Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Memories

This towering example of kitchen wizardry was one of my grandmothers: "Memaw". No, you're not suppose to have a favorite Grandma, but she was mine. Besides, she was the only person in the family over the age of twelve that I was taller than.

The joke is that I "channel" her in the summer, putting up corn in the freezer that we'll eat in winter soups and stews. In the shadow of her own mother's framed picture of peaches falling out of a basket, once a year I bake Peach Cobbler using Memaw's recipe. She was 98 when she died and even though she's no longer in the kitchen, she's in mine....at least in spirit.

So in the spirit of the season, here's one of her cookie recipes that always makes me think of her this time of year. {Susan, it's what I make instead of fruit cake}.

Ambrosia Cookies

Preheat oven to 375/ Makes 14 dozen cookies
(Yeah, if you use a really tiny spoon... and I don't)

1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 ½ cup rolled oats [meaning uncooked regular oatmeal]
1 cup nuts
1 pound container of mixed candied fruit
1 cup chopped dates

Cream butter, sugars and eggs. Add flour, spices and salt. Stir in fruit and nuts by hand. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Enjoy!


Peggy said...

I only had one grandmother as i was growing up and I had the privaledge to live with her. She was a great good and more important to a kid a great baker!
Christmas time was such a great time of you! Thanks for the memory and the Ambrosia cookie receipe! You're a great friend to share!
Ps my grandma made fruitcake too...not my fav!

Susan at Stony River said...

Yum! But what's her fruitcake recipe? LOL

You're lucky to have memories of your grandmothers, especially such good ones.

Merry Christmas to Memaw!

mapstew said...

98? Wow!

All my grandparents were gone before I was born, so I never knew what it was like to be a spoiled grand-child. But hopefully, one day, we'll have a gang of grand-kids to baby-sit and spoil to our hearts content!

(And we will def be making Memaw's cookies!)


enchantedoak said...

Thank God these guardians of the kitchen live on in us. Enjoyed your Meemaw story.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you know Susan would ask about Fruitcake LOL.Great tribute you your Grandmother :)

Brighid said...

See you are following in your granny's footsteps. I must try your cookies they sound yummy.
My flannel Granny always made real mincemeat pie and carrot cake with whiskey sauce for Christmas. None of us have been able to make them like she did.

Anonymous said...

These look mouthwatering. Maybe I shall come back and make them once Christmas is finished and life's back to normal!

Terence McDanger said...

They sound nice. Anyone want to bake them for me and send them on? I can't turn on an oven without an ambulance and fire engine at the ready.

hope said...

Peggy, I was lucky. I lived next door to Dad's mother until I was 8 and even though Memaw lived a state away, it was a relatively short trip to her house. My paternal grandma was the fruit cake baker...Memaw did more canning.

Susan: see above. I don't know if Memaw ever made fruit cake. The other grandma, however, tee-totaler that she was, made her own wine to put in her fruitcake. :)

Map, she was a month shy of 99 when she died. (And the other one made it to 91). Memaw and I had a deal that we'd make it to age 100. She made it that far, I better take good care of me. ;) Let me know how long your cookies last.

enchantedoak, you're most welcome. My Mom use to joke, "I didn't have you for me, I had you for Memaw!" I'm sorta like Memaw Jr., as I still do some canning and I LOVE to bake!

Mahalo Thom! I figure someone has to keep baking alive....better work on the young nephew, as he's the only grandkid on our side.

Brighid, I feel that way about the other grandma's macaroni and cheese! We all try, none of us can do it. Although I did marry a guy who cooks fried chicken just like her. :)

Matthew, considering you have the heat to deal with, I don't blame you. But they are good!

Terence, if I didn't think the mailman would confiscate the package for himself, I'd send you some. :)

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

A Beautiful tribute to your Memaw. I have wonderful memories of my Gram also.

She made the most delicious Corn Chowder though she called it Corn Soup. I have yet to make my chowder taste as good as her's. I can only think it was the extra ingredient "Love"

Thanks for sharing.

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hope said...

Now before everyone wonders what in the world Bill could've written to make me remove it...his computer stuttered and posted twice. :)

Bill, you're most welcome! I'm glad I grew up in a time where Grandma's cooked and created memories. ;)