember, all pristine and unopened. My big sister has an ongoing affair with gummy bears. Not worms, not cola bottles, but bears...and they must be Haribo. And she flushes the red and white ones down the toilet so she isn't tempted to eat them when she runs out of the yummy flavors...I am working on having her committed since everyone KNOWS those are the two bestest flavors in the bag. Once I bought her a 5 lb. bag and she told me "never do that again"....I suspect it was like the lost weekend, and that she woke up lying in her back yard with a fruity hangover and the dog licking the gummies stuck in her hair.

If I had to narrow it down to a category, I think the thing I would miss the most if I had to give it up is bread. Not just any bread, but warm from the oven, redolent with yeast, and (yes I know it's more than one food, but shut up and let me finish) with butter, preferably cold and very thinly sliced on each bite so you get the contrast of flavors, textures and temperatures. My gramma, whom I have mentioned before and not in the most glowing culinary terms, once made a wheat sourdough bread I will always hold other breads up against and to which they will always slink away from, trailing their sad little crumbs behind them. We were visiting her at the lake, and it smelled SOOOOO good, and the toast we made with it I can still remember to this day...the dense crumb, the slight heaviness, the tang of the sourdough, the melting butter...WOOF. Thanks Granny, you ROCK.

You'd think after all that I'd give you a recipe for bread. Nope. Someone requested a recipe for cookies that are adult AND kid friendly, and that had no prunes or odd request, but if you knew the origin, you'd understand. And I don't care what Harrison says, prunes are delicious, and should be tossed into anything you make - it will give it a nuance and depth you cannot imagine, and will delight your body with TONS of antioxidants, potassium, iron and chromium for good blood health, vitamin A & C for beautiful skin and hair, Lutien for good eyesight and for slow-release sugars to keep your energy up, and of course fiber. Shit, prunes give you a run for your money! Hahahah....

These cookies are from a cookbook that my mom has had since I was a kid. It was a church cookbook, so it had recipes donated by parishoners....I think this one was actually donated BY my mom, and can remember it as far back as my shrinking brain allows. They are not typical sugar cookies, but somewhat soft and chewy - yes, they have a lot of fat, but then so does your MOM...and you still love HER, right? You also don't have to roll these out - rolling is OK for pies, but cookies are usually an immediate need...that is why so many people eat the gross, raw egg filled dough. Yes, I said it....DISGUSTING.

Our Favorite Cookie (It's just its name, don't get your panties in a bunch)

1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. shortening (butter flavor Crisco highly recommended)
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2-1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 T. milk

Preheat oven to 400. Put a little sugar in a cereal bowl and find a glass with a nice, flat bottom and set aside. Beat butter, shortening, sugar, vanilla and egg in a large bowl until fluffy/creamy; add salt and soda and mix in, then flour and beat until incorporated, blending in milk last. Drop by teaspoonfuls (or cookie scoop) on cookie sheet at least an inch apart (they will spread), press the bottom of the glass in the dough in the bowl to make it sticky, then in the sugar and flatten the cookies slightly with it. Dip the glass in the sugar each time you flatten so they won't stick and all get sugar on em.

Bake at 400 for 7-10 minutes or until they just start to brown around the edges, let cool for a minute then remove to rack to cool completely. And if you have ANY of the first pan or milk in the fridge left before the second pan is done, you are not doing it right.

At Christmas I make these and put red and green sugar in separate bowls and flatten with that - you can sprinkle more on after you flatten to make them even prettier. I have also been known to drop the dough in a bowl of sprinkles or those tiny colored bb's, then set them right side up on the cookie sheet and flatten - decorate them however you want; shoot, if you put a prune on top even Harrison would eat em!

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