With cousins arriving imminently, my mom made plans for what to cook while they were here. I was enlisted to help with the cookies, though I took plenty of breaks to take pictures. But I realized I had a few more pics of treats from the last several weeks, and thought I’d include them here.
As a child, Easter always came with blooming azaleas, new Easter dresses, and an Easter basket. I’m pretty sure the Easter baskets were still being hidden, up until I moved to PA, in ’06. Or maybe they weren’t hidden, for the year or two before that. I’m not sure. But still, if you’re looking on the treat side of things, it’s still the time when Cadbury eggs are available in stores, Reese’s peanut butter eggs are bought in volume, and the jelly beans arrive on the table.
When I was little, the only jelly beans I would eat were the orange and yellow ones. I’m not sure if I ever tried the others, or was just convinced they wouldn’t taste good. As an adult, I have tried them all, and here’s how things stand. Black ones are ok, as they’re licorice, and orange, yellow, red, and green all taste good. White ones taste like mint, and therefore, they’re nasty. And purple and pink ones taste like soap.
Sometime after Easter, my brother came to visit, and my mom decided to try out a banana pudding recipe. I had never realized that we never had banana pudding in our house, when we were growing up, because I seem to remember it being a part of my childhood. Was it served at school, or just at birthday parties? I know we always had it when we went to eat at Ryan’s. Maybe we ate it at potluck dinners. But my brother Jon loves it, as do I, and our family never knew it.
The big pudding went to a party for my brother, but she made two small servings so we could try it out and see what we thought. I really thought that having a dessert in the fridge, while I was at work, would be too much temptation for someone, but I was wrong. It was still there when I got home. And it was SO good. It was quite rich, too, so I actually didn’t finish mine, but let Matt finish it for me. He didn’t object. Brothers usually don’t. : )
And now, back to the cookie baking. With this particular branch of my family coming to visit, the order of the day was gingersnaps and snickerdoodles. Of course, it occurs to me that some people will think that gingersnaps should actually “snap”. But at my house, we don’t do crunchy cookies, we make sure they’re soft and chewy. So, stalking the oven is a full-time job, making sure that we don’t let the cookies get even a little bit brown.
I arrived on the scene in time to start rolling out the gingersnaps, while the snickerdoodles were almost all baked. Without digging up the recipe (I can do that, upon request), snickerdoodles are a sugar cookie that have been rolled in a sugar and cinnamon mixture. Gingersnaps are made with molasses, ginger, and other spices, and what could be better than that kind of mixture? For a relatively small batch (for our house), I only sampled a little bit of the cookie dough.
While going back and forth between rolling the dough into balls, dipping them in sugar, washing my hands every time I wanted to use my camera, and taking turns pulling cookie sheets from the oven, my mom went about making another batch of homemade bread. We almost always have homemade bread on hand (I know, I’m spoiled), and there’s nothing yummier than still-warm fresh-made bread with your dinner.
Finally, the cookies were all baked, the bread was cooling on the countertop, and we could count down the minutes until family would be arriving. Oh, and since we always manage to damage a cookie or two, while transferring them onto the cooling racks, I ate some of the broken ones, just to make sure they were alright. You know, safe to eat. The gingersnaps were soft and scrumptious. And the snickerdoodles had a tiny bit of a crunch to the outside, with chewy deliciousness inside.