Tag Archives: Sugar cookies

For Calling Birds

When I was younger I thought they were collie birds – dog birds as it were …


Lassie – best collie EVAH – just add some wings to make her a bird…..

Hey – there are Catbirds and Bird Dogs, aren’t there?


Green Catbird of Australia


English Setter trained as a bird dog


Bird Dog was also a hit single for the Everly Brothers the year I was born


Calling birds isn’t much clearer


Tweety Bird on a combination phone/alarm clock.

In some versions of the song, they’re colly birds, which just might be a black bird, colly another word for black, being related to coal, which brings us back to the collie dogs who herded sheep with noses that were black like coal…


Colly or calling, these birds have it covered

There were no birds of any other kind at my sister’s table Xmas day. We just don’t do turkey or goose for Xmas; we’re a lasagna/stuffed shells/manicotti kind of crowd

There were 4 generations of family, all present and accounted for, 30 some odd altogether.

There was food, glorious food.

I had my list to pack and take:

Cinnamon Rolls (Grandma B’s recipe made by her grandson); Shrimp Rings; Sweet Potato Chips and Marshmallow dip and Dunkin Donuts  coffee & ½ and ½ (notice how much is store boughten – and I didn’t really make the cinnamon rolls, I just provided space and equipment, and there were issues with each this year, just to keep things interesting. The next time I make the dip I’mma gonna try cream cheese instead of the sour cream, a suggestion/variation that came up at the table, but with so many talking about soooo much, I’ve lost track of who, but sounds great.)

None of this food was lonely when it got to the party….

There were charmellas and cannoli, although the cannoli had chopped nuts on one end and mini chocolate chips on the other, so they seemed to be trying a little too hard. Not that it slowed down their consumption any.




Nuts or chips – or melted chocolate dipped in chopped nuts

There were sugar cookies made from the package because that’s what we used to make, back in the dim dark ages, and no one is particularly fond of them (there is one brother who is a noteworthy exception) but we all expect them to be there and we all had one. Or two as the afternoon wore on…because it would be not quite as Christmassy without them;


The infamous cut out sugar cookie of our youth. Which is why we still need to have it.

The Santas had spread out to almost life-size size in baking

sugar cookie santa Pillsbury

Much MUCH bigger then a hand…the heads were almost head size

and the candy canes were


sugarcookie candy cane Pills

These are what they were supposed to be – but they spread out MUCH MUCH larger. And still we ate them.

We’re blaming on the unseasonably warm weather…we had a serious conversation about turning on the AC Xmas day. We didn’t, but it was an option. Almost everyone mentioned that they weren’t wearing what they had planned, but something more LESS.

There were also oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip cookies, and cookies with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries mixed together, a gingerbread house made for eating…..there was a point where I couldn’t see the other end of the table and I didn’t care…..Pies, lemon meringue and pumpkin and homemade  arrived and were made welcome.

It wasn’t all sugar….there was fruit, too. Covered in chocolate…..

edible arrangements boxes

Oh, yes.

But it wasn’t just sugar

Nonnie meatballs and sausages, made ahead and kept warm in a slow cooker.

Pulled pork (a new addition and very nice, very nice indeed) in a slow cooker – my sister is a genius! (She takes after me.)

Calzones – chicken, cold cut – something with peppers….I was saving room for the

Lasagna – and a bowl of sauce. Excellent Lasagna, not too cheesy, not to meaty, not too soggy noodlely – everything just right and very nice indeed. The sauce was also a good dip for the chips…..

This is just what I remember and not a complete list.

santa headband

It was not too hot for Santa headbands

and as for for calling turkey birds:


Hand made turkey call by Robert Clifft in Bolivar, Tenn. His Shop is called: ‘The Last Call’ . I read about him in my new  Xmas cookbook  Smoke & Pickles by  Edward Lee. More about Smoke & Pickles later……



Filed under Christmas, Dinner, Holiday

Betty Crocker was Good and Easy

was NOT written on  a bathroom wall ever. It does show  just how memory can be tricky. I totally remember Betty’s Picture Cook Book.

BUT – the cook book that is actually in my mother’s collection – and for the moment in my hot little hand is actually:

good and easy back and front

This one is in better shape then my mother’s, which has a matching blue elastic to hold it all together.

Truth be told, the illustration are from the same series, and the photos’ – there’s nothing like ’50’s food photos…..

 Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cook Book

Betty Crocker’s brand-new idea book – 1000 time-saving, taste-tempting recipes and hints for busy modern homemakers.”


The first and last few pages are missing – It begins on page five, with Breakfast already underway, and ends p. 256 with the index slug of

 Yellow (whole-egg) cake (sponge, 165)

And the whole thing is rather dash happy – – –

The half pear was a bear in a bowl of porridge – three dates stuck upright could be the three bears in another breakfast (nightmare) option….I’m glad that fruit as bears was not a  part of my childhood. But I have seen this long ago – the question is where?

In the mean time, something I DO remember, confirmed by my mother and my sister:



(page 194)

(See picture, p. 182.)

2 eggs

2/3 cup cooking (salad) oil

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. grated lemon rind

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

  1. Heat oven to 400° (mod. hot).
  2. Beat eggs with fork until well blended.
  3. Stir in oil, vanilla, lemon rind.
  4. Blend in sugar until mixture thickens.
  5. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and stir into oil mixture.
  6. Drop with a teaspoon 2” apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Flatten with a greased glass dipped into sugar. (This is where I could help. The real secret is not to grind the little batter balls into the cookie sheet, but rather level off the tops and leave a little sugar behind, nuance often lost with the under 6 set. My mother would pick out which glass to use and put down a saucer with a little Wesson oil in in, and a second saucer with some sugar in it, so dip, dip, tap, it’s a cookie.)
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes, just until a delicate brown. (mostly the edges)
  9. Remove immediately from baking sheet.
  10. About 3 doz cookies.

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Filed under Perception ways, Recipe