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Joy Ginger Snaps

JoyGinger (10)

One of my readers commented on a vintage recipe for molasses cookies (recipe here) and asked if I had a 1940s era recipe for ginger cookies.  As a wedding gift in 1952, I had received the 1952 edition of Joy of Cooking which was a later edition of the 1931 cookbook.  I think these cookies come from the 1930-1940 era.  They are easy to make and yield a big batch of spicy, old-fashioned cookies.

JOY GINGER SNAPS
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses (Grandma’s, sorghum)
1 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
4 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for dipping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a large mixer bowl, beat margarine and brown sugar together until well blended.  Add egg, molasses and vinegar – beat until smooth.

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In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon.  Add to margarine/sugar mixture and beat just until flour is absorbed.

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Drop by measuring teaspoon full onto ungreased cookie sheets.

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Dip a small juice glass in granulated sugar …

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and flatten cookies to about ¼ inch thick.  Leave 2 inches space between cookies.
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Bake in preheated 375 degree  F oven for 7-½ minutes.  Remove cookies immediately to rack to cool.

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Will make 80 cookies 1-½ inches diameter.

For 2-½ inch diameter cookies, drop dough by measuring tablespoon full onto sheets and flatten with glass dipped in sugar.  Bake for about 8 minutes.

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Heart-OH14 (2)

Because of back problems the past two years, I haven’t been able to travel too far and my daughter and I have taken one day a week during the month of September for a “staycation” day in an area that doesn’t require too much driving.  We enjoyed our last day of this year’s staycation traveling about 1-1/2 hours to Springfield, Ohio.  We pass through the charming town of Yellow Springs and love to have lunch at Young’s plus a stop on the way back home for one of their renowned Bull Shakes made with cream from their own Jersey cows.

It’s about 30 minutes from Yellow Springs to a huge antique mall called “Heart of Ohio” with 650 dealers.  I found a treasure -a  handmade book rack that I would date to the 1940s with my favorite Scottie theme.  I imagine it was made from a kit and includes flaws like the very visible screws and holes drilled in the wrong place, but that made it more lovable to me.

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When we got in the car, my daughter handed me something she had bought as a remembrance of our trip.

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It’s Roseville and the chips (which I don’t mind) made it very affordable.  I love the little dog lapping up the spilled milk.

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On the way home, I was telling my daughter I had seen a small “Made in Japan” Dutch planter which I talked myself out of buying.  Later that evening, she came out with another package that she was going to save as a Christmas gift – the planter I wished I had picked up.

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This was a very successful day.

One week of our staycation we went to a favorite restaurant (Grand Finale in Glendale, Ohio) and our favorite local antique mall (Ohio Valley Antiques in Fairfield, Ohio).  We’re at these two places so often, I didn’t think about taking pictures.

Last week we visited an Adams County, Ohio, store.

The first week we stayed local with lunch at our favorite barbecue restaurant (Eli’s in the East End of Cincinnati) ….

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…Stopped off at Avoca Park in Terrace Park …

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…and did some antique store browsing in Milford, Ohio.

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I’m beginning to really love this staycation idea.

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I’ve made a few pieces that incorporate my TV-time embroidery panels.  I made another set of cushions for my vintage folding chair.  The nice thing about a folding chair is that it can also go outside very easily.  I just happened to have a blue granite ware coffee pot and skillet to accompany the cushions.
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One of the designs I used for embroidery on a table mat is an adaptation of a decorative painting pattern by Helan Barrick.  I used to love to paint her Amish boys and girls.  I adapted this one for fall.

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I used another vintage embroidery pattern to stitch a scarecrow with a crow on his shoulder.  I outlined the pattern in black embroidery floss and then used crayons to color the design.  After using the crayons, I placed a piece of white paper on top of the panel and pressed with a hot iron to set the colors.

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I made a quilt for my table mini-quilt rack with a 1930s-40s era pattern of a scarecrow and chubby birds.  I especially like the way the trees are worked in this piece.

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Now, it’s time to think about some small projects for the Halloween season.

Click on photos to enlarge.

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For many years, my daughter and I traveled to Holmes County, Ohio, to spend several days in Amish Country.  I can’t travel too much any more and we have been taking one day a week during September to visit an area that is not too far away.  This week, we decided to drive about an hour and a half to a small Amish community in Adams County.  It was well worth the driving time and, in fact, the drive was a really enjoyable part of the day.

We started off the day with brunch at a Cracker Barrel in nearby Milford, Ohio.  I recommend the pecan pancakes but unless you have a hearty appetite, order just two pancakes – not three as I did.  They are huge!

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We wanted to visit Miller’s Amish store in West Union and I was especially anxious to shop in the Bulk Foods building.  I bought some hard-to-find items along with pumpkin fudge to eat on the way home.

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They have a large selection of furniture and I especially liked this glider with the morning glories.  My daughter said it was very comfortable.

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My daughter loves to travel the back roads and we passed many houses with the familiar Amish clothing drying on clothes lines and an occasional buggy.  We also passed one buggy on the road, trying to contend with automobile traffic on a bridge.  These horses were beautiful but kept their heads hidden behind a fence.

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This was one of the back roads we traveled with no traffic at all.

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We were able to cross over a perfect covered bridge.

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To me, it was a condensed trip to Amish country with everything we wanted to see, only there was less of it.  A very successful staycation day.

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Fallpitchers (4)

I have a large collection of vintage creamers and sugar bowls which I use for flower arrangements.  I had just gotten some of my autumn-looking pieces out of storage when my daughter came home with a $6 bouquet from the grocery store and made the old china even more beautiful.

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Ban-Pumpk-top
I adapted this recipe from one found on Veronica’s Cornucopia for Wacky Pumpkin Spice Cake.   Without eggs or milk, this makes a wonderfully moist, soft cake and the light glaze makes a cupcake that’s not too sweet or rich.

BANANA PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH MAPLE GLAZE

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½  tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup banana puree
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
¾ cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil (Canola)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tsp. banana extract
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 12 cupcake sections or insert 12 paper or silicone cups.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the banana, pumpkin, water, oil, vinegar, and banana extract.

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Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chopped nuts.  Pour into the prepared cupcake pan …
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…and bake for approximately 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to stay in the pan for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the cupcakes from the silicone liners and allow to cool completely on a rack.
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Maple Glaze
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 Tblsp. maple syrup
¼ tsp. oil (Canola)

Mix the sugar, syrup and oil with a spoon until smooth.

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While the cupcakes are still warm, place about ½ tsp. of Maple Glaze on top of the cakes and swirl around with the back of a spoon.
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Yield:  12 cupcakes

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Vintage Embroidery

Whenever my two daughters and I get together, they always pull out some kind of handwork to do – knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting.  Since I’ve always done my piecing and quilting by machine, I rarely have something to work on.  I decided to try some very simple embroidery using vintage 1930s-40s style patterns.  They are easy enough for my limited skills and I like the patterns which remind me of the embroidery all of the women in my family were doing in that era.  My daughter and I have a large collection of vintage patterns and I’ve been able to add patterns from some good online sites.

I embroider the panel (usually 8-½ x 8-½ inches) and then use scraps to make up something useful.  I don’t want to gather a drawer full of embroidered squares, so unless it’s a seasonal pattern, I make it up quickly.  Another goal of mine this year has been to eliminate bags of small scraps – smaller than 4×4 inches – and I’ve managed to do that.  The only fabric I’ve bought up to this point is some good off-white fabric for embroidery and to use to assemble the scrap blocks.  Here are some of the items I’ve finished this summer:

A cushion set for my vintage folding chair ….

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A small wall hanging of an old kitchen stove …

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A pillow with a design I adapted from an old postcard …
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A wall hanging with a crow and sunflower center.  I hand quilted around this design and machine quilted the remainder of the hanging.
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A table pad with a Mexican theme …

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I still have a stack of completed embroidered panels to use.

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Here are some links to free vintage embroidery patterns:

http://mytransfers.blogspot.com/
http://www.patternbee.com/FREEPATTERNS3.html
http://www.french-knots.com
http://www.needlecrafter.com

Click on photos to enlarge.

 

 

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