My maternal grandmother was such a good cook. Grandma made everything, soups, desserts, pickled fish loaves, breads, and gravies, all to accompany wonderful meals. I remember her sauerkraut. So delicious with just a bit of pork in it and thickened just a tad with leftover mashed potatoes. Grandma and my grandpa had a restaurant/bar a zillion years ago before it was ‘cool’ to be the proprietor of such an establishment. Sauerkraut was always on the menu according to my dad. They made their own, of course. Many workmen from a local quarry came to that bar for a hot, substantial lunch and later after work to raise a glass or two. They closed early. After all, no one belonged ‘out’ when you had a family at home. Grandma grew just about all of her own vegetables and fruits. I remember their huge garden and loved the little covered entry to it. It always made me feel I was entering a special place. I still remember her out there in a big hat and full apron working to fill her cellar with enough food to feed an army. I would visit and no matter what she was doing we would always go in for a cookie. Grandma and my mother used an old recipe for what were called “Frozen Cookies’. The original recipe on a card written by my mother years and years ago is as follows:
2 cups lard, melted
pinch of salt
1 cup white sugar
1-cup brown sugar
1-teaspoon baking soda in a bit of water
enough flour to make stiff dough
1 cup chopped nutmeats
That’s it! Not a lot of detail! How much flour? How hot an oven? How long to bake? How much water for the baking soda? And what do you do with the dough to result in frozen cookies? I remember pressing my mother for the flour amount. She had to consciously measure the flour one of the many times she made this dough to satisfy my question. Her answer: ‘Oh 4 or 5 cups, it depends.’ Depends on what! Anyway, the rest of the recipe isn’t and has never been written down. It is by memory. Forming logs and wrapping in thick wax paper and freezing it solid, slicing the frozen logs with a sharp knife and baking them are just something we know how to do from memory. Yum, they were delicious and so good with a cup of coffee or glass of cold milk. My sisters love this cookie too. These cookies always bring back memories. I make this cookie too, and have for years. Odd how of our three children, it is our daughter who loves this cookie. I think it must be genetic for daughters to love this cookie and pass on the special recipe to their daughters!
The cookie I make today is a bit different. It definitely does not include lard, and has a few healthy additions like ground flax seed, and milled chia seeds. Still good, but now I just don’t feel so guilty feeding them to my family, or eating them myself. Sorry Grandma, but yes, your recipe it still the best! Check out the recipe I now call “Clara’s Cookies” in Tried and True Favorites!