In the past, I haven't made much of a secret about my culinary upbringing. My sainted Mother was a product of the 60's. She believed the ads, read the magazines and never met a chicken she couldn't pour a can of cream of mushroom soup or top with a slice of Velveeta. My brother and I still refer to the spring of '68 as, "the dark times", when Better Homes and Garden published a recipe with chicken, the soup AND a slice of the cheese product. To be fair, my mother was among the first generation of working mothers who were told they could have it all, full time career, husband, children and a social life. Cooking took second place (well, 8th actually).
My wife, on the other hand, had a stay at home mom who cooked every day. When Jackie went her own way in the world and left home, she took an afternoon and had her Mom write out her recipes for her. 35 years later, she still has 3 books of index cards. Most are weathered yellow, stained from use and are among her treasures.
During Jackie's recent recovery from her health scare, she asked for one of her Mama's recipes. Peanut Butter cookies like her Mom made. We were on a protein kick to get her blood numbers back where they should be. A snack with peanut butter was literally just what the Doctor ordered.
I am going to use this as my "Cooking For Empty Nesters" post. A good chance to remind myself to not get caught up in reinventing the wheel. Sometimes I want to add new ingredients (wonder how a little grated ginger would taste in these cookies??? Or my personal favorite is to add just a pinch of Cayenne Pepper to sweet gookies for just a hint of pop). Sometimes I want to be different just so I can brag about how different I can make a recipe.
But sometimes you just want a cookie like your Mama (in-law) makes.
Cooking for Empty Nester's Tip #2On occasion, go old school and find a surprise. Cook an old favorite and don't fall into the blogger trap of different to be different. Find that recipe that is a remembrance for who you cook for and make them think of simpler days.
So, here's Mama's Peanut Butter Cookie recipe...
1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 cup white Sugar
1/2 cup (packed) Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 TBS Milk
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 3/4 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
Cream Shortening and Sugars, add the egg, vanilla & milk. Add peanut butter and mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients. Make rounded teaspoons of dough & roll the balls in additional sugar. put on cookie sheet. Press with a fork. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.