Sunday, July 14, 2024

Ginger Snaps


Grandma started making ginger snaps this morning before Grandpa and I got up. (She does her baking early in the day during the summer months so she’s not warming up the kitchen in the heat of the day.) Due to Grandpa and me it’s taken her two days to get the job done. She asked me three days ago to get the heavy mixer out and put it on the counter before I went to bed. I forgot. Then one day ago, she asked Grandpa and me to get the heavy mixer out and put it on the counter before we went to bed.  We both forgot.

Yesterday morning we got up, she looked at both of us, “I guess nobody wants cookies around here.” Her tone was completely calm and totally devoid of accusation. I don’t know how she does it; in those moments I’m totally incapable of keeping accusation out of my tone but somehow, she does it. Last night before we went to bed, Grandpa remembered to remind me, and I got the mixer onto the counter. I got up this morning, hoping to smell cookies and immediately got worried because I couldn’t smell any. I bounced up the stairs of the basement apartment praying all was well, even though I knew something wasn’t because when Grandma says she’s going to do something her word is good. When I got to the top of the stairs, she was sitting in her easy chair leaning back watching TV. She said, with a shake of her head, “I don’t have enough flour to make cookies. I didn’t want to wake you up getting it.”  

I gave a sigh of relief and glanced at the counter. All the ingredients for making ginger snaps, including the index card with the recipe on it, were clustered around the heavy mixer waiting to be incorporated into a delicious mix then baked into morsels to tickle our taste buds. “I’ll get you some flour.” I said and headed to the downstairs pantry, grabbed a plastic gallon jug of flour (we buy 50 lb. bags of flour then put it into plastic gallon jugs for ease of use) and took it upstairs to her. Grandma spent the next three hours making and baking ginger snaps. I glanced at the three by five-inch green index card where the recipe was written in black ink. I noticed what looked like the tracings of a hand. I looked at Grandma with a question in my eyes. “Oh, that’s Tammy’s hand.” I raised my eyebrows, “that’s a recipe from Mary. Remember the kids? Tammy wanted me to trace her hand on that card while I waited for her mom to find the recipe to give me.” I nodded, grinning, remembering when Tammy was small enough that her handprint would fit on a green three by five index card. She is a tall adult now… last I heard she’d just had   surgery for a college injury while playing volleyball and was recovering nicely.  

Aunt Mary’s Ginger Snaps

¾ cup butter                1 cup sugar                 1 egg               ¼ cup molasses

2 cups flour                 2 tsp. baking soda       ¼ tsp. salt       1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves                1 tsp. ginger

            Mix butter and sugar in bowl until it is creamed together. Add egg and molasses and beat well. Sift the remaining six dry ingredients together. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Chill dough then roll into one inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375℉ for 8 to 10 minutes or until set and surface cracks. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy with milk or coffee or ice cream… or whatever is available.

Choices: Grandma doubles the recipe so she can freeze some for Grandpa’s late-night snacks. To freeze simply put in a zip-loc bag and use within 3 months. If a fancier cookie is required, prior to baking, roll the 1-inch ball of ginger snap cookie dough in granulated sugar before placing on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

In 2000 Michele Priddy left the work force to become a stay-at-home mother and wife. Being a one-income family in today’s society meant she had to learn to budget quickly. Food became a priority early because she wanted the children to have the best nutrition, she could offer them even on a budget. She also taught cooking classes on how to stretch the food dollar with simple ingredients at various churches in her community. Michelle has put her kitchen strategies and recipes in booklets, her church newsletter and also in her hometown newspaper, The Goldendale Sentinel. We hope you will enjoy her strategies, stories, and recipes. You can contact the Leavenworth Echo at or 509-548-5286 if you have any questions or comments for Michelle.



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