Friday, May 14, 1912 – “Looked like rain in the morning. Cleared before noon. Ellsworth gone to town with butter. We baked bread, ginger cookies, and crullers.” – Lydia Jane Hall
When we had our Hall family reunion last year, my cousin Skip asked if he and his wife Rita could make ginger cookies to bring. “Of course!” I said, because if there was one food we all remember from the farm it was Grandma Hall’s ginger cookies.
Skip’s cookies were great, and the ginger cookies my cousin Tom makes and sends me from Indiana are also fantastic. I make my cookies from a recipe in an old New York Times cookbook. I cut them in the shape of hearts and frost them with pink frosting. But none of them taste quite like the ones from the kitchen on Whirlwind Hill.
Here’s my grandmother’s recipe – in her writing – sent to me by Skip.
I remember helping her make ginger cookies at the kitchen table. She (in spite of her recipe) didn’t seem to measure at all. She used a ton of flour, and the darkest molasses I’ve ever seen, and she worked very fast and with absolute command over the dough. My grandmother had to work fast – she had such a busy life.
Monday, July 25, 1921 – “Agnes helping out of doors most of the time – going to town, looking after the children, making cookies, bread, etc. She doesn’t find much time for housework.” – Lydia Jane Hall
She always cut her cookies into circles. I think this cutter may have been from the farm, but what I remember is just a plain metal ring. Maybe the answer to the memorable taste is that not only did we eat them around the kitchen table but ate them when they were starting to get stale and perfect for dunking into a cup of afternoon coffee or a glass of milk.
On Monday: The Gold Beads