Dec 17, 2023

Good ole summer time

With the summer heat underway, now is the time to think ahead to keep the kitchen cool.

The other evening, I mixed up the receipt (Old English word for recipe) below for refrigerator cookies (think Pillsbury Slice and Bake) and baked a few cookies the next day. What a time saver! I did not need the oven on very long as I just baked what we would eat that evening. Homemade cookies in under 15 minutes is a win in my book.

I bet those of you of a certain age, like me, remember taking a Sunday drive or at the very least, hearing about it. They became popular in the 1920's when automobiles were massed produced and were available to the middle class.

Between 1917 and 1923, 15 million Model T's rolled off Ford's assembly line and families adorned in their Sunday best took to the country roads for a ride. I feel confident that Henry Ford endorsed taking a Sunday Drive. A hundred years ago, daily life took place close to home.

Children walked to school and adults who lived in villages and towns, often lived above or very close to their business. People in larger cities would ride the trolley. Motor vehicles were not essential to daily life. A ride in an automobile was a special treat. The Sunday Drive rose in popularity for decades.

As a child in the 1960's, I recall riding on the backroads and listening to my grandparents talk about the people that used to live on a certain farm or pointing out places of interest; the hangman's tree, a sulphur spring, and a tree that Johnny Appleseed planted come to mind. The gas shortage of the 1970's caused the popularity of Sunday Drives to wane, but nobody told me. As an adult 30 years ago, I would drive my mother and grandmother through the countryside.

My grandmother was getting up in years and really enjoyed getting out of the house and remembering the people and places from days gone by. I guess that is another reason that I know so many family stories, having heard them as a child and then again on our drives years later. My husband and I find taking a Sunday Drive on any day of the week is time well spent.

Recently, we traveled from Madison, Indiana over the backroads to Center Square Discount Groceries near Vevay. I had looked at a map to get the general idea of the route but did not know that there was a detour due to a road closure. I pulled up the GPS directions on my phone. As we were discussing whether to just go home or continue, we passed the turn to continue to the Amish grocery; we were rerouted and so, we turned down a paved country road.

As we went past fewer and fewer farm houses and the road narrowed, my husband was not convinced that we were on a good route. Then the pavement disappeared and we were traveling down a gravel road fording dry creek beds. After consulting the GPS again, I assured him that there were only two more miles to go!

Indeed, we found our way back to paved roads and to the Amish grocery. (The store is located north of Vevay on Route 56. I do not recommend traveling the route we took.) I purchased Einkorn flour which I have not seen at the Amish Farmstead Market near Pleasureville, KY or JR's General Store near Bainbridge, Ohio. I am looking forward to baking some bread with this ancient grain. I also picked up a bag of Dutch processed cocoa even though I did not have a specific use for it.

Natural cocoa is simply unsweetened chocolate ground into powdered form. Even though Dutch process cocoa was developed in the early 1800's, it was fairly unfamiliar a generation ago. It is natural cocoa treated with an alkalizing agent to lessen its acidity making it darker and more bitter than natural cocoa. I will need to find a new chocolate receipt for the Dutch processed cocoa.

I wanted to make another refrigerator cookie since the pecan one was such a hit. The lemon flavor in today's featured cookie was a happy accident. I had a fresh lemon to make my weekly jug of lemon water.

When I read over the ingredients, it looked like it would be very plain and needed a little something more; a half teaspoon of lemon rind hit the mark. I had difficulty rolling the dough into a two inch roll. My roll was bigger so I just sliced the dough and made two balls and flattened the dough. I wrapped the dough in waxed paper, not aluminum foil, to lesson exposure to aluminum leaching into the food.

I think I will head to the kitchen to bake the remainder of the dough right now. These cookies are light and delicious and "Betcha can't eat just one"!

Summer Hint of Lemon Refrigerator Cookies

½ cup butter, room temperature

1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 ¼ all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Beat butter until creamy.

Add brown sugar and beat until creamy, several minutes.

Mix in beaten egg, vanilla and ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder.

Mix flour mixture into butter mixture.

Form dough into a two inch diameter roll on a piece of waxed paper.

Wrap dough securely and chill at least four hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice dough. (After slicing, I rolled mine in a small ball and flattened.)

Leave room between dough as the cookies will spread some.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet until edges slightly brown, 8-10 minutes.

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