Monday, September 25, 2006

Practicing Hospitality

Since we are talking about various spiritual practices, including the practice of hospitality, in one of my classes (and since the facilitator of my ministry formation group is a former gym teacher & frowns upon bringing treats to that), I decided to bake some cookies for the class. I availed myself of my grands' kitchen & baked up some snickerdoodles. As I was baking, my granddad asked me, "Now, what are these doodads called?" I was delighted with his wording because I was able to answer, "Snickerdoodadles!" We talked about how the name could have come to guess was Pennsylvania Dutch or something like that. That led us into a discussion of odd food names, like the Russian sandwiches my grandmom's mom originated in our family. My grandmom said she didn't know if her mom named them for whimsical reasons of her own or if she'd seen them named that in a recipe. We agreed that you can tell the origin is pre-cold war, because Russian isn't considered a bad thing & that there doesn't seem to be anything particularly Russian about them. They are made by toasting slices of bread (1 for each person eating...or 2, if you're hungrier), topping them with tomato slices, cooked bacon & slices of cheddar cheese, then broiling them until the cheese is melted. My mom, a vegetarian, omits the bacon & adds avocado. They are often all my grands eat for dinner, along with ears of sweet corn bought at the farm stand, for weeks at a time when tomatoes are in season. Anyway, the cookies:

3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 sticks butter, room temp
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 lg. eggs
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets lightly. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and nutmeg together. Cream butter, 1 1/3 c. sugar and vanilla together until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate. Add flour mixture on low & mix until well-blended. Drop 2" apart on prepared sheets. Mix the rest of the sugar with the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the cookies. Bake 12-13 minutes & cool on wire racks.

This recipe made enough to take 32 to class, leave 8 for my grands' tea time and bring another dozen or so home to my Beloved, whose mommy used to make her snickerdoodles.

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