1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
The cookies at right are shown with the filling on them and ready to be topped with another rolled out one.
My thoughts after I had finished baking them and tasting them? I might try making present-day oatmeal cookies next time, placing cooked date filling between two of them after they come out of the oven. That's only if I decide to make them again!
On the left, the thinly sliced potatoes in cold water; on the right, the almost ready potatoes frying in hot oil.
One of the ways I love them is slicing them very thinly, no more than 1/8 inch thick. All you need for that is a sharp knife. I soak them well in ice cold water and then dry them thoroughly with a clean tea towel and/or paper towels. I separate them as I put them into the hot oil (making sure they are dry), stir them often, and when they are crisp looking and golden brown, I remove them from the pot and drain them well. I did fry the first batch quickly the second time after I removed the second batch from the oil. I then re-fried those quickly again as well. That ensures the fries are crisp.
On the left, the fries just out of the pot, crisp and golden. On the right, ready to have with some chicken wings (another of my favourite foods).
They are almost like potato chips and with some salt, they are so good! In Belgium and here in Germany as well, many use mayonnaise instead of Ketchup with pommes frites (as they are called here), although young children use the latter more often these days.
The fudge I loved I make once or twice a year and it always brings back memories. Dad loved fudge, too, and he would sometimes make it, although it was Mom who usually did. In those days, he would put it on a plate when it was ready and pass it around. We would each take a piece and then he would pass it around again. So a second one. But that would be about it (there were six of us altogether). Naturally I always wanted more!
One day, when I was a young teen and my parents were out and my sisters were as well, I decided to make some myself. I had watched often enough so I knew how. I made the fudge. It turned out perfectly. I cleaned everything, leaving no trace behind. Then I took the whole plate to my bedroom where I hid it and ate every single piece myself! That satisfied my craving for it then and there. I never did that again, but I have never forgotten the thrill of having it all to myself!
Here is the recipe I made that long-ago day and again this past week.
3 cups sugar (half white, half brown)
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup milk
Note: I often make two-thirds the recipe (as this time): 2 cups sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa, 2/3 cup milk plus butter, vanilla and walnuts. I also used dark brown sugar this time as I didn't have any light brown and it was just as good, perhaps even better.
Method: Place the sugar, cocoa and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly (do not stop stirring). When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer, without stirring, until it reaches the soft ball stage. Now, my way to test for the soft ball stage is the way I do it still, although you can use a candy thermometer. I put a small saucer or dish in the fridge freezer so that it becomes very cold. When I think the fudge is nearly ready (the mixture will be low in the pot), I test a small bit on the cold fridge plate. If I can form it into a soft ball, it is ready.
As soon as the soft ball stage has been reached, I remove it from the stove. I immediately add a large piece of butter (about two tablespoons or so), without stirring it in, and then set the pot aside until the candy cools a bit. I then stir in the butter, add a good teaspoon of vanilla and beat it until it begins to thicken.
The picture at right shows the butter melting in the fudge mixture.
On the left, Aunt Emma's gingersnap recipe. No method other than soften butter and lard. Add molasses.
On the right, Georgie's recipe for Scotch cake, the ones I make and gave the recipe for in my blog post of 14 December 2009.
The most interesting to me in Mom's cookbook was my grandmother's dandelion wine recipe, mainly because I had never seen her take a drink of alcohol of any kind. Not to say that she never did. I don't remember my mother ever making this and I doubt that I ever shall, not with all the wonderful wines we can buy today and considering the work this wine would take to make! But this is a very old recipe so interesting for that alone. Here is the recipe (I clarified it somewhat from the written page):
Grandma Tillie's Dandelion Wine
Note: Keep in mind that you can enlarge any of the pictures in order to see them more clearly. Just click on the picture.