Jason and I just came in from church and I fixed lunch for us. One of my greatest joys is watching my husband enjoy a meal. A little bit about my husband....Jason is one of those men that has a very quiet strength, is very observant and does not talk a whole bunch. I, on the other hand, am a "chatty Kathy". Jason is the one who sits quietly in the corner at a party, while I dance nekked on a table wearing only a lampshade and a smile, all the while he is saying to himself, "Lord...help me!". We balance each other very well....he reels me in and I draw him out. As a couple, we are a great match.
As I sit at my desk, I am going thru the recipes that were in my mom's shoebox. My memories begin to emerge of wonderful times in the kitchen waiting for the oven to finish doing it's magic on the dough or batter that was so carefully placed there. Those were wonderful times in the kitchen when mom was baking and filling the vintage character cookie jar with treats. This cookie jar is the shape of a pretty little pig, standing upright, in a dress with flowers on her head. She has the sweetest smile on her face. This is the cookie jar that my grandmother had, my mom had and now I have. A picture of the cookie jar wil be included in the book too.
Some of the cookies that I am reminiscing about are snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, peanut butter, chocolate icebox cookies, oatmeal raisin and Russian tea cakes. I still have the original Betty Crocker cookie book that some of these recipes came from. As I thumb thru the pages, they are stained and worn, and I can almost smell the cookies baking. Mom didn't have family recipes for cookies, except for modifications to some classic cookie recipes, but she did have recipes for several amazing cakes.
One of the cakes that I grew up with was the "War Cake". This cake was deep, dark chocolate and was always made with peanut butter frosting. I would have included it in the cook-book, but the recipe was published by the King Arthur flour company. There is a bit of vinegar in the recipe that increases the complexity of the taste beyond anything that you can imagine. Yes, vinegar....and you would never know that it is in the recipe.
Another recipe that I grew up with was a blueberry coffee cake that had TONS of blueberries in it. We made this every year when fresh blueberries were at their peak and it is being included in the book. There are a few versions of this "out there", but none that I have encountered are on the same level as this one. This, my dear readers, is the ultimate blueberry coffee cake.
Now that fall will be arriving, it is getting time to make applesauce. The family recipe for applesauce will be in the book along with my mom's recipe for Applesauce cake. This is a moist cake that cannot be beat...if you like the smell of the warm spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a few others), then this is a cake for you. Like having a crock pot full of warm, spiced cider, this cake will fill your house with the smell of apple pie.
Also, an added bonus to making this cake, and the pumpkin cake, is that the smell of cinnamon can have a very positive impact your love life, "wink, wink".
Purple Kitchen Treats
Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.
However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.
My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.
From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,